Why I’m a veterinarian: Fiona Turner

26 Aug 2019

I was lucky enough to grow up on a semi-rural property with horses, rabbits, dogs, cats and lots of wildlife so from a young age I was exposed to the wonders of animals and all they have to teach us. I think I wanted to be a veterinarian from before I could talk and whilst I considered other careers I know I would have never been satisfied unless I had pursued the burning desire inside of me.

My father is also is a veterinarian and he has inspired me and taught me a greater understanding of the joy animals can bring to our lives, especially when we put ourselves in a place where we can help them and make their lives better. He has always taught me and still reminds me today that we are their voice and we must speak up for them. 

One of my earliest memories is going with my Dad (who was then a large animal vet) to rescue a horse who had been ridden across a footbridge but had slipped and was stuck with all four legs either side. Experiencing the adrenaline and the ability to help this huge but helpless animal still sticks in my mind today.

I have worked with small animals since I graduated (13 years ago) and I love being a part of the special relationship people have with their pets. I find opening myself up to people and trying to see it from their perspective is a good way to get through some of the more challenging cases and also communicate what needs to be said during the difficult times.

I think being a vet has given me such a great understanding of the need for compassion in this world as well as a level of multitasking, patience and tenacity I didn't know I had. Some days are more exhausting than others but at the end of the day, if I have tried my hardest I know I have done my job as well as I can.

I've managed to also weave my love of writing in with my veterinary career and I produce veterinary content for online communications and websites each month. This has allowed me some flexibility in the workspace as well as a new skill set that has opened doors and helped me focus on what is important when it comes to communicating with my clients.

I now have two young children and it is sometimes a bit of a juggle but being a veterinarian is a great job to have as a mum and I'm lucky that I have been able to keep working on and off while raising my kids. This means I've been able to keep my mind active, keep my confidence up and skills ticking over. It is also great to be able to set an example to my kids and they know mum has to sometimes go to work too!

If someone in the street asked me "why are you a veterinarian?", I would say that it is definitely because I like to help animals and relieve pain and suffering but I also think that it is because I love the interaction and the relationship you build with your clients along the way. It's a unique career and I'm lucky that I have the opportunity to experience all it has to offer. 

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