WHEN WORK IS A PET PROJECT
THE BUSY LIFE OF A VETERINARIAN
SHE has had experience handling everything from crocodiles to snakes, but the most difficult animal that Dr Anne Fawcett can face is much more common.
“Crocodiles are heaps easier to treat than an angry cat because they are more predictable,” she said.
As a veterinarian for Sydney Animal Hospitals Inner West, each day can include anything and everything from clipping nails, expressing anal glands or performing emergency surgeries.
In the past decade Dr Fawcett has worked across many clinics and for the RSPCA and also teaches at the University of Sydney.
It was there that she spent years completing her own Bachelor and Masters degrees, including a final undergraduate year of clinical placement.
“You go to 10 different places and you get to see large animal practices, small animal practice and rural practices,” Dr Fawcett said.
She said time and experience help you get through the tough things like surgery.
“When I did my first anat- omy course I was quite grossed out, but when you are the person who is taking charge of the animal you rise to the occasion,” she said.
“That bond you have with a non-human is really special but the most important thing is being good at communicating with people.”
She credits a good team of vets and nurses with helping her deal with harder situations like giving bad news.
“Vets are not above crying. You can become very attached to a patient,” she said.
“(But) one of the best things is getting photos of their pets running around after they have been through trauma.”
Dr Fawcett said aspiring vets have many different areas they can work in.
“There are less job opportunities in the city but many in rural practice,” she said.