Yorkshire-based Clare Tapsfield-Wright MRCVS has written The New Vet's Handbook, a lighthearted guide to help newly qualified veterinary surgeons as they leave uni and enter the profession.

Finding and settling into that first job is a particularly challenging time for a veterinary surgeon. Not only do you need to adapt to the practice environment and fit in with colleagues, but also gain a fast understanding of what's expected clinically, professionally, ethically and academically.

Recently retired after a 40-year career in practice, Clare is very well placed to give new grads useful advice. She's had six year's experience in mixed practice and 34 in small animal practice, both as an employee and an employer. She co-owned a small animal practice in Yorkshire which she developed with her veterinary partner from one surgery to a small animal hospital with four surrounding branch practices employing many vets and nurses over the years. She also spent 8 years on RCVS Council, giving her a deeper insight to the complexities of the wider profession.

What is perhaps a tad more unusual is that she writes from the perspective of someone who feels she has nothing to lose by being completely open and candid about her experiences. 

Clare said: "I've really enjoyed my career and been fortunate enough to be able to balance it with family life, practice ownership and time on Council. But it hasn't always been easy. There are things I think I could have done better, and like everyone I've made some mistakes. I hope that by being open about these things, I might prevent others falling into the same traps.

The New Vet's Handbook covers employment options, interviews, mentoring, working with clients, patients and colleagues, consulting advice, dealing with euthanasia, record-keeping, veterinary standards, training and CPD, career options, professional skills and avoiding common pitfalls. 

Clare added: "Although the purpose of the book is to help new grads settle in, especially those in smaller practices where a mentor may not always be readily available, I hope people will find it a funny, enjoyable read too."

The New Vet’s Handbook is available from 5m, priced at £24.95: http://www.5mbooks.com/the-new-vet-s-handbook-information-and-advice-for-veterinary-graduates.html