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Veterinary professionals must acquire years of education, many certifications, and hours of hands-on experience to launch their careers. But one fundamental piece can often be overlooked – mentorship.

While training and education are vital to our success in veterinary medicine, the gift of mentorship can shape and mold the professionals we become, perhaps in more profound ways than we may realize.

The importance of mentorship in veterinary medicine.

The American Veterinary Medical Association states that “New hire mentoring has the potential to help you navigate through an organization’s procedures and politics and helps ease your transition into a new job…Mentoring continues to play a role even as you become more experienced; with a mentor, you have somewhere to turn to obtain information and advice as you advance in your career.”

Even prolific thought and education leaders in our field agree that a quality relationship with a mentor can positively influence your career for several years. That conviction resonates deeply with BluePearl. It’s our responsibility to provide every Associate with the mentorship and training tools they need to thrive in their careers.

Why we prioritize training & mentorship.

As the AVMA stated, a mentor can guide you through every step of your career, whether it’s your first day in a hospital or your thousandth day in an advanced role. BluePearl is home to some of the best veterinary professionals, and we want to continue that trend as we grow. Not only do we want to attract emerging talent, but we want to foster learning, development and leadership in every Associate that joins us. Providing dedicated mentorship and training programs is the cornerstone of those efforts.

Set up for success: Early career mentorship & training programs.

What programs does BluePearl offer to new graduates and professionals who are early in their careers? We have many options to help you choose your career path under the guidance of an experienced mentor to show you the ropes.

emERge™ program: Emergency vet training program.

BluePearl’s emERge program is an accelerated emergency veterinary doctor training program designed to help you become a proficient ER clinician while earning a competitive salary from day one. We establish a formal mentorship between you and an experienced ER doctor who will help you develop your skills as you learn how to take charge, lead others and achieve successful patient outcomes in the fast pace of our emergency rooms.

The prime time to interact with your mentor occurs during year one. Your first 16 weeks will consist of initial training or boot camp, followed by another 16 weeks of immersive training with your mentor. Finally, you will spend the last 20 weeks of your first emERge year gaining experiential training at your home hospital.

Urgent Track program.

Choosing between emergency care and urgent care as your specialty can seem daunting. BluePearl’s Urgent Track program allows you to grow your skill set in urgent care with the option to pursue emergency medicine down the road. We provide all the tools, support, and experience you need to succeed.

The Urgent Track program is ideal for veterinarians with at least one year of experience who want to explore emergency medicine or expand their case mix.

Urgent care track

In the urgent care track, you will complete several virtual modules that provide instruction and training on recognizing and treating toxicities, addressing dermatologic urgencies, conducting orthopedic exams, and more. These training modules and intensive onboarding process provide you with the skills and knowledge to handle your first urgent care shift with confidence.

Emergency track.

The emergency track is a one-year virtual program that allows you to become an ER vet without completing a formal internship. Instead, you’ll complete virtual modules on several emergency topics while participating in wet-lab sessions to practice the procedures you’ve learned about. Once modules and lab training are complete, you’ll receive hands-on mentorship from one of our senior emergency clinicians. This program offers a great way to ease yourself into an ER setting with close guidance and feedback along the way.

House Officer programs.

House Officer programs at BluePearl combine close mentorship with real-world experience to lay a strong foundation for your veterinary career. They are immersive, eye-opening, and life-changing for many students participating in our internships, externships or residency programs.

Rotating & specialty internships.

BluePearl offers one-year specialty and rotating internships to help you choose the best career path for your interests. Our rotating internships include a combination of hands-on clinical experience, didactic training, and extensive learning resources, all while managing a high caseload to maximize your training opportunities.

Specialty internships are quite similar to rotating internships, but their ultimate purpose is to help you become a competitive candidate for future residency training programs. Because of this, specialty internships also involve didactic training support and one-on-one mentorship from an experienced clinician in your home hospital.

Residency programs.

Participating in our comprehensive residency programs will prepare you for board certification, but they will continue to serve you well throughout your career. BluePearl wants to help you expand your clinical acumen to set you up for success as a veterinary specialist, so we equip you with all the tools and resources you need to thrive during your residency, including:

  • Access to over 2,000 journals in our veterinary library
  • Generous continuing education stipend
  • Digital learning resources through BluePearl University
  • Additional training support to help you master skills and broaden your medical knowledge

Externships: DVM/VMD, vet tech and vet assistant students.

Externships are fantastic opportunities to “get your foot in the door” while completing the required experience hours for your chosen veterinary medicine program. BluePearl offers externship programs for many veterinary students, ranging from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your program requirements.

Whether you are a DVM/VMD student, vet tech student or veterinary assistant student, an externship at BluePearl will provide you with rewarding, valuable experiences in a real-world setting.

If you are enrolled in an AVMA-accredited program, you can apply for an externship at one of our hundreds of hospitals throughout the country to gain clinical experience as you step into your new career.

Clinicians-In-Training Health & Well-Being program.

While rigorous training and learning opportunities hold immense value for your career, there is another area of focus that BluePearl emphasizes for new graduates: mental health. The best veterinarians in the world can’t do their jobs effectively if they don’t first care for themselves, and we want to foster that self-care early in our Associates.

The Clinicians-in-Training Health & Well-Being program is tailored toward students and new graduates enrolled in our emERge program and House Officer programs. You will participate in training and learning sessions with one of our in-house veterinary social workers or wellness educators while gaining access to multiple mental health and wellness resources.

“New graduates often struggle with the transition from student to clinician,” says Lori C. Harbert, MSW, LCSW, BluePearl’s Director of Health and Well-Being. “It is our hope that this program provides young clinicians with a toolbox of skills to help them balance the demands of the profession. We want to ensure they learn behaviors of self-care early on, so they become habits that guide them through their personal and professional life. We want them to know that they are important and valued. If at any time they are struggling, there is someone there to support them.”

While we want our Associates to succeed in their professional lives, our highest priority is helping them thrive in their personal lives. Providing mental health and well-being care isn’t just a perk or bonus in our eyes – it’s a critical responsibility we take seriously at BluePearl.

Continued support: More learning opportunities throughout your career.

Training and development at BluePearl don’t stop when you complete these programs. We provide Associates with many opportunities to grow their careers and receive dedicated support from experts throughout our organization. No matter how high you want to climb, we can help you get there.

BluePearl 101 leadership training.

Every veterinary professional is a leader in their own way. Some may lead a whole emergency room, but we all take a leadership role in treating pets from case to case. BluePearl 101 fosters your leadership skills through dedicated mentorship and development training from other leaders in your home hospital, helping you navigate the early stage of your career while building your confidence.

“Developing Medical Leaders” calls & medical leader lecture series.

Clinicians at BluePearl may want to accelerate their careers and climb the ladder into leadership roles within their hospital and the organization as a whole. To help them create a plan and pursue their goals, BluePearl offers a “Developing Medical Leaders” lecture series and regular calls to develop management skills and help potential leaders identify areas of opportunity as they grow into senior roles.

Mentoring circles.

In addition to offering clinical leadership development, BluePearl provides structured mentorship for hospital administrators, practice managers, technician managers, technicians, and other hospital staff. These mentoring circles help our Associates strengthen their leadership qualities and explore potential growth paths within BluePearl.

Continuing education & CareerTrax.

Every Associate deserves quality training and development, and we want to make those opportunities as accessible as possible within our hospitals. To support our Associates in their careers, BluePearl provides them with an annual stipend to pursue CE credits whether they are required for their current position or will help them grow into a new one.

Hospital staff also has access to CareerTrax, an electronic career pathing platform. CareerTrax puts the power in our Associates’ hands to advance their careers. With this system, they have full transparency into the requirements and development path they need to complete for advancement into new roles, levels, or specialties. CareerTrax allows them to document their skills development and complete CEs for career advancement to easily share their progress with their direct managers and other leaders. With this additional clarity, we aim to foster a culture of continuous learning and encourage our Associates’ passions.

Final thoughts.

Dedicated mentorship and ample training opportunities are paramount in BluePearl’s approach to Associate development. Whether you are a new graduate or a veterinary professional seeking growth and new possibilities, this is a place where you can thrive – in your current role and future career.

Ready to Grow Your Career?