Andreia Dias – Veterinary Surgeon and Entrepreneur
Here is an interesting interview about her professional veterinary career and cool project she started for helping other veterinary professionals who like to widen their career in UK. Read this interview with veterinary surgeon and entrepreneur Andreia Dias for more enlightening info and the ways to get involved in her project.
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Andreia Dias, I graduated as a veterinary surgeon in 2014, Portugal, but moved to Scotland shortly after. I have been working in Scotland, started out in mixed practice, then moved on to a referral internship. After some time back in Portugal, I returned to the UK temporarily and did some locum work. Since mid 2018 I live in Portugal, where I’ve also worked in clinical practice, but I still visit Scotland regularly and now work mostly with cats. As I do more work with my project UK VetMove, I spend less time in clinical practice.
You have lived and worked in the UK. Can you tell us what is your opinion about the veterinary profession there?
The profession in the UK is likely different from what you expect if you have worked in other countries… There is a growing emphasis on the problems of the profession, especially those related to mental health. I feel it is quite demanding for a few reasons… the owners are usually informed and expect good care, which means we as vets actually need to know a lot about a lot of things, and it’s also not unusual to work in places with out-of-hours work, so it can be difficult to get a good work-life balance. However, usually the vet is well-respected by the clients and also the colleagues and there is good support from other peers. It’s very easy to find a job when you’ve got the right qualifications and they are usually well-paid jobs, plus you can often learn and grow as a vet too since you see many cases… because it’s a very fast rhythm indeed and you may see 15-20 patients a day!
You have quite an interesting project going on, can you tell us how UK Vet Move started?
I started this project as an idea in 2016 and got more serious about it over the following year. I was looking for a way to find fulfillment, because I wasn’t 100% happy with where I was in terms of my career. So I thought about what I could do using what I knew that could benefit other people… Among many other ideas such as sharing practical tips for other colleagues, I thought of sharing my experiences about my transition to the UK and the challenges I faced, as I knew several friends who had gone through similar. And I liked web design, so I thought I would create a website to share that information. Slowly, the website grew and now my goal is to make it the number one resources for overseas vets interested in developing a career in the UK.
How can our audience benefit from UK Vet Move? What do you offer?
UK VetMove has a series of resources to guide overseas vets during their transition to the UK or help them decide whether that’s something they would like to do or not. It’s possible to find information about the profession in the UK, how to register in the UK as a vet, language expressions used in clinical practice and even tips to save money and dealing with taxes. There are even more resources for those that register on the website (which is free). There are also online courses, especially focusing on English and veterinary skills, and for those looking for more support, there is a mentoring and coaching programme available to help with the challenges of the first UK jobs.
You have an award winning blog, can you tell us a bit more about it?
I was quite surprised to receive the message, but very happy about it! I really enjoy writing and I had put up a lot of information on the website in the form of blog articles. However, it took me a while to have an “agenda” for the articles… so I finally figured out I wanted to focus on three main areas – work/career, language and living in the UK…. And then I started to write consistently about what I thought vets were more interested to hear about. Since it’s me writing the blog, I can share my ideas and thoughts about certain topics. I really enjoy feeling like I’m writing something that can truly help other people! ?
What is your advice for our readers who would like to work in the UK?
I think it’s very important that everyone understands why they want to do it and try to discuss it with someone that is/has been in the UK. It is very common to want to move to the UK for a certain reason, only to find out that it still doesn’t work like that in the UK when you’re there! Once you know it’s what you want, make sure you have the right skills, especially in terms of English and communication!!! If you want to invest in your vet skills, invest in routine surgery (neutering). And when you do move, make sure there is someone that you can talk to, ideally away from where you work, since you may find yourself lonely (if you are on Facebook, you can join UK VetMove’s private group). For students… don’t be afraid to ask and call practices for a place to visit and enjoy it – you will likely see a much different reality from what you are used to ?
If you liked this article, read more interviews with veterinary professionals on our blog.