What makes a good vet? How perception of prospective students compares to that of employers

Nuria Canedo


Selection of applicants for veterinary programmes normally balances applicant academic scores against interview performance exploring aptitude for the veterinary profession. The Harper & Keele veterinary programme separates the academic aspects of selection from those aimed to identify professional aptitude. To identify professional aptitude pre-interview applicants are asked to answer a number of reflective questions on the characteristics required of a veterinary professional. To identify professional aptitude at interview a set of multi-mini interviews (MMIs) exploring a range of professional competencies are used to identify applicants who will excel as veterinary students and graduates.

Studies have shown that markers of high employability in recent veterinary graduates include communication skills, resilience, confidence and managing work-life balance (WLB) (Cake et al., 2016). Yet, evidence from our pre-interview selection process suggests that applicants focus more on clinical aptitude over personal traits. During the selection process for the Harper & Keele veterinary programme, all applicants were asked about their perception of; (i) successful vet, and (ii) a successful vet student. This presentation will draw links between perceptions expressed by applicants during the selection process and identified employability markers.