Dr. Clark’s International Veterinary Journey

October 25, 2023

Dr. Clark’s journey to becoming a veterinarian at an NVA Canada hospital was a remarkable one, marked by determination, passion for animals, and a deep commitment to her profession. Her story is a testament to the transformative power of following one’s dreams.

Originally an accountant, she harbored a deep passion for medicine, particularly veterinary care. She made a bold decision to leave her career and apply to the University of Pretoria’s veterinary program. Competition was fierce, with thousands vying for a limited number of spots in the veterinary program, but she achieved the academic ranking necessary and was accepted.

After completing her degree, she undertook a compulsory year of government service as a State Veterinarian in a rural post. The environment was difficult, with limited resources and support. A turning point came when she met Dr. Roche, a production animal vet who ran a mixed practice in town. His guidance and support were invaluable, and he gave her the opportunity to locum for him in the evenings, seeing the practice’s small animal patients and offering emergency care after hours.

Dr. Clark fulfilled her government obligation and entered private practice, but she struggled with the low pay and limited opportunities for young vets in South Africa. The crumbling infrastructure was also causing instability, with frequent power outages during her workdays. Her reality shifted as she began to explore opportunities abroad and, in the background, she enrolled with the CVMA and worked her way through the required exams.

COVID-19 brought new challenges. She was aware of skepticism about her international credentials despite the stringent examination process for recognition by the CVMA, but she was determined to find a practice that would value her skills and experience.

That’s when she crossed paths with Colleen from NVA Canada’s International Recruiting team (at the time). Colleen listened carefully to Dr. Clark’s aspirations and interests, never pressuring her but instead focusing on finding the right fit. The effort and dedication of NVA Canada’s team to ensure a smooth transition to Canada left a lasting impression on her.

Ultimately, Park Hill Animal Hospital in Peterborough became the ideal destination for her. She appreciated the practice’s supportive environment, where each veterinarian had the freedom to practice their own unique style of medicine. Dr. Clark was thrilled to have access to advanced diagnostics and a supportive team, which allowed her to practice at a higher level.

Her decision to settle in Peterborough was influenced by her love for the seasons and the proximity to an airport for family visits. She was delighted with the welcoming community nature and even found the elusive Costco to meet her requirements.

Dr. Clark’s story is a testament to the power of determination, resilience, and finding the right support system. NVA Canada, through Colleen and the International Recruiting team, helped her find her “unicorn practice” where she felt valued, respected, and truly fulfilled in her career as a veterinarian. It was a journey that had taken her from a career in accounting to fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian, and she expresses gratitude for the whole process.

Learn more about NVA Canada’s International Recruiting Program here