Qualified but not yet fully competent: Perceptions of recent veterinary graduates on their day-one skills

Chantal Duijn, Harold Bok, Olle Ten Cate, Wim Kremer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The goal of veterinary education is to prepare learners to successfully enter the profession. However, the transition from learner to professional can be an intense and stressful phase. In this study, recently graduated veterinarians' perceptions of readiness to work independently and to successfully cope with early career challenges are addressed. Methods: A survey based on five commonly occurring entrustable professional activities (EPAs) in primary care was sent to newly qualified veterinarians (graduated between six months and three-and-a-half years ago and working in primary veterinary clinics). The survey was a combination of open and Likert scale-type questions and contained items on the self-reported need for supervision for these EPAs. One hundred and fifty-six participants (response rate 41.2 per cent) answered the survey. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse and present the quantitative data. Results: The day-one after graduation levels varied per EPA between ? €? with direct, proactive supervision' and ? €? supervision at a distance'. On average after 6.8 months participants felt ready to execute all five tasks with distant supervision. After almost 10 months, participants had the feeling of being fully competent to execute the EPAs unsupervised. Conclusion: This study provides insight into early career challenges faced by recently graduated veterinarians. The results emphasise the importance of adequate preparation of veterinarians during education and the importance of guidance during early career to foster a successful transition from veterinary school to clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Record
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • clinical education
  • clinical practice
  • entrustable professional activities
  • exercise
  • transition
  • workplace-based


Dive into the research topics of 'Qualified but not yet fully competent: Perceptions of recent veterinary graduates on their day-one skills'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this