A Unique Mentorship Program

For New Veterinarians

Whether you are most interested in General Practice or Emergency Medicine, we have a structured mentorship program designed to ease the transition from student to doctor.

Mentorship Program

The Whole Vet

As a veterinarian-led company, the UVC team understands the importance of providing real mentorship to new graduate veterinarians to ensure a bright future for our newest colleagues and our profession. You could say we really, really care about this!

Structured & Flexible

A structured framework that is easily tailored to the individual new graduate veterinarian’s needs and desires.

An Educational Journey

A 12-month long phased program that is focused on developing new graduates as whole human beings and not just as veterinarians.

Multi-faceted Mentorship

A robust dedicated mentor network that provides support and addresses different aspects of your early veterinary experience.

The Whole Vet in Action

Getting Started


  • Why: Because those first few months as a veterinarian are exciting but also a little overwhelming
  • When: Months 1-3
  • What: Together we will help you get your feet under you as a new clinician
  • How: Weekly 1-on-1 check-in meetings with your mentor
  • Shadowing and onboarding
  • Altered appointment scheduling and supervision/support with anesthetic procedures tailored to your individual needs

Walk the Talk

Efficiency & Client Communication

  • Why: Because improved efficiency and communication skills mean you can help more pets and have a more sustainable and fulfilling career
  • When: Months 4-6
  • What: Our focus will be on building efficiency and improving client communication skills
  • How: Biweekly 1-on-1 check-in meetings with your mentor
  • Integrated topic-based educational materials and resources

Going in Deep

Well-being & Development

  • Why: Because if you ask us, this is the best career in the world, and it can also come with some challenges that we want to help you face head-on
  • When: Months 7-12
  • What: We explore your overall well-being and promote further personal and professional development
  • How: Monthly 1-on-1 check-in meetings with your mentor
  • Topics include building emotional resilience and self-compassion, giving and receiving feedback, and recognizing and combatting burnout and compassion fatigue

A Robust

Mentorship Network

When it comes to mentors, we believe the more the merrier.

The Whole Vet has been designed to provide you with a customized mentorship experience that addresses all aspects of your journey. As such, you will enjoy not one but four mentors, each with their own perspective to meet you right where you are.

They don’t teach you how to be a great mentor in vet school.

Our veterinary mentors are invested in and committed
to ensuring a positive and rewarding experience for our newest veterinary colleagues. They are constantly honing their mentorship skills and training to provide the best leadership to you.

Primary Mentor

A dedicated, experienced veterinary mentor within your practice will be your primary mentor and will guide you along your year-long experience.

External Mentor

A veterinary mentor in one of our sister hospitals who will check in at least once a month and will serve as a neutral figure of support and encouragement.

Peer Mentor

A recently graduated peer mentor who will connect monthly to offer insights into the first-year experience.

Mentorship Program Director

A dedicated veterinarian who leads the UVC mentorship program and is available to support you.

Laura Garlow, DVM

Director of DVM Development

“What gets me out of bed every morning is trying to help make this career even just a tiny bit more sustainable and fulfilling. I love this profession so much, but I know it can come with some real challenges. Some of which I faced myself and felt I had to struggle alone to overcome as an early career DVM. When I built this program, I wanted to make sure that it helped support our new graduate DVM’s to proactively face these challenges head-on, so that they can thrive and find long-term joy in both their personal and professional lives.”

Testimonials from

Mentors & Mentees

Ashley Birakos, DVM

Country Animal Clinic

“A major highlight for me when it comes to the mentorship program during my first year of practice but also as a mentor is the amazing community of support. As a mentee, I had my fair share of emotionally taxing clinical cases within my first year, and having scheduled check-ins throughout the program provided me with a space to talk through and learn how to process those challenges we face during veterinary medicine. What I also loved was the amount of support I would always receive during those moments and how other members of our UVC community would reach out to me just to check in and see how I was doing. I now continue to rely on that community foundation as a mentor when seeking additional advice on how to better myself when providing support to my mentee.”

Rebekah Spainhour, DVM

Blue Springs Animal Hospital & Pet Resort

“The mentorship I have received in my first year with Blue Springs Animal Hospital has been exceptional and crucial to my success so far. It’s been very both relieving and rewarding to work at a hospital where asking for help does not feel like a burden, and that has allowed me to learn so much in a small amount of time. The structured mentor sessions and New Grad Rounds have also been very beneficial. Having short, scheduled, open-ended discussions about communication and more challenging medicine/surgical topics helped prepare me for those cases. Lastly, the mentorship program has made a big difference in helping me become a more confident doctor and leader. Watching UVC executive veterinarians, mentor veterinarians, and new graduates all collaborate, communicate, and learn new things from one another has created a positive, fun learning environment that I’m proud to be a part of.”

Jon Spelke, DVM

Medical Director, Androscoggin Animal Hospital

“The structured program helped us to make sure that we started off on the right foot. It gave our new graduate and mentor a road map for the first year of practice. It allowed us to be prepared for our new team members by recognizing the potential challenges they may face.  It made sure that the mentor didn’t forget that she was a recent graduate, and it gave the mentee permission to be a recent graduate without feeling guilty. It served at times as a conversation starter and it made sure that we didn’t lose focus on how important the initial year of practice really is in developing healthy habits and skills. It was a reminder to both of us of the level of our commitment to the long-term success of the team members and the practice. The structure really made the experience rewarding for me as the mentor, and I hope for the mentee as well. Creating a plan that included partnering with a surgeon until the mentee was ready to fly on her own, and giving her lengthier appointments and readily available help, coupled with the autonomy to adjust these with us as needed, must have been a comfort to her.”

Hana Krauss, DVM

Terra Vista Animal Hospital

“I think part of the reason I was able to flourish in my first year of practice was knowing I had constant support when I needed it. I was able to have confidence knowing that I could bounce ideas off of a trusted, experienced veterinarian, and if I ran into challenges I could find guidance. I appreciated the added support of weekly rounds with Dr. Garlow and modules with MentorVet to keep me learning and improving. I am so grateful that I had layers of help in a compassionate and skilled clinic while I was learning so much and continue to do so.”

Cristi Moser, DVM

Medical Director, Bluegrass Animal Hospital

“UVC’s mentorship program has provided our hospital with a multilayered support system for all the doctors to help our newest colleague adjust to practice. Dr. Garlow’s availability, support, expertise, and fresh perspective have each contributed to helping our doctors guide our newest team member. Together, our doctors and Dr. Garlow have been able to help Dr. Haddock positively navigate the situations that can arise for a new veterinarian. In my opinion, having multiple, always available sources of support has been game-changing for both our mentors and our mentee!”

Sharon Nath, DVM

Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital

“A structured mentorship program offers new graduates a dedicated, safe space to give and receive feedback and focus on their personal goals. It also supports experiential learning as new graduates put their skills into practice. As a mentor, I enjoy working alongside these amazing young professionals and learn as much from them as they do from me.”

Stuart Ryder, DVM

Medical Director, Blue Springs Animal Hospital

“Mentoring new grads is one of the most rewarding and important parts of my job. The fresh enthusiasm and knowledge they bring to practice are awesome! The UVC mentorship program has helped provide structure to our existing program. Two parts that have been particularly helpful include the mentorship handbook and the weekly new grad rounds. The mentorship handbook has helped include more communication and self-care aspects in our existing medical mentorship program. This is a very important piece for new grads especially, as becoming a veterinarian is about more than just case management! The new/recent grad rounds are among my favorite parts of my week. Each week, a different experienced DVM from within the UVC family shares tidbits, tips, and tricks on a variety of topics. They are all super applicable to daily practice, and I learn something new every week!

“I also very much appreciate the behind-the-scenes support as a mentor. No one person can know the right way to coach in every situation, and it has been extremely valuable to have insight from other experienced mentors.”

Alanna Chesney-Manz, DVM, CVA

Medical Director, Tuder Veterinary Group

“Most of our mentor doctors ‘grew up’ in this practice and had strong mentors themselves. They really enjoy passing on this experience to their mentees. We are a practice that enjoys working up cases together, sharing results and resources, and learning from each other. The learning and sharing go both ways with the mentors and mentees.

“The value of a structured mentor program is it gives the mentees the confidence that this isn’t just a short transition time before they are left alone. They have the expectation, even beyond their first year, that this is an environment of support and teamwork. Even our senior doctors consult with each other on cases on a very regular basis. Having a mentor scrubbed in during surgery or even just in the building available to jump in helps surgical confidence immensely. The value of a structured program for the mentor is that they have a framework as to what new doctors need to get them on their feet. Overall our practice has benefited significantly by participating in the UVC mentorship program to refine and define our current mentor/mentee relationships and roles in the practice.”

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