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Working at the Whyalla Veterinary Clinic has been a very fulfilling and memorable experience. I had a chance to acquire some invaluable surgical experience and meet some exceptional people. Andrew and all the staff at the 3 clinics in Whyalla, Roxby and Cowell are very accommodating and encourage students to get their hands dirty and perform as many surgeries, consultations and minor procedures as possible. Andrew visits the satellite clinics in Cowell and Roxby once a week and this gives students a chance to see the South Australian country and meet and interact with the community in these mining towns.

In the 3 weeks that I spent here I had the opportunity to do a number of dog and cat spays, castrations, abscess removals, dog bite wounds, stitch ups, pin removals, draining aural hematomas, tumour resections, dew claw removals, umbilical hernias and rabbit castrations. Dr Andrew also encouraged active participation in consultations. This assisted with getting familiar with the common drugs used in everyday practice, vaccination and worming protocols, and heartworm prevention. I also had the opportunity to improve my general animal handling skills and practiced performing a thorough clinical examination. The facilities at the clinic are excellent. It’s fully equipped with an idex machine, a top of the line research microscope and other equipment you would expect to see in any other modern clinic. All the clinics are fully computerized and communicate via the skype videophone. Its incredible how modern technology is assisting in providing veterinary services to remote towns in this region.

Dr Andrew and the staff at the 3 clinics are intimately involved in animal welfare and work with the RSPCA in rehousing abandoned and stray animals. The nurses are very sympathetic and dedicated to this cause and the animals at the clinic get high standards of care. The nursing staff are friendly and very experienced. Their guidance and foresight is a major driving force at the practice. The entire clinical staff recognize the importance of providing hands on experience to students and they enjoy interacting and teaching students at the clinic.

I had the honour of staying with Sandi (one of the nurse’s Mums) and meeting her family. She is an extraordinary woman and I enjoyed all the discussions we had over dinner and the weekend and all the beautiful meals she prepared for me.

The Whyalla Veterinary Clinic passionately believes in making the planet more sustainable. They believe in population control and conserving precious environmental resources in order to minimize the adverse impact the human race is having on the planet. They are the first veterinary clinic in Australia to include a carbon-offset charge on their invoice.

The 3 weeks I spent in Whyalla with Andrew and his team not only assisted me with clinical experience but also gave me a unique opportunity to gain some insight into the social dynamics of small community towns like Roxby and Cowell and understand the impact the environment and the mining industry has in these regions.

I thank all the staff at the clinics, Danny, and Sandi for their hospitality. If you are open to gaining some insight about the mining towns in South Australia and keen on meeting some interesting people while you bury yourself deep in veterinary work, then a visit to Whyalla is highly recommended.

"Working at the Whyalla Veterinary Clinic has been a very fulfilling and memorable experience." Durga Kovvali

Melbourne University, Victoria.


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Durga Kovvali