Today is the 3rd day of her 10-day internship and she asked: "My mum asks if I have to work on weekends."
"Didn't your XXX (a top Junior College in Singapore) teacher tell you about the terms and conditions of internship at Toa Payoh Vets?" I am surprised that there was no disclosure from a top school. It speaks poorly of the administration. Students who want to study vets do e-mail me direct. I just interviewed one from ACS (Independent) 2 weeks ago. She could come for only 3 days. Straight As in her "O" levels and two testimonials from her teacher as required. For XXX, it seemed that the administrator does the match-making and there was something inherently defective in its system of not disclosing what is required for the intern who came to Toa Payoh Vets.
"Well," I said. "You don't have to come to work if you think that vets only work during office hours and not on weekends. Some interns work even after midnight but you are exempted. What did your teacher say about weekend work to you?"
"She said to inform her if I am required to work weekends." There was something not right somewhere.
"Vets in small animal practice work very long hours," I said. "Some emergency cases of Caesarean sections require 3 am surgeries and the next day, I walk like a zombie. If you want a 5-day week, don't become a vet."
XXX may be a premier school but it is not doing its students a service by providing a poor quality of administration. XXX e-mailed to me asking whether I would accept interns for the June holidays. I told the administrator that two testimonials are needed and the working hours are long. If the prospective student has no interest in veterinary medicine, don't even recommend him or her.