Genevieve Kavanagh

Feb 7, 2019

A Locum Story

Meet Genevieve Kavanagh. It’s been said her second word ever spoken wasn’t even a word at all; it was a meow. With a passion for animals stemming from since she could talk, Genevieve has dedicated herself to the veterinary profession working as a locum in Calgary, Alberta, despite having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009.

Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Genevieve is trained as a Veterinary Office Assistant. She spent her first year of university in Prince George but moved back home to Vancouver in order to pursue her dreams of working in veterinary medicine.

“When I moved back, that’s when my mom told me about an advertisement in the newspaper for Veterinary Office Assistant (VOA) School, a path I could definitely see myself going down,” says Genevieve.

Genevieve was hired to a clinic before she even finished the program and was forwarded a job before she graduated. Since graduation, she has worked in various different facets of the veterinary industry.

“I’ve worked in regular general practice, emergency, C.A.R.E, research and even for an ophthalmologist as well, so I would say I’m pretty well-rounded. Even though I’ve been in-and-out of the industry since 2001, I always end up coming back,” says Genevieve.

Genevieve was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis halfway through pursuing her Bachelor’s of Zoology degree from the University of Calgary.

“After the diagnosis, it became quite clear to me that I couldn’t do 100 hour work weeks anymore. Despite taking a lighter course load, I ultimately finished my degree. I would have crawled up that podium if need be. I knew finishing my degree was something I’ve always wanted to achieve for myself,” says Genevieve.

Dedicated to achieving her goals of helping others within the veterinary community and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, Genevieve turned to locuming after hearing about it from a friend.

“Before IMLocum, I had no idea anything like this platform existed. Now that the algorithms have been perfected, I really want to tap into this industry more. Locuming is a way for me to tap into the vet community and stay abreast of all of the knowledge and new information coming up, and I’m truly grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had so far,” says Genevieve.

Work-life balance is extremely important to Genevieve, especially in regards to keeping her body healthy and staying physically active.
“I try to live as healthy as I can. I don’t drive, I cook from home and I go to the gym regularly. I’ll be honest, there are moments when I experience negative self-talk and expect more from myself but I always try and keep my mind busy. That’s why I’m locuming and that’s why I’m in this field,” says Genevieve.

Locuming has made it easier for Genevieve to maintain a life outside of work and take part in the things she loves, like volunteering and spending time with her pets.

“The flexibility of locuming in general has been amazing. I typically work at the C.A.R.E Centre, which I really enjoy. There’s always lots of different and interesting things going on and it’s a fantastic opportunity to grow and thrive,” says Genevieve.

Although the veterinary field can be emotionally challenging, Genevieve says that her passion for helping the veterinary community has led her to become a stronger person.

“My diagnosis changed everything for me. I had to figure out why I wanted to be a veterinarian and if I could physically even work in this industry. Although I may not be getting a doctorate anytime soon, as a locum I’ve been able to achieve similar goals, like teaching and learning. I’m not just the “sick-girl” when I’m working. I’m working to help others thrive and help animals in the best way I can.”

Genevieve’s Top Locum Survival Tips:

Self care: Not just necessarily having a bath, but doing what you really enjoy whether that’s being out in nature or playing sports.

Take it easy: Don’t work 60 hours a week!

Learn how to say no: It took me a long time to do, but you need to be aware of your needs and take care of your brain.

Negotiate: With IMLocum, you can set your own wage, which is great but never be afraid to ask for a higher wage if you feel like you deserve it.

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