Ophthalmology Internship

About the role

Optivet Referrals is currently looking for 3 Ophthalmology interns, one to start as soon as possible and the other two to start in January 2024. The ideal candidates are veterinary surgeons with a strong interest in ophthalmology.  The candidates ideally will have some previous experience in general practice in UK.

Optivet Referrals is one of the leading Veterinary Ophthalmology hospitals in the UK, with state-of-the-art facilities, that is rapidly expanding and accepts referral surgical and medical cases apart from ophthalmology referrals. The Ophthalmology team consists of 5 Ophthalmology specialists (ECVO and DVOphthal), 2 senior clinical Ophthalmologists, 2 clinical Ophthalmologists, 2 Ophthalmology residents and 5 interns.  The rest of the team includes a specialist Surgeon (ECVS), 2 Internal Medicine specialists, an Anaesthesia and Analgesia specialist (ACVAA & ECVAA), a senior clinical anaesthetist and an anaesthesia resident.

The ophthalmology caseload includes a wide variety of cases, both medical and surgical (uveitis, cataracts, glaucoma, corneal ulcers and grafts, entropion, face lifts, enucleations, lens luxations, eye tumours etc..), including some very advanced ophthalmology surgeries such as glaucoma surgery (endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation and gonio implant) and retinopexy and retinal reattachment surgery. The rest of the caseload includes orthopaedic and soft tissue surgeries, internal medicine cases and computed tomography (both inpatients and outpatients). The majority of the patients are dogs and cats (95%), and the remainder are exotics. 

The responsibilities of the interns will be to support the veterinary team and the nursing team in the care of all patients. The ophthalmology intern will be expected to contribute to the care of ophthalmology in-patients, to help in consults, surgery and anaesthesia, and to provide out-of-hours service. The Ophthalmology team hold weekly Journal club meetings, which the interns are expected to attend. The whole Optivet team holds weekly in-house CPD presentations, where the interns will be expected to present at least once. 

The internship will have a duration of 12 months. A competitive and attractive benefit package is offered. The interns will be expected to work 40 hours per week (distributed over 5 days) and to cover different shifts (days and nights). There is also a weekend on-call rota (no more than 1 in 5 or 6). Holiday entitlement consists of 25 working days plus statutory bank holidays and your birthday. The CPD allowance is 5 days. There will be a 3-month probationary period, during which the internship may be terminated by either party with a one-week notice period.

Optivet Referrals is located in Havant, Hampshire, in the South of England, near Portsmouth, Chichester, Winchester and Southampton, with easy train access to London city centre and 1 hour 20 min by car to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The South of England enjoys more days of sun than the rest of the country, has beautiful beaches and is very close to nature reserves like the South Downs and the New Forest.

Candidates must be MRCVS and have the right to work in the UK (UK or EU citizenship, or with valid UK working VISA for the duration of the internship). If English is not their first language, candidates must have the relevant qualification of spoken and written English to obtain a VISA and as per RCVS requirements. (https://www.rcvs.org.uk/registration/applications-veterinary-surgeons/).

For applications or for further information, interested candidates may contact Emma Phillips (emma.phillips@optivet.com) or Eva Rioja Garcia, our Anaesthesia and Analgesia specialist (eva@optivet.com). As part of the application please include a letter of intent, your curriculum vitae, and the contact details of two referees.


We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and passionate Veterinary Care Assistant to join our inclusive team here at Optivet Referrals. Optivet Referrals is an independent specialist referral centre with a team of 11 ophthalmologists, making it one of the largest in the world. Based in Havant, Hampshire, our practice has the latest equipment and facilities to help provide the essential care our patients need. We are aligned around a set of core values which help us to deliver leading specialist led care to our patients and their owners. We are also currently undergoing an investor in the environment accreditation to help reduce our carbon usage.

About the role
This is a permanent full-time position working 40 hours per week, including rotating OOH.

As a VCA you will work alongside specialist veterinary surgeons and nurses to provide vital care for small animal patients (predominately dogs and cats).

This will include:
    •    General Small Animal Ward Care – includes inpatient care, assisting with inpatient checks, walking and feeding patients, monitor patients post op
    •    Preparation for Theatre – includes preparing patients for surgeries, restocking equipment as necessary, oxygenating patients (under supervision)
    •    Theatres and autoclave room assistance – includes preparing surgical kits, handing surgeon kit during operations, clean kits and theatres according to protocols
    •    Medicine Room assistance – Enter patient details into ultrasound, help processing samples, set up and clean endoscopes once trained
    •    Laboratory Assistance - Process samples using the haematology and biochemistry machines, collect urine and faecal samples, Blood smears, Package samples, Prepare formal saline pots, following health and safety regulations.
    •    Other Duties – take incoming enquiries via telephone and pass information to relevant person; book appointments via Ezyvet system when necessary

(Full job description available on request)

About you
To succeed in this role, you must be dynamic, well organised with exceptional attention to hygiene and cleanliness. You must be able to show empathy and work in a fast-paced environment, whilst remaining calm and demonstrating exemplary teamworking skills.

Above all, you must be passionate about providing a high standard and quality of care to your patients and clients.

In addition:
    •    At least 1-2 years demonstrated experience of working as a VCA in a busy veterinary environment with small animals. 
    •    Good working knowledge of clinical legislation around Veterinary Care.

Our package
    •    Base salary - £18,000 to £22,000 per year (experience and skill dependant)
    •    25 days holiday plus Bank Holidays (we also allow an extra 5 days for length of service).
    •    Extra day off for your birthday
    •    CPD
    •    Private health care
    •    SMART pension
    •    Free onsite parking
    •    Pet insurance contribution

To apply – please email through your CV and covering letter to emma.phillips@optivet.com 


Are you interested in learning more about life at Optivet? Whether you are a budding veterinary nurse, a training veterinarian, or just starting out on your animal care journey, we can provide work experience and shadowing opportunities for you at our main hospital in Havant. Please contact our education and development officer for more details at learning@optivet.com