Olives? Check. National park road trips? Check. Always ready with camera in hand, Dr. Kanwarjit Singh Boparai loves his job. Whether he is honing his skills as a relief veterinarian or working on his olive oil production, life is never dull. Invite him into your practice, California, and if you are in Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, or Alaska, let him know he should indulge his intrigue of obtaining licensure there!
What inspired you to become a veterinarian?
I have always enjoyed nature and animals, as well as science and problem-solving. Veterinary medicine combines these favorite interests.
What roles have you had within the veterinary profession? How about outside of this industry?
Within veterinary medicine, I have been an associate, a medical director, a virtual care veterinarian, and an instructor of veterinary technology students. Aside from my veterinary life, I grow organic olives and produce my own olive oil. I also indulge my lifelong adoration of photography and have been published a few times.
What made you switch to relief practice?
I began relief work to augment my income and collect experiences beyond my full-time associate role. For the past few years, I have been a full-time relief doctor in order to enhance my work/life balance and focus on the aspects of veterinary medicine that I enjoy the most.
What is your most memorable relief job?
Probably my first overnight emergency shift in which I, miraculously, only saw one patient!
How do you feel that relief practice supports the veterinary profession as a whole?
Relief practice allows continuity of care when solo owners need time off and helps reduce the burden when an associate is not present.
What are your favorite things about being a relief vet?
I have control over my schedule and the locations I choose to work. Relief work also ensures that I am comfortable with the practices I agree to work with.
What are your least favorite things about being a relief vet?
I miss having my own desk at work, my own space where I can keep my reference materials handy. That, and having a place to hang my stethoscope rather than keeping it with me in the car.
What do you look for in a practice when deciding to cover shifts for them?
I look for a staff that strives to be at their highest potential, is comfortable to work with, and a practice that prioritizes pet healthcare through client education and offering the best treatment options.
What supplies or equipment do you bring with you on the job?
I keep it simple – my stethoscope and phone.
Have you picked up any unique practice tips while being a relief vet? These could be related to medicine, workflow, practice organization, or anything really.
I have found that a streamlined workflow is most beneficial. I focus on discussing medicine with clients while the staff reviews the finances with them. I trust the staff to charge appropriately for their practice. This structure works well.
What advice would you give new relief vets? (Alternatively, what advice would you give someone who is thinking about being a relief vet?)
Try relief shifts while you still have your full-time position. Be prepared to see things done in ways you may have never imagined and sometimes in ways you are not comfortable with. There are pros and cons to any clinic, so experiencing a variety will help you decide which types of practices you would like to work with, thus allowing you to trust the staff to do what they are good at.
How has the global pandemic affected your relief practice?
I find myself focusing my work with practices that adhere to strict safety protocols and have also curtailed my jobs that involved overnight stays in hotels.
What states are you licensed in and/or states you are working to obtain licensure within?
I am currently licensed in California but am considering future licensure in Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, and Alaska.
Aside from English, what language(s) do you speak?
What are your hobbies / passions outside of work?
When I am not tending to my olives and production of olive oil, I take road trips to national parks. My love of photography truly surfaces on those adventures!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Follow me on Instagram at _ksbphotos.com_ and boparaifarms. My YouTube is KSB DVM.
To learn more or contact Dr. Kanwarjit Singh Boparai, click here.