Book Recommendations for Recent Veterinary Graduates

As a recent veterinarian graduate, you want to continue your studies. If you’re lucky enough to work with animals every day, brushing up on your scientific literature and veterinary theory can be a great way to excel in your field.

But that doesn’t mean the books have to be technical manuals. Here are book recommendations that combine your science pedagogy with your kick-back afternoons. They give you a broader perspective of your planet and the experiences of others in your field, all while teaching you to be a better vet. Some of them may even make you laugh.


Resurrection Science, by M.R. O’Connor

Source: The College of St. Rose

Resurrection Science observes topics that are likely important to any veterinarian graduate. It identifies the connections between climate change and conservation by exploring the theories behind species resurrection.

This theory describes how scientists are currently working to protect vulnerable species from dying out, which includes fascinating stories ranging from ancient expeditions to modern cryo-banks of endangered DNA. This isn’t light reading, but it’s fascinating.


Tell Me Where It Hurts, by Nick Trout

Source: Pixabay

Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon says it all with its title. It’s an exploration of a single day in the life of a veterinary surgeon. Trout references other struggles but focuses mainly on his own, creating a personal view of the daily trials that veterinarian graduates have to be mentally prepared for.


In the Shadow of Man, by Jane Goodall

Source: National Geographic

You can’t go wrong with famous conservation-adventuress Jane Goodall. In the Shadow of Man isn’t just about her journey with her mother and assistants to the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in Tanzania. It’s really about behavior, how hierarchies that exist in nature challenge and decode the ones we have formed for ourselves under the impression that only we could do it. This is a book that will change how you think of nature (and our place in it).


Last Chance to See, by Douglas Adams

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The British satirist most famous for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy wrote this book as a collection of humorous anecdotes about his travels searching for endangered species. Both a collection of witticisms by an incredibly sarcastic British man and a sobering look at species that were on the brink of extinction at time of writing (such as the Yangtze River Dolphin and Sirocco Parrot), Last Chance to See is ideal light reading for a nature-lover.


The Rhino with Glue-on Shoes, by Lucy Spelman and Ted Mashima

Source: Goodreads

The Rhino with Glue-on Shoes is a collection of surprising true stories that tested the extremes of veterinary medicine when its practitioners least expected it. From an eel that refuses to eat to a hippo in need of a serious root canal, the book is interesting, funny, and full of perspective on the extremes of veterinary duties.

The Takeaway

Recent veterinary graduates need a pastime that both encourages your love of your craft while helping you relax. These books can provide unique perspectives, make you laugh, or even encourage a more global understanding of your conservation work.

Visit the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association to learn how to improve your practice by creating fulfilling connections with your patients through your own daily perspectives, sobering personal stories, and life-changing experiences with the animals that need you most. With these books under your belt, you’ll have an even better grasp of how your experience fits into the global story being told by vets everywhere, every day.