Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgeon
Having wanted to be a veterinary surgeon for as long as I can remember and with a passion for horses, I was delighted to gain my veterinary degree in 2001 from the University of Bristol and joined an exclusively large animal practice as a locum for six months, with a plan to follow that with an equine practice job. Although for the most part I enjoyed my time there, there were three significant factors that changed my career path – one was the rare, but still very intimidating nightmare farmer,the second was the long periods of time spent driving, and the third was the realisation that I wanted to do surgery and though not impossible, in reality the journey to become a female equine surgeon was going to be challenging. I therefore took a subsequent job in small animal practice to compare the two experiences and felt that small animal work held many more opportunities for me in the longer term and found that I actually enjoyed it more than the equine work after all!
After 2 years in small animal practice I was hungry to specialise further and improve my depth of knowledge, hence I moved to the Royal Veterinary College to undertake a rotating internship and from there achieved a surgical residency position at the University of Bristol. Following my residency, I moved to Cambridge as a Staff Surgeon in 2009 and obtained my European Diploma in Small Animal Surgery in 2010, completing my path to specialisation.
In the future I still feel that many options remain open to me and I hope to continue to be excited and inspired by my work in years to come
Since 2010, I have been blessed with two lovely children and have had two periods of maternity leave, well supported by the University to care for them. My position in academia has also enabled me to return to work part-time and maintain a good work-life balance, particularly in these early years of my childrens’ lives.
In 2012 I applied for the position of Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery, which was successful, and I am now thoroughly enjoying combining my clinical work with teaching and beginning to develop a research program. Working part-time is challenging, particularly in terms of progressing my research; however for now it is the best I can have of both worlds and I’m sure that my roles will continue to evolve in different ways as time goes on.
Looking back and reflecting I realise that flexibility and the ability to have a wider vision is a very positive thing and that no career path is mapped out from the outset. In the future I still feel that many options remain open to me and I hope to continue to be excited and inspired by my work in years to come