Surrey Fellows on Tour event a roaring success - Veterinary Practice
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Surrey Fellows on Tour event a roaring success

Event aimed to inspire the next generation as to where a veterinary degree can take them and the impact they can make, while simultaneously increasing the accessibility of the Fellowship

On Tuesday 18 February 2020, the RCVS Fellowship held a “Fellows on Tour” evening event at Surrey Veterinary School where veterinary students were treated to interesting stories and anecdotes about the world of veterinary research.

The event was organised by Professor Nick Bacon, Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine and past Chair of the Fellowship Board, and in conjunction with Surrey University’s Veterinary Society. It was held with the aim of inspiring the next generation as to where a veterinary degree can take them and the impact they can make, while simultaneously increasing the accessibility of the Fellowship.

The Fellowship is the learned society of the RCVS aimed at veterinary surgeons whose activities demonstrate excellence in veterinary endeavours and who have distinguished themselves on account of their ongoing commitment to using their experience and knowledge to enhance the profession further.

Professor Bacon introduced the evening, which was attended by over 100 students, with a short talk about the Fellowship and Fellows on Tour. A range of speakers then spoke to the students, highlighting to students that becoming a Fellow is achievable and inspiring the next generation of UK veterinary leaders.

The speakers, who shared their exciting scientific research, were:

  • Dick Sibley with a talk entitled “What to do with a downer cow other than shoot it” explaining injury prevention methods in cattle, and how this can positively impact farming.
  • Andrew Knight with a talk entitled “Hammerhead sharks and sea turtles; globe-trotting adventures in animal welfare” depicting his exciting experiences throughout his career in animal welfare, from swimming with turtles and hammerhead sharks in the Caribbean to researching Jack the Ripper.
  • Anita Patel with a talk entitled “We can make a difference in the wider world” detailing the history and developments in her esteemed career in dermatology. Anita also lectures throughout Africa and provides online dermatology support to vets in Kenya through the Kenya Veterinary Dermatology Study Group that she helped to start up.
  • David Harwood with a talk entitled “Goats – history and folklore!” describing the impact goats have had on folklore throughout history, and what that can tell us about the animals in present day. One of David’s main tips is that goats have a sense of facial recognition, so anyone wishing to treat a goat should approach it with a smiling face.
  • Jack Reece with a talk entitled “Veterinary Adventures in India” illustrating how taking some time away from being a cattle vet led to a new adventure spent in India treating street dogs and ultimately publishing papers on rabies control that led to him receiving a Fellowship.

Reflecting on the success of the day, Professor Bacon says: “It was a great pleasure to get involved with the ‘Fellows on Tour 2020’ event held at the University of Surrey. This was the second time we have held it at Surrey, and the huge turn-out was testament to the interesting topics on offer showcasing the wonderfully varied ways we as vets can contribute to the profession, the scientific community and the wider world.

“Many thanks to the Head of School Chris Proudman FRCVS for supporting this initiative for the benefit of the students. The engagement of the Surrey VetSoc was also key in making it a great success. Thanks to all our speakers – they delivered passionate, interesting and inspiring talks. Roll on the next one.”

Veterinary Practice

Veterinary Practice is an online knowledge and information hub for veterinary professionals across all specialties. It provides reliable, useful and interesting content, written by expert authors and covering small animal, large animal, equine and practice management sectors of the veterinary surgeon and nursing professions.


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