I have extensive experience of first opinion companion animal practice in various roles, including practice owner and clinical director. I was veterinary adviser to the NGRC, the regulator of licensed greyhound racing in the UK, and oversaw the doping control programme. I was also commissioned to assess the evidence for The Bateson Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding. This highlighted the lack of robust evidence available to practitioners in the UK, and I decided to offer my help to Andrea in such a worthwhile venture as Veterinary Prescriber. Much of the information available in practice derives from promotional material and visits from reps - hardly unbiased. But Veterinary Prescriber is wholly independent, well qualified to assess the quality of data, and able to express it succinctly for ease of use and reference.
Betty qualified from Bristol Veterinary School in July 2001. She gained her GPCertSAM (small animal medicine) in 2005 and her CertAVP (advanced veterinary practitioner certificate) in 2016. She particularly enjoys small animal medicine. After a few years working as a small animal vet in a busy mixed practice in Dorset, Betty took a role working for a thriving small animal charity in Mauritius - where she stayed for just over two years. Between 2010 and 2017 Betty worked as a locum vet, enabling her to strike a balance between vetting in Hampshire and being involved in overseas voluntary vet projects in India, Thailand and Malawi. In October 2017 she accepted a permanent role with the team at Unicorn Vets and she became Clinical Director in March 2018.
Betty is a local Hampshire girl, she grew up in the Meon Valley and now lives in Winchester. Away from work, Betty loves to walk her naughty little jack russell terrier, Hector. She is proud to have walked some very beautiful local routes, including the South Downs Way. Betty also enjoys travel and skiing.
Brian graduated from Edinburgh Vet School in 1995 and worked in mixed practice before studying for an MBA at Nottingham Business School in 2000/1. He set up, developed and exited a cluster of veterinary practices in Suffolk between 2002 and 2009. Brian was The Petplan-UK Vet of the Year in 2008 and is Petplan Pet Insurance national media and PR vet. He completed a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology in 2009. Brian works in his own small animal veterinary practice 3 days a week. Over his 20 year career he has worked in over 250 veterinary practices as a clinician, consultant and confidence coach. Brian is a past President of the SPVS. He is honorary lecturer in entrepreneurship at Nottingham University, vice chair (business) at the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate studies and on the clinical advisory board for Pawsquad online veterinary services. In April 2017 he raised £120,000 for Brooke Animal Hospital by running 10 marathons in 10 days in the UK and Ireland.
Sarah has worked in many areas of first-opinion practice since graduating from Glasgow vet school in 2002. At the start of her veterinary career she worked for 6 years in mainly farm-animal practice in Cumbria. She then moved south and more recently studied the BSAVA post-graduate certificate in small animal practice, obtaining Advanced Practitioner status in 2016. She has a passion for evidence-based practice and attended a course at the Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine (CEVM) at the University of Nottingham in 2016-17. As a committee member for the Small Animal Medicine Society (SAMSoc), she organises the Autumn meeting and is project leader for a primary-care study into diabetes mellitus in dogs. She has recently started a blog discussing non-clinical topics currently affecting vets, especially recruitment. When not vetting in its many forms, you can find Sarah in the kitchen or crafting.
Ian has been a RCVS and European specialist in Small Animal Surgery since 2011, having qualified from Bristol in 2000 and spent time in mixed practice, locuming/travelling, and small animal practice, before doing an internship (RVC) and residency (Cambridge). He set up the AVSTS Research Cooperative to try to help vets work together to publish bigger and more relevant studies, and works on the BSAVA Scientific Committee to help put science (systematic and meticulous observation, recording, sharing and reflection, aka evidence-based veterinary medicine) into the centre of veterinary life. He set up a practice with a friend on the Isle of Wight, Island VetCare Ltd, and does consultancy and educational work via Petsmiths Ltd. He has a young family and enjoys sailing around the Solent with them.
Gudrun still does not really know what she wants to be when she grows up so is very thankful for the varied career and many opportunities the veterinary degree has given her. Gudrun is a Past President of the British Veterinary Association and the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons and is currently Head Veterinary Officer for Simply Health Professionals. Gudrun has spent time in a variety of different companion animal practices as well as industry and management. She also has a graduate diploma in law and a post graduate certificate in business. Gudrun tries to have one day off a week from talking about the veterinary profession but on the other six days is passionate about making sure that everyone knows the vital role that the veterinary profession plays in all things animal health and welfare and pubic health and welfare.
However, her true love is swimming, biking and running preferably in the fells, lakes and back roads of Cumbria.
Roland Sabin qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 1998 with distinction in the Small Animal Internal Medicine elective. He has worked continuously in small animal practice ever since. After 11 years in West London, he joined Canonbury Veterinary Practice in 2009. Then, after 4 years working in Hong Kong, he rejoined Canonbury full time in 2013. Roland enjoys the daily variety provided by new puppies and kittens as well as tending to more complex considerations more frequently seen in older animals. Diagnostic imaging is his area of particular interest: he is often found in a darkened room with the ultrasound machine.
Stephanie Writer-Davies is clinical director of Mimram Veterinary Centre, a 3.5 vet small animal practice in Hertfordshire. Having graduated from the University of Bristol in 1984, she spent 4 years in mixed practice before deciding that her main interests lay in the small animal field. She worked as an assistant in two practices in North London and Hertfordshire before starting her own practice in 1999. She is an active member of the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) Council, being elected in 2010 and joining the Officer team in 2012, initially as Hon PRO and then Hon Editor, in which role she helps produce Practice Life, the magazine of SPVS & VPMA. She is a past President of SPVS.