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Fellowship Day 2018

On Friday, 5 October 2018 the third annual Fellowship Day took place at the Royal Institute of Great Britain, in London. 

Picture of new FsRCVS at Fellowship Day 2018

A Learned Society 

Professor Nick Bacon, Chair of the Fellowship Board introduced the day with a focus of driving the Fellowship forward in becoming a learned society. He outlined proposals agreed by RCVS Council with the following three strategic areas for the Fellowship:

  • Promoting scientific excellence: the Fellowship will support opportunities to advance veterinary standards by working collaboratively to examine the current knowledge base, identifying knowledge gaps, and supporting the translation of knowledge and research into veterinary practice.
  • Furthering professional skills and practice and invigorating creativity: this includes committing the Fellowship to help enhance the professional skills and practice of all veterinarians, wherever they are on their career path, by sharing best practice and lessons learnt. Under this path the Fellowship will also act as a spur for creative thinking and innovation to address the challenges faced by the profession.
  • Promoting public awareness of veterinary science: under this ambition the Fellowship will aim to be one of the trusted and authoritative voices within the veterinary profession that is able to engage with the general public to raise awareness and understanding of veterinary science.

New Fellows

During the day 35 new Fellows were welcomed, this included 17 for meritorious contributions to clinical practice; 8 for meritorious contributions to knowledge; 8 for meritorious contributions to the profession; and 2 for Fellowship by thesis. A full list of those welcomed to the Fellowship this year is available to download.

Keynote and Programme Speakers

Christine Middlemiss, Chief Veterinary Officer for the UK, gave a presentation on the future of the UK veterinary profession over the next 10 years highlighting the fact that the UK continues to demonstrate that its a world leader in animal health and welfare emphasising the importance of vets working for the Government in areas such as certification, surveillance and disease control.  

The keynote speaker – Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of Physics and Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey, spoke on the importance of science communication. He stressed that veterinary surgeons, as scientists, had a role in helping to educate the public about their work and research and that, while scientists often avoided the media spotlight for fear of misinterpretation, it was important that evidence-based science did receive public engagement so that people were better informed. His final point was on the coming revolution in Artificial Intelligence (AI) which he believed would transform society in the next 25 years. 

Fellows of the Future 

Eight students took part in the Fellows of the Future competition, the winner was Robert Hyde, a postgraduate student at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham, with his presentation on antimicrobial usage and resistance in British cattle and sheep. His prize was two tickets to the VET19 Conference, organised by RCVS Knowledge, which takes place at The Oval cricket ground in London in June 2019 and which will explore quality improvement and the future of evidence-based veterinary medicine.

The presentation by undergraduate student Louise Scanlon, also of the University of Nottingham, on the bond between homeless people and their dogs was judged highly commended by the panel.

Fellows in Focus 

A series of six 10-minute talks was given from new and existing Fellows on a topic of their choice. These were:

  • 'International vet work – methods, mayhem and madness,’ by Dr Luke Gamble, the CEO and founder of the charities Worldwide Veterinary Service and Mission Rabies
  • 'Is the art of the physical exam dying?’ by Professor Gayle Hallowell, Professor of Veterinary Internal Medicine and Critical Care at the University of Nottingham
  • ‘Dealing with the worm that turned…’ by Professor Jacqui Matthews, an RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Parasitology currently based at the Moredun Research Institute
  • ‘Complexity of common diseases,’ by Professor Peter Muir, Melita Grunow Family Professor of Companion Animal Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the United States
  • ‘Why 99% of the world’s equine vets treat only 10% of the world’s equids. How can we start to redress this imbalance?’ by Dr Gigi Kay, Director of an American NGO – the American Fondouk, which provides charitable veterinary care in Morocco
  • ‘Whose best interest?’ by Dr Polly Taylor, an RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia, who presented on the ethical issues around ‘overtreatment’
  • ‘Leadership – observations and learnings during a clinical, academic and commercial career,’ by Dr Simon Wheeler, an RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Neurology who has worked in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry for the past 18 years.

View the reports of presentations on our Fellows in Focus page.