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Fellowship Day 2022

On 11 November 2022, 32 new veterinary surgeons were welcomed to the Fellowship at the annual Fellowship Day, held at The Royal Institution in London. The event saw new and existing RCVS Fellows come together for a day of engaging scientific debate, showcasing the breadth and depth of veterinary knowledge.

Fellowship Day 2022 group shot

Change of Fellowship Chair

At Fellowship Day, Dr Chris Tufnell was welcomed as the new Chair of the RCVS Fellowship. He has been elected for a three-year term, during which he will be responsible for meeting the initiative’s strategic aims and setting its priorities.

Outgoing Chair of the Fellowship, Professor John Innes, welcomed Dr Tufnell after reflecting on his three-year term as Chair during the covid outbreak.

In his opening speech, Professor Innes said: ‘In my three years as Fellowship Chair, I have seen what this learned society can do first-hand, and, though circumstances have been difficult for the Fellowship as they were with everyone else, the fact that we have continued to expand both in numbers and in what we do, has been fantastic.

On the numbers, despite its challenges, 2020 saw a bumper crop of new Fellows joining the profession and we’ve also seen an uptake in the proportion of women becoming new Fellows - something that definitely helps demonstrate that the Fellowship is a society for all, not just a certain group.’

Professor Innes went on to say: ‘I now look forward to handing over chairing the Board to my successor Chris Tufnell but, before I do so, I just wanted to mention that I recently had to respond to some rather misplaced criticism about general practice vets not being welcomed into the Fellowship. Historically that may have been true, but with the new routes to entry – including one specifically for clinical practice – and the recognition that excellence and contribution comes in many different forms, I think we are really turning the corner on this. The fact that Chris Tufnell and Emma Milne, both of whom are GP vets, are joining the Board is very much a testament to this, and I hope to see this trend continue in the future. As professionals, we all have something we can learn from one another - nobody knows everything and sometimes a chance conversation with someone with a different perspective or view can lead to us re-examining and refreshing our own take on things. This is why we need a diverse Fellowship, comprising of many backgrounds and walks of life.’

On his new appointment as Chair, Dr Tufnell said: ‘We have a huge aspiration for more Fellows, so please encourage those that you know deserve to be Fellows and who would play a strong part to apply.’

Dr Tufnell thanked the RCVS team for putting together the day and went on to say: ‘I want to explore over the next 6 months to a year with the Board what we, as Fellows, can be doing. But more importantly, not just we as Fellows but we as a Fellowship together.

I hope that within that time we will identify a few large and exciting goals for us as a Fellowship to be working on.’

New Fellows

In total, 32 new Fellows were welcomed to the Fellowship on the day – 18 for meritorious contributions to clinical practice; 8 for meritorious contributions to knowledge; 6 for meritorious contributions to the Profession. A full list of those welcomed to the Fellowship in 2022 is available to download from our Fellowship page.

Keynote address

Professor Alan Wilson BSc BVMS PhD MRCVS FRS, delivered a presentation titled: ‘Fast animals: anatomy of athleticism.’ In his presentation he discussed the innovative advance he and his team had made to animal tracking devices, which have given greater insight into the movements of animals in the wild.

Fellows of the Future?

Three students took part in the annual ‘Fellows of the Future?’ competition, during which they presented their research to the delegates and a judging panel consisting of Dr Sue Paterson, Dr Chris Tufnell, Ms Amanda Boag and Ms Pamela Mosedale.

The winner of the competition was Maxim Bembinov, from the Royal Veterinary College, with his presentation on his research titled ‘Colour Doppler Ultrasound as a diagnostic tool for Equine SDFT Core Lesions.’ His prize was a £200 book voucher.

The presentations by students Eleanor Wilson, of the Royal Veterinary College and Sol Elliott of the University of Nottingham were judged highly commended by the panel and were each awarded £150 book vouchers.

Panel discussions

This year, two panel discussions were held at Fellowship Day. The first discussion on the topic of Quality of Life, titled 'Maximising Good Outcomes' was Chaired by the newly elected Chair of the Fellows Scientific Advisory Panel, Professor Anna Meredith with guest speakers Dr Karen Hiestand and Dr Vanessa Ashall. 

The second discussion of the day was titled 'Animal behavioural therapy, veterinary surgery, and regulation' and was Chaired by Dr Chris Tufnell with Mr Ben Myring RCVS Policy and Public Affairs Manager, presenting the discussion.