Professor Agnes Winter



Fellowship by Meritorious Contributions to the Profession

Agnes Winter

Why did you decide to apply for the new Fellowship? 

I had thought about doing a fellowship by the thesis route after successfully achieving the RCVS Diploma in my specialist area of sheep health, but increasing management responsibilities at work and fewer opportunities to do the hands-on work I would have needed to have done to gather the necessary data meant I was never able to do this.

I saw the new route as a way of being able to aspire to a Fellowship by considering my range of involvement in and contributions to the profession in a broader sense. As well as 20 years' solid background in general practice and over 20 years' experience in veterinary education, I had been very active in both territorial and species-specific BVA divisions as well as being involved in RCVS activities such as specialist boards and subcommittees and latterly as a PDP Dean. I’d also been very involved with the sheep farming community and in farmer education.

I was very pleased to see that there was a route into the Fellowship which would consider this wide variety of experience and contribution and was delighted to find out that my application had been successful. 


What does being a Fellow mean to you?

Becoming a Fellow is to me the highest achievement one can reach in the profession as it is recognition by one’s peers. I am only sorry that the vets who helped me (put up with me might be more accurate!) as a schoolgirl and student are not around to see the results of their support and encouragement. I was very fortunate to get the amount and range of experience that I did pre-graduation and doubt that today’s students are so lucky.


What excites you about your future in the veterinary profession?

Having qualified 51 years ago, my future is necessarily limited but I am still excited about my past! Having set out with nothing else in mind other than becoming a good large animal general practitioner, my career developed in ways I would never have imagined. Some of these happened completely by chance so I would say to younger colleagues to grasp any chances that arise, to become involved with the BVA and RCVS and to engage more widely in the community in which you find yourself or have a particular interest. In my case this was sheep breeding which led to opportunities to get to know some influential and very knowledgeable people, to travel and to achieve positions of leadership. Having a veterinary degree can be the gateway to a wide variety of careers.