Professor Anna Meredith



Fellowship by Meritorious Contributions to Clinical Practice

Christopher Little

What tips do you have for putting your application together?

First and foremost, don’t be put off by the form, or procrastinate. Choose your referees early on and approach them to make sure they’re happy to support you fully. It’s probably a bit late if you’re at the application stage but keep your CV up to date, as otherwise trying to collate it all at this stage is a huge effort. Try to get over the natural tendency to be modest or have ’ imposter syndrome’, and be up front about all your achievements and the contributions that you have made so far in your veterinary career.


What would you say to someone considering applying for the Fellowship?

I’d simply say go for it! If you’re seriously considering it having read the criteria, and have colleagues to support you as referees, you are probably worthy of the recognition.


Why did you decide to apply for the new Fellowship?

Having done a PhD relatively late on in my career I had no desire to go down the Fellowship by thesis route, so this new route to fellowship was a fantastic opportunity. I felt my main contributions were related to academia–based clinical practice that has helped to raise the profile and scientific rigour of exotic animal, zoological and conservation medicine. I feel immensely proud to have helped embed exotic animal medicine into the undergraduate curriculum, and to have contributed to disseminating knowledge that has helped both educate vets and improve animal health and welfare. For example, research on pet rabbit diet and its direct links to health and welfare, although relatively simple, has provided a much–needed evidence base to support veterinary advice and practice. I never set out to spend my career in academic clinical practice and research, but it’s turned out to be an incredibly diverse and rewarding combination of practice, teaching and research and has given me the freedom and ability to develop new areas such as Conservation Medicine.


What does being a Fellow mean to you?

Obviously it’s a great privilege to gain such a high level of recognition from my profession, so I feel honoured to be among the first tranche of the new Fellows. I find teaching very rewarding and inspiring, but we also need to continue to increase the scientific evidence base to ensure that veterinary education is research-led. To me being a Fellow is about acting as a role model and helping to promote the profession and inspire the next generation, and not about just collecting a new set of elite postnomials. The veterinary profession is relatively small but incredibly diverse and offers such a variety of career opportunities - I think we have a duty to try to contribute to it and promote it as broadly as we can.


What hopes do you have for the Fellowship moving forward?

I hope that fellows from all three contribution routes really will achieve the Fellowship objectives of advancing veterinary standards, especially by fostering debate and expertise that will enable the profession to keep pace and provide leadership in dealing with some of the very significant veterinary challenges faced in a rapidly changing world. I hope that all the fellows will be proactive, engage with the membership and not rest on their laurels, so the voice of the profession is heard loudly in both the public and political arenas.


What excites you about your future in the veterinary profession?

My main role and work now is in Conservation Science, so continuing to play a part in developing this rapidly evolving field excites me most. There is much lip-service paid to the concept of ‘One Health’ these days but I think the veterinary profession has a much more significant role to play here, not just in animal health and the interface with human health, but in the broader fields of ecosystem health and maintaining biodiversity - ultimately everything depends on this and we ignore it at our peril!