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Thirty new Fellows welcomed at fourth RCVS Fellowship Day

At the fourth annual Fellowship Day on Friday, 20 September, the RCVS Fellowship welcomed some 30 new veterinary surgeons who were joined by many existing RCVS Fellows for a day of scientific excellence which showcased the breadth and depth of veterinary knowledge

04 October 2019, at 9:00am

Furthermore, the occasion also saw Professor John Innes welcomed as the new Chair of the RCVS Fellowship for a three-year term during which he will be responsible for meeting the initiative’s strategic aims and setting its priorities. .

The day was opened by Professor Nick Bacon, outgoing Chair of the Fellowship, who welcomed Professor Innes before reflecting on his three year term as Chair.

In his opening speech, Professor Bacon said: “As I come to the end of my three-year term, I look back with immense pride about everything that has been achieved by the initiative in this relatively short time-frame. We have welcomed over 150 Fellows under the three new routes to Fellowship since 2016, and developed a three-year strategic plan to support the Fellowship in achieving its aim of becoming a thriving learned society.”

He also introduced the launch of the new Directory of Fellows, adding: “I am also delighted to announce that our new online Fellowship Directory is launching today, which will give members of the public and the profession a greater insight into who is in the Fellowship and why, as well as promoting the Fellowship as a repository of veterinary knowledge and expertise. In the fullness of time, every Fellow will be listed on the Directory and their profiles will showcase how they are promoting scientific excellence, furthering professional skills and practice, or enriching public discourse about veterinary science.”

Following this the new Fellowships were awarded. In total 30 new Fellows were welcomed to the Fellowship on the day – 19 for meritorious contributions to clinical practice; 5 for meritorious contributions to knowledge; and 6 for meritorious contributions to the profession. A full list of those welcomed to the Fellowship this year is available to download: rcvs.org.uk/fellows, where the link to the Fellowship Directory can also be found.

The platform was then handed to Dr John (Iain) Glen, the day’s keynote speaker, who gave a presentation titled: "Try, try and try again: some personal reflections on the development of the anaesthetic propofol". In his presentation he detailed his ground-breaking work at AstraZeneca where he discovered and developed propofol – one of the most common anaesthetic drugs in use today.

Following Dr Glen’s speech the second annual "Fellows of the Future?" competition took place, in which eight current students, who were a mix of undergraduates and postgraduates, presented their current research to the delegates and a judging panel comprising Professor Nick Bacon, Dr Glen, Professor John Innes and Dr Niall Connell.

The winner of the competition was James Statton, from the University of Nottingham, with his presentation on his research examining students; transition into veterinary education, and whether their expectations match their experience. His prize was a £200 book voucher.

The presentation by undergraduate student Luke Gunter, of the Royal Veterinary College, on the effects of FSTL3-deletion on trophoblast migration was judged highly commended by the panel, and he was awarded a £100 voucher.

“The Fellows of the Future competition this year was fantastic, with a variety of well thought-out presentations from talented vet students,” said Professor Bacon.

“The competition is a great way to encourage engagement with the Fellowship from those at the start of their veterinary careers and also highlights the amazing breadth and quality of research being undertaken by veterinary students across the UK.”

There then followed "Fellows in Focus", a series of six 10-minute talks from new and existing Fellows on a topic of their choice, with the aim of shining a light on fascinating areas of work currently to be found within the RCVS Fellowship. These were:

  • "Nature’s wings and their passengers" by Brian Coles HonFRCVS
  • "High mortality in a sheep flock caused by tick-born diseases – a diagnostic challenge" by Dr Roger Daniel FRCVS, Farm-animal Pathologist at the Wales Veterinary Science Centre
  • "One Pain: how pets contribute to translational research" by Dr Duncan Lascelles FRCVS, Director of the Comparative Pain Research and Education Centre at North Carolina State University
  • "The hidden curriculum: why it matters" by Professor Liz Mossop FRCVS, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Engagement at the University of Lincoln
  • !Bridging gaps through distance mentoring: training, career development and outreach" by Dr Nicola Parry FRCVS, an independent veterinary pathology consultant based in the United States
  • "Rare or well done?" by Professor Stuart Reid CBE FRCVS, Principal of the Royal Veterinary College

RCVS President, Niall Connell, then addressed the crowd and presented outgoing Chair Professor Bacon with scroll for his contributions during his tenure as Chair.

Professor Bacon then welcomed the new Chair, Professor Innes, to the stage to close the day.

On his new appointment as Chair, Professor Innes said: “I am greatly looking forward to working with my fellow Fellowship board members, the RCVS team at Belgravia House who so ably support the initiative, and the members of the Advancement of the Professions Committee and RCVS Council who provide the vital oversight of the initiative.

“I also hope I can bring to bear the knowledge of my 22 years in academia and my current experience in a national role for a large veterinary practice group, and provide insight in to veterinary practice in all domestic species for Fellows, the wider veterinary professions and the public.”

For more information about the Fellowship – and to find out how to make an application to join – visit our dedicated Fellowship page.