Shona Macintosh and Ruby Shorrock, from The Pets’n’Vets Family network of veterinary practices with surgeries around Glasgow and surrounding areas, must feel like two of the luckiest vets in Scotland.
That’s because, as the Scottish winners of the 2018 Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) Travel scholarship, they will be actively encouraged to interact socially and learn about the different cultures and backgrounds of life as a vet in Scotland and Majorca, including ‘an understanding of ‘ceilidhs, tartan, rioja and salsa!’.
The objective of the FECAVA Travel Scholarship is to support the appreciation of different cultures by enabling groups of practicing small animal veterinary surgeons from different parts of Europe to visit each other and observe each other’s practice experience.
And while Shona and Ruby jet off to Majorca, Toni Llaneras and Joana Bestard from the Arago Hospital Veterinari in Palma will be travelling in the opposite direction to join The Pets’n’Vets Family’s award-winning Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital in Pollokshaws.
Speaking of her forthcoming trip, Shona said: “It will be interesting to compare and contrast our approaches to conditions common to both practices. I also wish to gain experience of diseases less common to the UK but which are likely to increase in incidence. I hope that this will better prepare me for when I am presented with these diseases at home.
“I am particularly looking forward to experiencing a different culture. I have holidayed in Spain before and this has given me a real desire to learn more about its local traditions. I am proud to be Scottish and thrilled to be given the chance to show our colleagues around my home country. We are already selecting the highlights but fear there may be too many to fit in!”
Ruby added: “Travelling to Majorca for a veterinary exchange is going to be insightful, exciting and an amazing opportunity. I am looking forward to both the clinical aspect of going to another hospital and the social aspect of going to a different country. It will be interesting to see the differences and similarities in their cases and work-life as well as experiencing the culture. Personally, this will fulfil my desire for adventure and my curiosity for how veterinary medicine is practiced throughout the world.”
Ross Allan, partner in The Pets’n’Vets Family and an award-winning RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Surgery at the Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital, said: “The travel scholarship is the result of a conversation I had with Guillem Riera Palou, lead clinical director at the Arago Hospital Veterinari in Palma, while we were embarking on the three-year BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate in Surgery.
“We often discussed the similarities and differences, clinically and culturally, between our countries and felt that sharing the learning experience contributed meaningfully to our clinical and personal development.
“So, we are delighted to win the FECAVA Travel Scholarship 2018 in the firm belief that it provides a unique opportunity to assist vets to develop their individual skills, raise exchange veterinarians’ awareness of the opportunities available in their own personal careers as well as creating a legacy of inter-practice co-operation and support.”
Guillem Riera Palou added: “Local knowledge of specific diseases is something that the FECAVA Scholarship allows a unique opportunity to explore. With some endemic diseases present in Majorca increasing in frequency in Scotland – leishmania being a key example – learning the local knowledge of how to speedily diagnose and effectively manage these diseases would be extremely useful for the Scottish vets.
“Similarly, The Pets’n’Vets Family has a wealth of knowledge and experience of certain surgical and diagnostic scenarios and working at The Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital will give our exchange vets an opportunity to learn about these areas.”