Vet Futures students’ rallying call for One Health Week

Ginnie Baker is a third-year student at the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh. With a love of the outdoors and all things furry, she believes the future of the veterinary profession is entwined with human health and that of the environment around us. Ginnie is part of the Vet Futures Student Ambassadors’ team focusing on One Health.

Only three years ago, I remember chatting in my interviews about my love of One Health and my interests in zoonotics that had driven me to apply to vet school earlier in the year. Reading ‘Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic’ by David Quammen left me dreaming of investigating an emerging infectious disease in the Congo and working with doctors and epidemiologists to stop a pandemic in its tracks.

Fast forward to now: when given the opportunity to plan a national project on the One Health topic, I leapt at the chance to get involved. After drafting together some of key ideas at our Vet Futures Student Ambassador training day in October 2017, a small group of One Health enthusiasts developed a plan for One Heath Week. Our plan is to get students everywhere talking about the links between animal, human and environmental health and how we can work together to improve the lives of all things bright and beautiful.

The national One Health Week will run from 28 October to 2 November 2018 to coincide with international One Health Day on 3 November. We want to run a series of events at each of the veterinary schools to get people thinking about One Health in a fun and interactive way.

In April we started our recruitment from each of the vet schools where we are looking for committee members to help us make One Health week a success at each of the schools. Our original One Health focus group is made up of only five members at only four of the UK vet schools so we need extra help on the ground to make the week happen.

Each of the university committees will be responsible for enabling the running of a minimum number of activities at each of the schools so all students, ideally not just vets, will get a chance to take part. There will be a poster competition being launched in late May and later a photo competition centred around the theme of One Health with prizes to encourage as many people to enter as possible.

We want to get students thinking outside of their curriculum about the importance of Global Health, from using less plastic to help environmental and marine health, to the cost of drugs and pharmaceutical patents. Many of these subjects aren’t covered in our day-to-day lectures, but they matter and the world needs veterinary surgeons’ problem-solving skills to combat problems affecting the health of everyone and everything.

To get involved, please like our Facebook page and keep your eyes peeled for updates on the week. We’d love for as many people as possible to get involved so drop us an email via

What’s your big idea?

Zoe Skinner, is a Vet Futures Student Ambassador from Nottingham University and has an interest in farm animal medicine, One Health and how new developments will shape the future of the veterinary profession. She describes the VF Student Ambassadors’ Innovation Team’s new initiative, designed to give more vet students the opportunity to get involved with veterinary innovation.

As a Vet Futures student ambassador, I was fortunate to attend the first RCVS innovation symposium with other student ambassadors from across the country. The day was incredibly interesting and opened my eyes to innovations such as new business models, artificial intelligence and big data as well as how these developments will affect the veterinary profession. I also learned the importance of embracing innovation to ensure the role of a veterinary surgeon remains relevant and the need for veterinary professionals to be at the forefront of new developments to ensure there is a focus on improving the health and welfare of animals.

I must admit, before attending the symposium, I had never considered the extent to which innovation and new technology will reform my future career. This is something I am sure I am not alone in, as I believe it is easy for veterinary students to focus solely on the approaches currently taught in our curriculum without considering how these might change in the future. The day inspired me to encourage other students to become involved in innovation so I was keen to join the innovation project group when the opportunity arose at the Vet Futures training day.

After lots of brainstorming, the innovation project team have come up with a plan to introduce a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition to UK and Ireland veterinary universities in order to help realise the potential in the next generation of innovators. Student teams will be challenged with identifying an issue facing our industry and designing a new solution; then pitching their idea to a board of industry professionals. We plan to launch the competition in September 2018 with prize giving taking place at the RCVS innovation symposium in 2019. Teams will be encouraged to diversify their skill set and include students from outside the veterinary sphere with plans in place to reach out to business and technology schools at corresponding universities to determine if they would like to be involved.

We hope the competition will fuel an interest amongst our fellow students to embrace innovation and new technology and encourage them to learn about the changes it will bring to our profession. After all, using new technology in our daily lives has become second nature to our generation, so why can’t we embrace this in our chosen profession? I believe encouraging students to grasp the potential that innovation holds from the beginning of their veterinary education will produce graduates who are confident to be at the forefront of creating and embracing innovation, ensuring it is used in a way that that focuses on improving veterinary care.

Shaping a future to share

Eleanor Robertson (pictured) is the Senior-Vice President of the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) UK and Ireland and is currently in her fourth year at Liverpool University. With a passion for global health, having completed an intercalated masters in the subject at Maastricht University, Eleanor is interested in the vital contribution of the veterinary profession to a sustainable future.

The initiation of Vet Futures in 2014 was a cause of great excitement amongst the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) committee, myself included. Why? Because as students, the future of the veterinary profession, we should be active in shaping it and championing the project through a myriad of various opportunities.

Vet Futures was established jointly by the RCVS and BVA with the proactive aim of readying the profession for an uncertain future. By foreseeing some of the challenges the veterinary team might face, Vet Futures encourages innovative thinking and presents a co-ordinated approach to them.

So, keen to play our part in making the project a success, AVS created the ‘Vet Futures Student Ambassadors’ initiative. We wanted not only to increase the visibility of this incredible project at a student level, but also encourage active engagement with it.

We promised the BVA and RCVS ‘excellent and dynamic’ individuals to become ambassadors, so… no pressure there. Although, as you all know, vet students seem to be a sea of enthusiastic, driven individuals! We were delighted at the level of interest from students from across all the vet schools and very impressed by the ideas and innovative thinking demonstrated in the applications.

Vet Futures Ambassadors at the training day in London

The newly appointed Vet Future Ambassadors then came down to the RCVS headquarters in London for a day of training. The day included training on planning, communication, presentation and leadership, focusing on developing student-led projects.

A lot of coloured pens later, we had five project groups that are now hard at work bringing the Vet Futures ambitions to fruition among vet students. These groups focus on innovation, One Health, mental health awareness, veterinary societal outreach and Graduate Outcomes.

I am really excited to introduce this project to you all. Have questions or want to contribute? Don’t hesitate to get in touch – We want vet students to embrace the amazing opportunity we have here! Keep an eye on the AVS website for updates on our progress!!

VNs looking to themselves for change

Daniel is Operations Manager at Dick White Referrals and a practising RVN. Daniel began his career as a Saturday receptionist at a small clinic and became a veterinary nurse in 2007, moving on to become Head Nurse at a large 24-hour veterinary hospital in East London.

Daniel holds the A1/V1 Clinical Coach qualifications, Level 3 in British Sign Language and is currently completing a Chartered Management Institute Level 7 qualification in Strategic Leadership. Daniel works across HR, strategy and development, facilities management, health and safety and leadership.

Daniel Hogan

Daniel Hogan

My current role is Operations Manager at Dick White Referrals. Starting my career as a veterinary nurse in a variety of roles, and moving to senior management positions, I have always been passionate about the profession and my role within it, but felt that the nursing profession was under-valued and lacked recognition for the important roles RVNs play. I also believed that this attitude towards RVNs restricted our full potential.

Having not previously been engaged with the RCVS and other professional organisations, I felt it was time to play a more proactive role in influencing the future of our profession and joined the Vet Futures and VN Futures projects. Immediately it was clear that a large amount of work had already been started, but there was still a substantial task ahead of us.

Both Action Groups contained a fantastic mix of professionals from an array of backgrounds with a variety of experience, but the real challenge was capturing everybody’s thoughts and ideas and placing them within the context of a working document; a challenge I hope we have met.

It was fantastic to see that everyone shared the same passion for the profession and, more promisingly, that the veterinary nursing profession could address its own issues separately.

VN Futures hosted several evening meetings to meet RVNs from around the country to obtain feedback about their priorities for the future and discuss what were felt to be the biggest issues in the profession. The response was incredible and covered a range of practical, current and future issues. More importantly, we discussed where we wanted our profession to be!

Initially I was apprehensive that the ambitions were too big and not manageable and I had a genuine concern that it was the same issues being addressed by the same organisations. We have, however, engaged with people from across the entire veterinary and veterinary nursing professions and, crucially, those outside the veterinary world.

Many in the VN profession are unhappy and we would be naive to assume everything is perfect. Whether it is low salaries, poor working conditions, lack of training opportunities, disappointing progression routes, absence of support from the employer, or a lack of recognition for the work that we do, we now have an opportunity to make a change.

So I truly believe that both the Vet and VN Futures plans will modernise and develop our professions for the better and, importantly, that we will achieve this within a credible timeframe.

I urge everyone who works in the veterinary team to engage with the action plans. This is our profession and our opportunity to contribute to its future.

Sustainable businesses and user-focused services

Kimberley is a management consultant with global consultancy Accenture where she is a manager in the Healthcare Practice, advising on strategy and business change with a focus on digital healthcare innovation. At Accenture Kimberley works with a wide cross section of clients, from the NHS to medical software companies and private healthcare businesses.

Kimberley graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2010. During her studies she intercalated at the University of Edinburgh to complete a BSc in Microbiology and Infection, and undertook the ten-week Cornell University Leadership Programme through a Wellcome Trust Scholarship. Kimberley has experience of working overseas in a variety of roles including working with UNICEF, WHO and DFID.

Kimberley Schiller

Kimberley Schiller

We have always had to respond to change, both external and internal; it is not something that can be halted. So why address it now? The Vet Futures report highlighted, in no uncertain terms, that not only are we “cautious of change” as a profession, but the change that we are faced with has picked up momentum and is accelerating us toward a somewhat uncertain future.

We are faced with an ever-changing business landscape of veterinary practice. The continued consolidation of the veterinary market combined with innovation, both clinical and digital, is changing the face of medicine. Vet Futures supports us to become part of this change, allowing vets and vet nurses to shape the journey and help position the professions for continued success.

For me, this experience has been incredibly rewarding but not one that is entirely unfamiliar. As a vet working outside the profession in an ‘alternative career’ as a Management Consultant at Accenture, the majority of my day-to-day work is based around preparing my clients for the change that they face, either due to choice and innovation or because they simply have to ‘catch up’ with competitors or the outside world. What the Vet Futures report has captured is that we are somewhere between these two driving forces of change. While there are elements that are beyond our control (for example, new regulatory requirements, increasing demand for a higher level of customer service and continuing feminisation of the profession), we are also driving much of this change ourselves and contributing firsthand by innovating to drive the change we experience (for example adoption of new surgical techniques, new business models and use of new technologies).

The diversity in experience of the Vet Futures Action Group has been instrumental in how we, as a group, were able to approach this challenge. How change is perceived is often impacted by the ‘lens’ through which we examine it. Tackling the key themes of the report from multiple views has allowed us to draw parallels between our profession and others. For example, as we make our first foray into telemedicine, it is prudent to learn lessons from NHS colleagues who have been using it for the last decade.

Single organisations, like the NHS, are often able to cascade change using a top-down approach to the individuals within. Ultimately, we are not a single ‘business unit’ but a collection of unique businesses. To ensure we move forward as a cohesive collective profession it is important for us to personally own, as individual veterinary professionals, the day-to-day decisions that will successfully shape our future in 2030. Vet Futures sets out the foundations for that ownership.

There is great opportunity to look forward to. Many of the changes we experience offer solutions to problems that we encounter. Personally, what excites me the most is the recognition by Vet Futures of the need to drive veterinary innovation. Having worked in the digital (human) healthcare space for much of the last decade, I eagerly anticipate the wave of ‘digital’ that is going to disrupt the currently nascent veterinary innovation space. I look forward to implementing an innovation symposium to help highlight veterinary innovation. By beginning to showcase how to apply both disruptive technologies and new clinical practices to our profession, I hope we encourage ourselves to not only embrace this kind of change but to become the driving force of innovation amongst our One Health colleagues, which we are uniquely positioned to do.


Huw is the Director of Clinical Services at The Pets at Home Vet Group (PAHVG), a role he took up in 2015 having been Head of Clinical Services since 2013. Huw graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2000 and went into mixed first opinion practice in Devon and then small animal practice in Swindon. Whilst in practice Huw completed a postgraduate diploma in companion animal behaviour counselling at the University of Southampton.

In 2010 Huw moved into industry as a Technical Advisor with VetPlus, and joined Companion Care Services as Commercial Manager in 2011. At PAHVG Huw worked on the integration of Vets4Pets into the Pets at Home Vet Group alongside Companion Care, and led the team that developed The Vet Report, providing an annual overview of pet health and welfare issues. Huw is a founding member of the Major Employers Group, a member of BVA’s Veterinary Policy Group, and a Veterinary Advisor to the RCVS alternative dispute resolution trial.

Huw Stacey

Huw Stacey

As a keen supporter of the Vet Futures project, I was delighted to be selected to join the Action Group tasked with transforming the vision and ambitions of the report into ideas and initiatives that could be actioned in the real world. The report had identified gaps in the way our profession approaches the issue of leadership, so I knew that taking on this ambition would be a particular challenge.

The first question I needed to answer for myself was ‘What is leadership?’ This in itself is difficult to answer, since, while there is a wealth of material written on the subject, there is no clear definition. Some authors highlight the personal traits of successful leaders, while others look at positions, behaviours or social processes.

Leadership is like the abominable snowman whose footprints are everywhere but who is nowhere to be seen” – Bennis & Nanus (1985)

The model that has been widely adopted in human healthcare is that of distributed leadership. In this model, leadership is recognised as a dynamic situational behaviour that anybody can exhibit independent of job title, rank, prior experience or qualifications. In a given situation any individual can act as a leader, and there is no one individual who is suited to assuming the role in all situations.

Leadership may be considered as the process (act) of influencing the activities of an organised group in its efforts towards goal setting and goal achievement” – Stogdill (1950)

There are a few well-established veterinary leadership programmes, such as the Veterinary Leadership Institute in the United States, but we have also looked to the medical profession where extensive research and development has already taken place.

Vets have, as a sweeping generalisation, a pretty clear idea of what constitutes professional development and unsurprisingly it stems from the vocational nature of our work – CPD is about gaining more knowledge or more skills to enhance our ability to look after the animals entrusted to our care.

The idea of spending valuable development time and budget on something as vague and nebulous as ‘leadership’ would undoubtedly be alien to many, in the past myself included. This is a great shame, as effective leadership has been shown in human medicine to improve wellbeing, morale, engagement and clinical service provision.

The NHS Leadership Academy has developed a researchbased Healthcare Leadership Model, which the Action Group suggests is a good place to start when thinking about a veterinary leadership programme. This type of course could be delivered as a MOOC so that it is freely available to all in the profession whether they are business owners, assistants, students, vets or nurses.

If the profession is to fulfil its stated ambitions of being confident, resilient, healthy, valued, influential and in control of its own destiny, then it will be essential to instil in all of its members an awareness of the importance of effective leadership, and to provide them with the resources and opportunities to develop these skills.

The health and wellbeing of veterinary professionals

Mary is a veterinary surgeon working in Devon. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1998 and has eighteen years of experience, working in various roles in mixed practice, for an out-of-hours clinic, for a large group practice and as a government veterinary surgeon.

In 2014, Mary became a Postgraduate Dean for the RCVS, supporting recent graduates through their Professional Development Phase (PDP) and speaking to final year students and recent graduates. In 2015 Mary joined the board of Vetlife (previously the Veterinary Benevolent Fund), the charity that supports the veterinary community.

Mary Thomson

Mary Thomson

It was with some trepidation that I attended the first Vet Futures Action Group meeting earlier this year. A bit like the first day in a new job. Will the others like me? How will my background equip me for the work of the Action Group? But these worries were short lived. I’ve enjoyed every minute of our meetings and have met some fantastic people.

My primary area of work with Vet Futures is health and wellbeing. Fortunately, through my roles in general practice, as a director of Vetlife and as an RCVS Postgraduate Dean, I am in regular contact with people who are experts in this area. I hope that, with the help of these contacts, we have created an Action Plan that will be embraced by the profession and will truly make a difference over the next few years.

As a practitioner I was particularly concerned that health and wellbeing should not just become a tickbox on a practice standards list. Through Vet Futures I am committed to taking positive steps to improve the health and wellbeing of the whole veterinary team. As a profession we are responsible for setting and upholding standards of animal welfare. We can only do this if we look after our own wellbeing and look out for our colleagues. A change in culture resulting in a more confident, resilient, healthy and mutually-supportive veterinary team will not happen overnight, but is essential to ensure a bright future for our great profession.

So what have I been doing so far? At our first meeting we hit the ground running, considering each of the recommendations of Vet Futures – Taking charge of our future and looking at where there were areas of mutual interest. So, for example, some of my health and wellbeing objectives have common ground with careers and education. We also identified some of the organisations and individuals who are likely to be key to progressing the work of Vet Futures.

The second meeting was an engaging day of presentations from August Equity, Defra, VSC and VDS. Representatives from each organisation gave their thoughts on the Vet Futures recommendations and suggested areas where they could develop ideas further and implement actions. Our discussion lasted well into the evening and we agreed that, while we might not have all the answers by July, we will certainly have a framework for action which will develop the answers.

Between the meetings I have been talking to many individuals and organisations, and, as meeting number three drew near, I began to feel the pressure a little. With the Vet Futures Summit fast approaching a tough morning was spent trying to thrash out how best to structure the big event. This gave me much food for thought and to be honest I have met so many people who would make excellent speakers that I have had a difficult time with the decision-making process.

I hope the wellbeing section of the Action Plan reflects the fantastic input from many willing volunteers keen to improve the future of our profession. I would like to thank everyone who has helped so far. It is never too late make your contribution to the future of our great profession: many hands make light work and the more we all get involved, the bigger the difference we will make.

The next generation

Helena Diffey is the past President of the Association of Veterinary Students UK and Ireland (AVS). In this role she represented vet students on a range of professional forums and coordinates the central AVS committee.

Helena is in her fifth year of study at the Royal Veterinary College, having intercalated in Global Health at Imperial College, London. She enjoys the great variety within veterinary medicine, from lab work to surgery, and has a wider interest in epidemiology, neglected diseases, policy making and veterinary education.

Helena Diffey

Helena Diffey

“Only half of recent graduates say their career has matched expectations,” revealed a survey from the Vet Futures project in 2015. As a student on the verge of beginning my career in the veterinary profession, this was a pretty distressing statistic to find out. I think this is why Vet Futures was so timely and this Action Plan so essential; the profession cannot afford to fail the next
generation of vets. How people gain satisfaction in their careers is clearly different for each individual. However, I can’t help
thinking that underlying the frustrations of young vets is a profession not ready for the millennial generation to which I belong. A generation with very different expectations of life and work, we desire careers with diversity, flexibility and challenge. Many of the actions in the Plan relate to issues within the veterinary profession itself. These are extremely important to tackle as
they are very real problems to those at all stages in their careers. Young vets, in particular, will struggle to progress without adequate mentoring and support, or viable opportunities to take a career break or to change direction.

Us millennial vets are also more acutely aware of how globalised our world is, with a strong sense of moral duty to make a positive impact. In my opinion, the global issues we face today, such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and food and environmental security, present the most exciting opportunities for the veterinary profession now and in the future. As a profession we need to work with other sectors and disciplines to extend our influence into areas of animal health and welfare beyond the veterinary practice. Our profession should be capitalising on the strengths and capabilities of the fantastic next generation of vets, not apologising for a lack of career options and letting them go. During the process of developing the Vet Futures Action Plan I have been fascinated to learn about innovative technologies on the near horizon that will undoubtedly completely change the way vets practise. UK veterinary education is already on the cutting-edge of science, nevertheless our Action Plan includes the consideration of different ways of training the veterinary workforce, in the interests of creating a wider role in society for the profession and improving career satisfaction.

I strongly believe that providing more choice and freedom for students to explore areas of personal interest during their training will, further to having a positive impact on wellbeing, create a more diverse, dynamic and resilient profession. Students need to be encouraged and rewarded, not least be given the time, for innovative and creative thinking. This is what will see us well into the future.

Education, education, education

Liz is Associate Professor of Veterinary Education and Sub-Dean for Teaching, Learning and Assessment at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham. Liz graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2000 and initially worked in a number of assistant roles in mixed, small animal and equine practice in the Midlands. In 2006 Liz joined the University of Nottingham as a teacher and lecturer, whilst continuing in equine practice, before becoming head of teaching in 2012.

Liz completed a Masters in Clinical Education in 2007 and a PhD in Veterinary Education in 2012 with a thesis focusing on the definition and teaching of professionalism to undergraduates. Liz is a member of the Veterinary Schools Council Education Committee, the RCVS VN Education Subcommittee, and a Trustee of the Wikivet Educational Foundation.

Liz Mossop

Liz Mossop

My motivation to become a member of the Vet Futures Action Group was the desire to be part of something with a real potential to have an impact on the profession I love. As a teacher at Nottingham Vet School (but very much a general practitioner at heart) I am very lucky to be involved with educating the vets of the future, and I strongly believe it is important that veterinary educators engage with the profession in all contexts and ensure the graduates we are producing are appropriately equipped for the wide range of roles and opportunities available.

Of course this is a real challenge – after all, the veterinary degree has been five years long for many years, but the amount of veterinary knowledge has exponentially increased in that time! Veterinary teaching has changed hugely in order to accommodate this and ensure graduates don’t just know enough information, but have appropriate practical and professional skills to be able to deal with what they don’t know. Having said that, I don’t think any of the schools would claim to have a perfect curriculum, and we are always changing and innovating to provide the best possible experience for our students, in the challenging environment that is higher education today.

The education theme runs through most of the Vet Futures recommendations and so I have had the task of advising and discussing a range of ideas with the other Action Group members. This has been stimulating and challenging at the same time, and part of my role has included collecting information from all the schools about curricular content on several of the key topics, including the teaching of ethics, teamworking, reflective practice, career planning and information on the wide range of peer support systems now in place across the schools.

It has been a great opportunity to demonstrate the different approaches used and also to identify where action points can help to consolidate and enhance areas of the curriculum. It has also been exciting to consider how we might predict the content of the future veterinary Day-one Competences, especially in the context of the One Health agenda. I am not sure we will manage to make the crystal ball function correctly, but I think we can have a very good try!

The action I am proudest of is the careers hub. Career planning and employability is something I am passionate about and it will be great to bring together expertise and ideas from across the profession, to try to really engage students and vets with the huge range of opportunities which are out there. There was a strong feeling of agreement on this action point right from the beginning of our meetings, and this was definitely not the case for all areas! Several of us within the Group have had slightly ‘alternative’ careers, and we felt it was very important that the veterinary degree is seen as a starting point for everything from general practice to specialisation to research, academia, business and a whole lot more.

I will watch with interest as the action points take shape and hope very much to be a continuing part of the Vet Futures initiative.


Veterinary students

Diverse and rewarding veterinary careers

Clare is a Senior Teaching Associate for curriculum and innovation in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, where she is currently chairing a taskforce to develop a curricular thread on professional skills throughout the professional veterinary course. Clare graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1996 and after completing an equine ambulatory internship at Millbrook Equine Practice in New York she started teaching on an equine studies programme and founded her own equine practice.

In 2005-06 Clare taught at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and became interested in veterinary education and curriculum development. Clare completed her PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the Ohio State University in 2013, with her doctoral research focusing on the career choice of veterinary students in the context of the feminisation of the profession.

Clare is currently President of Veterinary Educators Worldwide (ViEW), a not-for-profit organisation that aims to promote and support excellence and international cooperation in veterinary education.

Clare Allen

Clare Allen

I have wanted to be a vet all of my life… (well, apart from when I wanted to be a princess in my really early years!). But my identity as a vet has continued to evolve and change throughout my education and career. My veterinary career so far, then, has not been typical. But that is because, I would argue, there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ veterinary career. After almost 10 years in equine ambulatory practice, latterly as a solo practitioner, like many others in the profession, I found the work-life challenge of being on call 24/7 hard to manage with the needs of my growing family. Which is how I stumbled into teaching. However, instead of being a temporary career diversion while my kids were little, veterinary education has, rather unexpectedly, become my passion and my calling, which led me to a PhD in education.

My doctoral thesis, inspired by my own career path, looked at how vet students made their career choices, and how we could help to prepare them for more diverse future careers in veterinary medicine. Not too surprisingly, this made me realise that we needed to have some idea of what the future of the profession might look like, and maybe even guide that future through the challenges that we are facing. That is when I started to advocate for the veterinary profession to pay attention to where we were heading, and be proactive about shaping that pathway. So, when I heard about the Vet Futures project I was on board immediately, and was hugely encouraged and excited that British vets were leading the way on this. I attended one of the roadshows, read the report, and was excited to apply for and be accepted onto the Action Group. That excitement has continued as I have worked with a group of amazingly talented and motivated individuals, who also care passionately about steering our profession into the future mindfully.

The membership of the Vet Futures Action Group is a true demonstration of the diversity of career paths that veterinary medicine can offer: from key roles in clinical practice and animal welfare; to careers in One Health, education, business and innovation. This made my job of promoting diverse, sustainable career paths for future members of the profession relatively easy within the Group, since we had all lived some of those opportunities first-hand. But we want to be sure that our experience is passed on to others. So our discussion of actions and priorities have focused on practical solutions for supporting all members of our profession, from potential applicants, to students, and established members of the profession looking for the next opportunity or challenge to fit their changing life circumstances. The idea of a careers hub therefore,  emerged quickly, although we kept expanding it as we thought about all of the different people it could benefit. The key will be to make it accessible to all of those people, and to promote and maintain it adequately. I am also proud of our recommendations to conduct a workforce review of the profession, and to review the purpose of EMS, and outcomes for graduates. All of these will have important implications for creating sustainable, diverse career options for graduates in the future.

Now I look forward to seeing how others in veterinary medicine respond to these actions, and help to take them forward. After all, these actions and recommendations will only succeed with the engagement and enthusiasm of all of those within our great profession.