Previously when prospective students wanted to be inspired and learn more about the veterinary profession they turned to classic veterinary literature – think the stories of James Herriot in ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. Now, well into the 21st Century, there are a whole host of brand-new resources that can aid our understanding about the modern veterinary world. Whilst fantastic traditional accounts from life as a vet such as Herriot still exist, many of us log into Instagram in the search of inspiration, education and motivation. At first glance it may appear that social media is a world full of fashion influencers, but there are plenty of amazing vets out there that use their platform to educate others on the importance of their work. Here are 5 vets you should be following now!
Louisa the Vet @louisa_the_vet
Dr Louisa Graham, is the clinical director of a GP Vets and an Advanced Practitioner of Internal Medicine based in Lancashire. She graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2013 and has worked in small animal practice ever since. She has spent time volunteering abroad with charities such as Friends of the Asian Elephant and the Na’an Ku Wildlife Sanctuary.
Louisa is the creator of the mentoring programme ‘Your Vet Coach’, which supports future vets in the transition from student to practitioner. She shares her passion for continued professional development and spreading knowledge through her Instagram page, with her following of over 25,000! On her profile, Louisa posts updates on many clinical cases from her day to day work as a vet. Currently she is following Hope, a young Pug who has suffered severe burns as a result of being bathed in boiling water. Louisa also shares hints and tips on the journey to becoming a vet and lots of revision quizzes on her profile!
Dr Nicola Di Girolamo @nic_the.animal.doctor
If you have an interest in working with animals you won’t always find in general practice, then exotic animal expert Dr Nic is one to follow! Dr Nic graduated with a DMV and PHD in Veterinary Sciences from the University of Bologna in Italy. Currently, he’s a professor at Oklahoma State University. Through his Instagram Dr Nic shares many a story of what he’s been up to – from making a homemade wheelchair for a tortoise named Radar who lost movement in his back legs, to performing a C section on a lioness! In his spare time, he enjoys surfing and playing chess.
(Photo 1, Dr Nic with some of his rotation students and a capybara: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1WLsomgeE0/?igshid=1qj5or4qb37wo)
Janey the Vet @janeythevet & @wecare_srilanka
After graduating from the University of Nottingham in 2011, Dr Janey Lowe spent time backpacking in Sri Lanka and was completely taken aback by the abundance of street dogs whom had little to no access to veterinary care. After securing funding from her current employer Janey flew back to Sri Lanka and set up We Care Worldwide, a charity that aimed to carry out a capture-neuter-vaccinate-release programme in order to help tackle the problem. A while later, Janey and her small team of vets and vet nurses rented out an old primary school which soon became the We Care Hospital! This made their work a lot safer as the animals no longer had to be treated on the roadside or from Janey’s home.
Since then, Janey and We Care have featured in documentaries on the BBC and Channel 5. On their Instagram pages, Janey and her team share the stories of street dogs that have had their lives turned around by their work. This year, she published her first book ‘Janey the Vet: Saving Sri Lanka’s Street Dogs’ (which can be bought here (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janey-Vet-Saving-Lankas-Street-ebook/dp/B083JK3FWK/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=janey+the+vet&qid=1586876627&sr=8-1)
(Photo 1, Janey treating a street dog roadside. Photo 2, Janey with Ben Fogle – both found on https://wecareworldwide.org.uk/about-us/our-story/)
Rory the Vet @rorythevet
You may recognise 2015 RVC graduate Dr Rory Cowlam from his role in CBBC’s The Pets Factor! Alongside his career in television, Rory is still a practicing vet and also holds post graduate qualifications in small animal surgery. On his Instagram page you’ll find everything from cases he’s encountered in practice, tips and tricks on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle and updates on his three-legged cat Tripod who was adopted after being found with a severely broken leg. He is also an ambassador of the charity Streetvet and advocates their work on his page.
Rory’s first book is due for publication in August 2020 – a perfect read if you’re considering applying to vet school! You can pre-order “The Secret Life of a Vet” here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Life-Vet-heartwarming-veterinary/dp/1529327814.
A word of advice from Rory to students at Medic Mentor – “Veterinary is often a career path decided at a very young age based upon passion for helping animals. In my opinion, there is no profession quite like it. The fulfilment you gain from a veterinary career is incredible and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of such an amazing community. If you have the drive to be part of the veterinary world, I applaud your hard work and look forward to welcoming you to the best profession there is.”
Dr Brooke Schampers @doctor_brooke
New grad vet Dr Brooke Schampers uses her Instagram to document her journey as an emergency and critical care vet at Animal Emergency Services, Brisbane. In 2015 Dr Brooke completed a placement at the AES as a student which allowed her to discover her passion for emergency medicine and upon her graduation in 2017, she took on an internship there. Alongside this Dr Brooke visits universities across Australia sharing her experiences through talks and conferences, similarly to her social media posts.
A work-life balance is crucial within all professions, not just amongst veterinarians. Dr Brooke also uses her Instagram page to promote this – you’ll find a number of fitness and ‘foodie’ posts focusing on the importance of healthy living amongst case studies from the critical care department in her feed.
A word of advice from Dr Brooke to students at Medic Mentor – “Don’t give up even though it will be difficult, because my goodness it’s worth it. Focus on making the grades to get into vet school and do what you can to work with animals from early on. When I was in high school, my teachers told me I wouldn’t make the grades to get into vet school and I made a point to prove them wrong”.