Inspiration can come in many forms, and my inspiration for today was Noel Fitzpatrick, better known as ‘The Bionic Vet’. We had a lecture from him this morning for our Business and Enterprise module to tell us about his experiences setting up his own practice and his innovating techniques.
His techniques simply put are amazing, and after hearing him speak at length about his passion to make a difference I truly believe he is doing this because it improves the animals’ quality of life. And morally, I think this can only be a good thing. Medicine is advancing, why can’t veterinary medicine?
His achievements with prosthetics and implants aside, what also struck me was his dedication. He told us stories of his first practice where they had one kennel, and he worked 8am until 4am seven days a week, having 4 hours sleep. Hard graft for anyone never mind just a vet. You’ve got to really love your job to do that. He’s worked very hard to get to his multi-million pound turnover practice in Surrey with 96 staff, an amazing achievement and had 11 of his interns speaking at BSAVA conference this year showing he instills his passion and high standards into others he works with.
He told us today we could be whatever we wanted to be, even though our current goal is to pass our exams, get out of uni we can still choose our own path for our future. We are the lucky ones to be entering a profession that can be so rewarding where we can make a difference.
I sometimes forget the struggle I had to get to this point – the exams, the interviews, the financing, the relocating to London – and forget how lucky I am to be here. I got into a course that had one of the highest number of applicants per place in the UK. I forget this when the stress of revision, exams and studying gets on top of me and I wish I had got a job after my first degree but Noel Fitzpatrick gave me a reality check today. I remembered I’m doing this because I love it.
I hope when I qualify I will have the same dedication he does and be able to make a difference like he has to many animals (and humans – he is pioneering new technology alongside doctors for humans).
Alison is 22 years old, from North Yorkshire. Studying at the Royal Veterinary College, London. Currently in third year, after completing the Graduate and Transfer year. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Animal Science from the University of Leeds.
Equine biased, but she has a fondness for small furry creatures too.