Having been brought up in the Leicestershire countryside, I had a strong desire to be a vet from an early age, and qualified from Cambridge University in 1986. After a spell in general practice, where my inclination was towards equine medicine, I found myself following Jonathan (who is now my husband) to South East London. I worked for the PDSA in Lewisham and New Cross for five years, and it was here in the busy chaos that my interest in cardiology was born.
Ultimately our growing family settled in Derbyshire, where I worked, initially as an assistant and later as a partner in a large veterinary hospital in Derby, and my cardiology specialism began to crystalise as, helped by Kay Naden, who has now joined me at Etwall, I developed a busy cardiology unit. I set up my own independent cardiology consultancy business in 2006, initially a mobile concern offering peripatetic services to referring vets.
I obtained the RCVS Certificate in Cardiology in 1995 and was awarded the RCVS Diploma in Cardiology in 2009, the first to achieve this from an entirely general practice background, having gained approved experience at Liverpool University Small Animal Teaching Hospital and Martin Referrals in Kenilworth and equine cardiology experience with Dr Lesley Young in Newmarket. The following year I was awarded RCVS Recognised Specialist Status, and in 2011 opened the practice in Etwall.
I am interested in all aspects of cardiology and respiratory medicine, but particularly in congenital disease and feline cardiology. I also take part in field trials to investigate the benefits of new medicines in the most common cardiac diseases of dogs; mitral valve disease and dilated cardiomyopathy. I enjoy teaching cardiology, and can provide continued professional development in the form of lectures or small seminars to vets, veterinary nurses and clients as required.
I have four children, two dogs and two cats, and in my spare time enjoy music and theatre.
I hold the RCVS certificate in veterinary cardiology (CVC), the RCVS Diploma in Veterinary Cardiology (DVC) and I am a RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Cardiology.
The Certificate is the first level of postgraduate qualification awarded by RCVS, and indicates that the holder is a competent clinician who has proved their experience and expertise by examination in their chosen subject.
A Diploma holder is someone who has achieved a high standard of academic and professional expertise in their chosen subject, and is therefore entitled to place the appropriate letters after their name to indicate this achievement. In order to achieve this, a considerable period of time has to be spent gaining experience in an approved specialist referral centre and rigorous written and practical examinations must be passed. The Diploma in Veterinary Cardiology covers both small animal and large animal species. Currently there are only 20 RCVS Diploma holders in veterinary cardiology.
RCVS Recognised Specialist status is not easily achieved. To be included on the List of Recognised Specialists, an individual must have achieved a postgraduate qualification at least at Diploma level, and must additionally satisfy the RCVS that they make an active contribution to their specialty, have national and international acclaim and publish widely in their field.