This week I received an email that had a picture of a dog’s foot attached. The sutures I placed in the cut footpad three days previously were holding nicely and the wound was healing well. Relief ensued. Then I read the accompanying message – ‘Looking great. Happy here. Do we really need to come back in for the check up?’. And with these simple words, my heart sank.
Growing up as a child, I was surrounded by animals and art, the two running harmoniously together. Eventually I had to choose. I played it safe. I followed the defined career path to become a veterinary surgeon.
When I was training as a vet, towards the end of the five year course, the sheer volume of information seemed so overwhelming. I can remember at the time feeling exasperated and looked to my mentor who said 'don't worry, it will all just suddenly fall into place'..... and he was right.
My name is James Greenwood and I am a vet. I initially turned a blind eye to the plight of our junior doctors. Then reports of disillusionment, emigration and even suicide started to follow. For two professions that historically share a friendly rivalry, I fear we have found some unsavoury common ground. I will attempt to shed light.