Clinical Connections spoke to Scott Miller, who features in the TV show Vet on the Hill, about his relationship with the RVC. Born in Brisbane, Scott studied at the University of Queensland’s School of Veterinary Science. He began his veterinary career at the RSPCA clinic in Sydney. After gaining experience treating a variety of animals, he moved to the UK. He has worked all over the UK and is now Principal Veterinary Surgeon and partner at The Vet on Richmond Hill and branches in St Margarets and Isleworth.
Q: As a referring vet, how does RVC Small Animal Referrals help you most?
A: Being a teaching hospital makes the RVC specialists so personable and generous with their opinions and advice that it makes the whole process of referring patients a dream. They are happy to offer advice to allow a first opinion veterinarian to develop their own skills, supporting our important role in the community while shouldering the ongoing work-up and treatment of patients who need specialist care.
Q: What kind of cases do you most typically find it useful to refer to the RVC?
A: I have sent many cases to the wonderful ophthalmology service who have been exceptional, while calling on internal medicine, cardiology and oncology departments when the needs of my patients require specialist advice. All departments have provided dedicated support and advice to our practice and clients before, during and after referral, providing excellent customer service that our discerning clients expect and appreciate when attending the RVC.
Q: What difference do the resources of the RVC make to the diagnosis or treatment of a case?
A: Immense. A first opinion practice can never expect to have personal access to all the cutting-edge technology currently used in our profession, and with clients becoming more educated in the advances in veterinary medicine, having the ability to offer them the very best with an introduction to the RVC is incredibly reassuring.
Q: How do you feel the RVC best works with you as a referring vet?
A: Giving support and advice freely and generously is incredibly valuable to a first opinion vet, providing reassurance to ourselves and our clients while allowing us as small business people to protect revenue streams where appropriate. This open and friendly relationship encourages collaboration between first and second opinion clinicians without any sense of intellectual one-upmanship, and my staff we can provide the best treatment to our patients whether it be at our own practices or referred to the RVC without feeling any sense of failure. Modern clients expect the very best of care, which the limitations of first opinion practice can’t always provide, but the collaborative relationship between myself and the RVC requites the pursuit of excellence in patient care while being a rewarding and professional experience for myself.
Q: What is the most unusual case you have referred to us?
A: We have referred a tiny Chihuahua for a balloon valvuloplasty and a Shih Tzu puppy for a dermoid cyst removal from the cornea. These were incredibly challenging cases but there were great outcomes and the owners were very happy.
Q: As well as referring cases, have you drawn on the RVC team’s expertise for advice?
A: My team and I regularly use the incredibly accessible and personable RVC team’s advice for tricky cases, reassuring ourselves and our clients that patients get the best of care and most up-to-date treatment. These interactions are rewarding and encouraging, helping to further our collective knowledge in a collaborative and supportive way.
Q: Were you aware of the referral services the RVC has to offer when you first came to the UK?
A: Once I moved to London I became aware of the RVC, and after calling on them for advice and sending referrals with great client feedback they became my go-to referral service.
Q: How would you sum up your working relationship with RVC Small Animal Referrals?
A: Incredibly rewarding and honestly enjoyable, with advice given in the spirit of learning and support which makes practising as a first opinion vet that bit easier.
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