Published: 06 Mar 2015 | Last Updated: 06 Mar 2015 14:18:37

Veterinary surgeons registered to the Royal College Veterinary of Surgeons (RCVS) can now use the courtesy title Doctor if they wish.

The news comes after a consultation which began in January this year. The six week process was open to the profession and general public and had more than 11,000 responses. An overwhelming 82 percent agreed vets should use the courtesy title if they wish, just 13 percent said no. The final 5 percent didn’t mind either way.

Stephen May
Professor Stephen May

Royal Veterinary College Deputy Principal, Professor Stephen May said: “With the clarity that the RCVS has now provided for the profession, UK vets will now be able to use the title Dr at home and abroad, should they wish, bringing them into line with other qualified veterinarians around the world.

“It recognises the level and quality of their training beside the other clinical disciplines such as medicine and dentistry and the reassurance that using ‘Dr’ is now endorsed by their professional regulator.

“For RVC, with our commitment to quality in veterinary education and professionalism, and international reach, this is an important step forward.”

Of the three main clinical degrees in the UK — medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine — only veterinary surgeons did not use Doctor as a courtesy title. The announcement will also align the UK with international standards, as most overseas veterinary surgeons already use the title as common practice

The initial proposals for the Doctor courtesy title usage were raised by RVC’s Principal, Professor Stuart Reid, who is also the President of the RCVS. The issue was one of three key areas of consideration he outlined for priority when he took over the presidency in July 2014. Since then he has been a driving force behind the process for change.

Notes for Editors

Professor Stuart Reid
Professor Stuart WJ Reid

Professor Stuart Reid has a long history with the RCVS. Before being named President he had been a member of the RCVS Council since 2005, serving on a variety of committees, including Chair of both the Education Policy and Specialisation Committee and the Veterinary Legislation Working Party. He has also served on six different veterinary degree accreditation visitation teams on behalf of the RCVS, both in the UK and overseas.

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a constituent College of the University of London. The RVC  offers undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences, being ranked in the top 10 universities nationally for biosciences degrees.  It is currently the only veterinary school in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC.

A research-led institution, in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) the RVC maintained its position as the top HEFCE funded veterinary focused research institution.

The College also provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals; the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in central London, the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (Europe's largest small animal referral centre), the Equine Referral Hospital, and the Farm Animal Clinical Centre located at the Hertfordshire campus.    

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