Current Position: Epidemiologist at the UK Biobank
I initially undertook a degree in veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh. After a year in mixed practice, I worked in small animal emergency work for 4 years, including time as the principal vet. During this time, I also undertook an MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology part time, run jointly by the RVC and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Following completion of my MSc, my supervisor asked if I would be interested in further pursuing epidemiological studies and told me of the opportunity to undertake an MRes at the RVC. I decided to go for it, and the next year was spent investigating the epidemiology of chronic kidney disease in cats, using the VetCompass data base. This MRes lead onto a research assistant position, continuing the research into hypertension in cats, again using the VetCompass data base. The research from my MSc, MRes and research assistant position resulted in 2 publications, with 1 more submitted for review. Additionally, I gained experience presenting research at national and international conferences, writing reports, abstracts, posters and publications.
When my contract ended at the RVC, an opportunity arose to work as an epidemiologist at the UK Biobank, within the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford. This job has allowed me to pull together the skills I learnt at the RVC and those gained whilst working as a clinical vet.
The large amount of training offered by the RVC, as well as the support and instruction of my supervisors and colleagues undoubtedly helped me achieve my current position and make the switch from veterinary to human research.