Published: 18 December 2023

Meet the academic: Dr Alison Livesey

Dr Alison Livesey, lecturer in small animal surgery in our School of Veterinary Medicine, tells us about her role here at Surrey, how postgraduate studies influenced her career and why there was a need for a PGCert Veterinary General Practice.

Tell us a bit about what you do. 

I teach small animal surgery in the School of Veterinary Medicine here at Surrey. My role is varied and includes lecturing as well as small-group practical teaching. We have a very well-equipped clinical skills laboratory and have developed a wider variety of models to teach clinical skills, such as suturing, tying ligatures and intravenous cannulation. The students also visit a neutering clinic where they practise surgery and anaesthesia under direct and continuous supervision from veterinarians.  

What brought you to Surrey? 

I first visited the University in my role as a STEM Ambassador for a workshop and I was really impressed by the campus and the facilities. That motivated me to apply for a job here. 

You are the programme leader for our new Postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary General Practice. Could you explain why this course is important? 

Overseas veterinary surgeons who possess a veterinary degree that is not recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) have to pass the RCVS Statutory Membership Examination to work in the UK. We recognised that there was a lack of academic courses providing targeted support for these candidates. Given there is a shortage of veterinarians in the UK and general increased demand for veterinary services, we felt a course designed to help those wanting to work in the UK was very important to help alleviate the workforce crisis.  

Our course is also suitable for those who have undergone short- and long-term career breaks and who then wish to return to general clinical practice as it provides that foundation knowledge required to transition back into the profession.  

What aspects of your own studies had the biggest influence on you? 

I really enjoyed postgraduate study as it helped expand my knowledge and see my discipline from other perspectives. I enjoyed meeting other veterinarians from all over the world and discussing challenging cases. I also valued the opportunity to access evidence-based information from academic journals.  

What do you like doing outside academia? 

I like to spend time with my family and go for walks with my dog. I also enjoy learning languages and travelling.  


Find out more about our PGCert Veterinary General Practice.

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