I've been asked to add a new team photo, but rather than go to any effort, I've lazily used one that was taken at this years Christmas "works do".
(I might sound like an opinionated and bitter old man, but even Scrooge could be generous occasionally.)
The masks are not to reinforce the stereotype that Veterinary practice is highway robbery, they're merely there for data protection purposes, to protect us against identity theft.
Either that, or it was a Masked ball themed party- my memory is a little hazy...
Guy Smith B.Vet.Med., MRCVS (Principal)
(That's me at the back left, "towering" over the group.)
I've now started my 5th Decade on this planet, and it's quite a while since anyone said I look too young to be a vet. I've now got over 24 years experience "In
practice"- I'm not sure how much practice you need to make perfect, but it's quite possible that I may have already reached the peak of my powers.
That peak was not quite as high as I'd envisaged when I set up on my own 17 years ago, but as you'll note from the lack of sarcastic comments, and any traces of bitterness in my writing, I'm content with my place in the grand scheme of things.
I'm following the career that I've chosen, and I'm happy with my role as a general practitioner, in our small, family run practice. It's a pleasant working environment, with friendly staff, a lot of regular clients, and for the most part, appreciative patients.
If I could change anything about my role, it would be to spend less time "on call". However, in a caring profession, you can't just abandon your patients at the end of the day (Doctors take note), and whilst I can continue to find vets who'll "do their duty", we'll keep providing our own emergency cover.
(Actually, it seems now that most Tamworth vets can, and do, abandon their patients at the end of the day. I'm not going to risk looking silly by making a big thing about offering our "own local out of hours service", only to renege and start sending them to Solihull. BUT, If I do ever give up out of hours work, I will try to ensure a more local arrangement.)
If the staff page is looking a bit thin, it's probably to do with our "out of hours" arrangements (or my personality- and my personality is probably only like that because of our "out of hours" arrangements). Modern day vets don't seem to have the sense of vocation (obligation?) as their 20th century predecessors. It would seem to be a waste of time and money to advertise a small animal job vacancy in the Midlands that includes "out of hours" work- but if you happen to know anyone who might ease our load, then please encourage them to get in touch.
Dr Alistair Wilson, BVMS, MRCVS, Cert AVP (The younger vet)
Due to superstition (they always seem to leave), I'm reluctant to update the staff profiles on this website, but here goes...
Dr Alistair and family seem to be settled in Tamworth, and with his daughter enrolled at a local school, it should be quite difficult now for him to get away. He's endured an unflattering biography for 4 years, and whilst it would come more naturally to me to damn him with faint praise, I thought it was time to be kind.
Alistair's profile, mirrors that of the practice. We'd previously been a bloated, rather inefficient veterinary body, who'd huffed and puffed its way through the working week. Now we're a streamlined and superfit set up who happily come in to work with boundless enthusiasm, at any time of the day or night.
What Alistair lacks in experience (with a mere 14 years) he makes up for in qualifications. Whilst “Certificate holder” previously denoted only those with academic insecurities, and too much spare time, the prestigious Cert AVP qualification, is available to anyone whose employer was generous enough to enrol them on it (praise here is due to West Midland Veterinary Group Ltd- I only got stung for the last couple of years, and the exams).
Away from work, Alistair is a keen runner, philosopher and mental health champion- last year he successfully combined some of these interests to raise plenty of money for charity. The undisputed highlight being his effortless completion of the London Marathon.
His sympathetic approach to mental health issues seems to attract many of our more delicate or delusional clients towards him (for which I'm grateful ). He's also much more open-minded than me to some of the modern madnesses which pollute veterinary practice today.
Dr It Could be you? MRCVS
If you're a Veterinary Surgeon who would like to work in our "boutique" small animal practice and doesn't mind putting in the hours, then you might ease our workload, and help us deliver our much-appreciated service to an increasing number of clients.
Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs)
Gemma, Kelly(-Marie), Jennie and Emma are home grown Registered Veterinary Nurses. Whilst we've struggled to retain vets, our nurses have been very loyal. They provide a high standard of care for our in-patients, and run the increasingly popular nurses clinics.
Louisa Smith B.A.(Hons)
With her Politics degree, Louisa will be familiar with the term "Just about managing".
Hope that "Hons" bit hasn't got anything to do with homeopathy
We've lost some older receptionists since I last updated, but Fred still soldiers on despite his cancer scare.
He doesn't really like us to mention it, but he had a malignant splenic haemangiosarcoma removed in October 2014, and the "so-called" experts said he may only have weeks to live!
(this is another one that I don't like to update, but as of 18th July 2020 it's still factually correct. He's got a few more grey hairs now- much like his owner, but instead of diminishing his beauty, they just give him a more distinguished look)
Our newest member of staff is a legacy from a sadly departed client. I'm not looking to collect any more pets, but I'd always admired Jake's cheery temperament (not apparent in the photo- but then he's not that keen on being picked up, and I think he'd have preferred to play Elf to Fred's Santa), and was happy to oblige his owner's last request. We'll do our best for him, and I hope we'll be able to look after him nearly as well as his original Mum did!
Hannah Smith has been promoted to a salaried role during the school holidays. She's currently assisting the RVNs and helping on reception until she starts her A-levels in September.
Only another 7 years now until she might qualify.... No pressure!
(She could be the answer to my recruitment crisis, although I'll probably have to put up with her as a wet behind the ears new graduate telling me how I've
actually been doing everything wrong for the last 30 years, and there's a much better way of doing it that she learned from someone at college, who's actually never done it either, and was taught by
someone else who's never even worked in general practice.)
At Home Veterinary Service Ltd
St.Mary's Veterinary Surgery
5 St.Mary's Way
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