The head of medical services at one of the UK’s leading small animal hospitals has shown his commitment to training specialists of the future by gaining a post-graduate certificate in medical education.
RCVS and European specialist in small animal oncology Aaron Harper, from Linnaeus-owned Wear Referrals in County Durham, has successfully completed a year-long University of Dundee course for healthcare professionals.
He said the knowledge gained would help ensure the current and future residents and interns at Wear will receive the very best in education and training.
Aaron, who is also head of oncology at Wear, explained: “We are training the next generation of specialists, so I wanted to improve my teaching skills by studying for the certificate.
“I wanted to make sure our resident vets and interns get the best training possible because, by maximising their education, we are improving the care of pets in the future.
“The certificate involved a series of modules concentrating on the basic theories of education and assessment.
“One of the modules specifically looked at education in the field of oncology, which is obviously my area of interest.
“There was a lot of course work through the year, 600 hours in all, but fortunately it was all distance-learning online.”
Aaron said an added challenge was that the certificate is primarily for healthcare professionals treating humans, not animals, with the vast majority on the course either doctors or dentists.
He added: “I was the only vet on the course, which meant I did not always share some of the common ground for the other participants.
“However, a lot of the central themes which are important in oncology, such as good communication with patients, or in our case clients, are the same, which made it easier.
“Naturally I’m very pleased to have gained my post-graduate certificate and I’m very grateful to everyone at Wear. I could not have done it without all their support.”
Aaron’s latest success comes hot on the heels of his promotion earlier this year, when he took on the key role of head of medical services.
Since then, Wear has also added to its state-of-the-art facilities with the installation of a top-of-the-range Clinivet electrochemotherapy machine, making it the only veterinary referral centre in the north-east of England to offer this pioneering treatment for cancer patients.
Wear specialises in providing expert multidisciplinary care, including anaesthesia, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, intensive care, internal medicine, neurology, OOH emergency and critical care, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue.