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About me

I am a veterinary student in my third year

at the Royal Veterinary College. I grew

up mostly in South East London spending

every moment I could further south east

in Kent, working on farms and stable

yards. Having escaped living in London

to enjoy the fresh air of Hertfordshire with

the husband, dogs, cats, small furries,

reptiles, horses and my own small herd

of dairy goats.

AYear in...

It is very odd feeling when the tutee becomes the tutor and the arrival

of a new intern, means that I am officially old hat. Saying that, it's

amazing how much I have learnt over the last year, how much my

confidence has grown and how many cases are safely tucked away in

the experience bank.


Emily Francis,


Torch Farm Vets

I graduated from the University of

Edinburgh in Summer 2015 and started

my farm vet internship programme at Torch

Farm Vets the following October. I am part

of a large team of 17 dedicated farm

vets, four TB testers and a whole host of

invaluable support staff based over five

sites covering North Devon.

My interest in pro uction a imal medicine

was well cemented before starting

university and I have not once looked

back on my decision to go straight into

purely farm animal practice. Even on rainy

days, which are a very common

occurrence in Devon, I can’t imagine

doing anything else.

I took part in the XLVets farm graduate

programme in late 2015 and it’s really

helped me get off the ground with clinical

decision making by refreshing my

knowledge and asking all those stupid

new graduate questions! I met a great

bunch of people and it’s a great way to

reach out to the wider XLVets community.

I have a particular interest in calf health,

youngstock management and the

prevention of perinatal lamb losses, I

hope to learn a huge amount more in

these areas in the following months.

Outside of work I have just joined a local

cricket club to continue my keen interest in

playing and coaching when I am not out

walking my new Springer Spaniel ‘Ted’.

I can now happily join in exchanges with

other vets about the less than ideal scenarios

that farm vets encounter far too regularly. But

a vet reunion wouldn’t be the same without

them I guess, even if it wasn't funny at the

time! I had my first solo caesarian on a

heifer in July that went very much more to

plan than expected and the expression of

relief on my face was very obvious standing

with the cow licking her live calf in front of

me. The tips learnt on the new graduate

course have definitely improved my success

rate! However I know that I still have a long

way to go; and the phrase ‘you learn

something new every day’ will always be

true in this profession. Today’s happens to

have been how to worm pet geese!

During the last few months I have had more

opportunities to get out on routine herd

health visits at a few of our dairies. Initially

I found pregnancy scanning to be a

challenging task. However, with perseverance,

some words of advice and more experience,

I'm now more accomplished... and looking

forward to my solo routine visit.

With this new-found confidence I am now

not only finding pregnancies but starting to

age them and make plans for individual

cows depending on their reproductive status.

Helping farmers get their cows cycling and

back into calf as quickly as possible is

essential with the dairy industry as it is

and I know that all the vets at Torch are

dedicated to helping our clients in whatever

way we can.