Kirsty Turrell – Why I Became a Vet

The early years

Being a country girl born and bred in Burwash, I have been surrounded by animals from a young age. Cats, chickens, ducks and ponies were always in the menagerie.

When it came to choosing a career it was an easy choice – I wanted to be a vet. My first experience of real life veterinary medicine was rushing over to watch a cow caesarean, aged fifteen, whilst in the middle of a tennis match! I just always loved everything to do with animals.

My careers teacher at school was less than impressed by my choice of career. “Why does a nice young lady like you want to be a vet? Why don’t you do something cleaner like a doctor?”. This made me even more determined and I embarked on my vet school entry.

Today the requirements for vet school are tough. Horrendously high grades, hours and hours of time in veterinary surgeries and exceptional extra curricular activities.

I have recently done some practice interviews for prospective veterinary surgeons before they go to university and I have been astounded by their achievements. I’m jolly glad I don’t have to apply now as I’m not sure I’d get in!

The above right photograph was taken at Heathfield Show in 1973. I am very proud to now run the veterinary team at the show, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary show next year on 28th May.

Work experience

My teacher’s next door neighbour was a vet and she arranged for me to spend some time with him. That neighbour was in fact Steve Blowey, who I ended up working with for over twenty years after I had qualified.

With reasonable A level grades, a project on “Mad cow disease”  and a heap of work experience on farms, I managed to get a place at the Royal Veterinary College in London. Where I started  in September 1990.

Watch this space…more history and information about all our vets!

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