Mel Lean’s journey to becoming a vet

Mel Lean first arrived at Rossdales in 2002 while working for the British Veterinary Association (BVA). Her task at that time was to interview Rossdales surgeon Tim Greet as President-elect of BVA and she couldn’t have imagined back then the journey that would follow over the next 15 years.

Mel, who is from North Wales, spent several years working at Rossdales during the summer breaks from her undergraduate degree before taking up the full-time role of Nursing Administrator in 2007. In 2009 she left us to commence an MSc in Equine Science at Aberystwyth, which she undertook over 2 years, with 3 months spent at the Gluck Equine Research Center in Kentucky. During her time in the USA Mel’s mentors encouraged her to study for a career in veterinary medicine. After returning to the UK and completion of her MSc, she decided to pursue this career path and in 2011 she commenced her veterinary studies at Budapest Veterinary School.

Over the course of the next 6 years, Mel has returned to Rossdales several times to undertake extramural studies, spending periods of time at the hospital, diagnostic centre and in the laboratory. She credits partner Alastair Foote and former clinical researcher Claire Wylie with helping her with her DVM thesis, which is entitled “Association between cytological findings and bacterial isolates from tracheal wash samples in horses of different ages in Great Britain.” RVC vet Natasha Jocelyn collaborated on an adaptation of Mel’s thesis that was presented at this year’s BEVA Congress.

Mel is now in the final clinical semester of her veterinary studies and has spent the past 8 weeks at Rossdales, during which time she has rotated throughout all the different departments of the practice. After leaving us, she will complete a state veterinary placement through APHA in Caernarvon, followed by a month in farm practice in her hometown in North Wales before returning to Budapest for her graduation ceremony early next year, when she will be officially qualified as a vet.

Mel, who is keen to pursue a career in equine practice, said: “I am both delighted and excited to be entering the veterinary profession and would like to thank everyone at Rossdales, past and present, who have supported me on this journey – and in particular, Tim Greet and Richard Payne for their continued support and mentorship.” We wish her every success in her veterinary career.