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Sheila Crispin elected RCVS Junior Vice-President

3 March 2005

Professor Sheila Crispin, an ophthalmology specialist and researcher, has been elected Junior Vice-President of the RCVS. Professor Crispin, who was one of two candidates, will take up her office formally on RCVS Day on 8 July 2005.

After a short period working in mixed practice in Cumbria, Professor Crispin returned to academic life, initially at Cambridge University, then at the University of Edinburgh, where she combined general surgery with veterinary ophthalmology, anaesthesia and intensive care.

Later moving to the University of Bristol, Professor Crispin specialised in the field of comparative ophthalmology, eventually heading up an ophthalmology team. She left full-time academic life at the end of 2004 but has been awarded a visiting chair at Bristol to enable her to continue to contribute to postgraduate education.

Professor Crispin was the University of Bristol's appointed RCVS Council Member from1997 to 2003 and became an elected Member in 2003. She currently sits on the Disciplinary Committee (as Vice-Chairman), the External Affairs Committee, the Fellowship Board and the Animal Welfare Bill Working Party. As a former Chairman of the Specialisation and Further Education Committee, she was also instrumental in developing the new modular approach to RCVS certificates.

In addition to her veterinary activities, Professor Crispin farms a mixed beef cattle and sheep enterprise in Somerset's Mendip Hills. She spends working holidays in Africa and, if she finds spare time amongst her many commitments, enjoys sailing, mountaineering, classical music and watercolour painting.

Commenting on her appointment, Professor Crispin said: "I am delighted to have been elected and welcome the opportunity of contributing to the veterinary profession through the activities of the College and as part of the Officer team.

"With much of my career being spent in academia, education and research are important areas of interest. The introduction of tuition and top-up fees may have an adverse impact on the recruitment and training of veterinary surgeons and the College must be prepared to argue the case for financial support.

"I am more optimistic about the future of postgraduate teaching and training, as there is now a structured framework that will benefit all newly qualified veterinary surgeons. The flexibility of a modular approach to the College's postgraduate qualifications should allow veterinary surgeons to enter into lifelong learning with enthusiasm.

"I believe that the profession will be taken seriously if it speaks with a united voice, setting the agenda. To achieve this we must work with others outside the profession, the general public, the scientific community and those in parliament."

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