Guest lecturer to Harper Adams, Dr Mandisa Greene, today begins her new role as the president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). As the first black president, she is aiming to be someone “to see and to be” for young people from all racial backgrounds.
”First of all, I would like to say I am absolutely honoured and delighted to have been elected and selected by my peers for this job,” Dr Greene began. “I think being the first of anything, there is always a bit of excitement and a little bit of trepidation. The first woman president of the RCVS must have felt a lot like I do now – it is a huge honour and you know it is something that is different for the organisation.”
Advocating for diversity and to amplify a range of voices within the industry, Dr Greene hopes to inspire young people to become part of the veterinary world. She commented: “What I would like to do is to be what I had when I was growing up. As a child in Trinidad, there were black vets and medics all around me. I grew up in a multi-ethnic society, which meant I could see these role models and, as a result of that, I could see no barriers to me following the same career path in my life. There seemed no barrier to me being a vet as I saw people who looked like me who did it – people need to be able to see it to be it.”
Dr Greene’s other ambition is to highlight the role of the general practitioner. She explained: “We want to encourage new graduates out of vet school to consider a career as a GP, as opposed to it being a means to something else. We also want to highlight the range of careers you can have with a veterinary degree.
“It is important we have a crop of home-grown vets coming through as we have relied quite heavily on EU vets, so it is important we have a space for everyone to be able to exist and work.”
Alongside her presidency, Dr Greene works as a locum, experienced in small animal and emergency practice. Having been part of the council since 2014, she is a member of the primary qualifications subcommittee and the legislation working party and also chairs the practice standards group, coordinating the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme.
With all of her other work, Dr Greene acknowledged: “It is going to be a lot of work, but I am looking forward to it – it is a great honour.”
With credit to Vet Times for the original interview.