Britain has its first formally recognised veterinary specialist in the emerging field of equine sports medicine.
Dr Kate Allen, senior lecturer in equine sports medicine in the School of Veterinary Sciences, has been included in the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons 2014 Recognised Specialist list.
Allen is the first in Britain to have achieved specialist status in equine sports medicine. She is also the only equine veterinary surgeon in Britain with the qualification of Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.
To be included on the RCVS’s List of Recognised Specialists, an individual must have achieved a postgraduate qualification at least at Diploma level, and must satisfy the RCVS that they make an active contribution to their specialty, have national and international acclaim and publish widely in their field.
Recognised Specialist status is time-bound, and the individual must reapply for recognition every five years (or earlier in certain cases) to maintain their name on the List.
The objectives of the list include the promotion of specialisation within the veterinary profession; the identification, for the public and the profession, of vets who have specialised knowledge and skills; and recognition of specialised competence in key areas.
Dr Allen runs the equine sports medicine centre at Langford, one of the leading centres of its kind in Britain. It has a long tradition of cutting-edge clinical research, and is equipped to undertake high-speed treadmill assessments, overground endoscopy (which enables assessment of a horse’s laryngeal function while the horse is being exercised in its normal environment), assessment of the lower respiratory tract, ECG, echocardiography and gastroscopy.
Her current research focus is assessing the respiratory musculature of the horse.
Professor Joanna Price, Head of the School of Veterinary Sciences, said Allen’s recognition was a remarkable achievement. “She is a rising star in this discipline and her pioneering work on equine upper airway disorders and poor performance in racehorses is really helping to raise Bristol’s profile in this area.”