My Melbourne with Dr Leonie Richards

July 12 / 91

What is your unit?

I work for the Faculty of Veterinary Science in the University's Veterinary Hospital at
the Werribee campus. I am in the general practice, which is a normal working
veterinary hospital for the general public and their pets.

What is your job title?

Section head and senior registrar.

How long have you been at Melbourne Uni?

I have been in this role since August 2003.

How did you come to work at Melbourne Uni?

Up until 2003, I had been in my own private practice. The University's Veterinary
Hospital has a wonderful Practitioner in Residence program - a bursary for a
veterinarian-in-practice to spend several months as a mentor for final-year students.
I was lucky enough to do this in 2000 and when the position was made for a general
practitioner in 2003, I leapt at the chance.

Describe a typical day.

I start by checking emails and in patients before I see clients. Students are rostered
onto my section for a week in groups of six starting from January to mid October (no
time free of teaching!). For each client, we discuss the case and then the students
are sent in to see the client, get a history and start the exam. They come back and
report to me before we go in together. Next, I review what the students have written
about each case and review the morning's cases. Afternoons are spent doing small
group tutorials, marking student projects, making up staff rosters, attending endless
meetings. I used to get up before work to swim, but have become lazy this winter!

What is it about your job that holds your interest/is satisfying?

I am so lucky working here. Best of both worlds! Due to the equipment and many
experts on hand, we can really work up our cases to a high level. I have lovely
down-to-earth clients, and, best of all, students who are challenging and stimulating
every day. I love contributing to their education and giving back what has been a
great career path for me.

What is the best advice you have received?

I've received many pieces of advice, but what stands out was the advice from my mum - make sure you take time out to sniff the daisies.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn't know?

We are a pretty open lot down here! My latest excitement was rowing in the 1996
Oarsome Foursome boat and meeting Mike McKay on the weekend.

Where do you buy your coffee?

That's a funny one as we are in Werribee - a great opening for someone with a
coffee van though!

What do you like most about the University?

The intellectual enrichment, the efforts to provide the best education, wonderful
students and great colleagues.

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