BVSc MMedVet(Med) CertVD GPCert (EM&S) MRCV
Animals of all kinds have always been very close to my heart, although truthfully I prefer to be a healthy distance from snakes. Growing up in South Africa, my childhood ambition was to become a game ranger, and live a carefree life in the wild open veldt. At the age of 11, however, after realising that snakes and game rangers meet quite often, my new goal was to become a veterinarian to help sick dogs and cats get better. This amused my parents greatly as I reliably fainted at the sight of blood. Certain that my squeamish nature would force me into an arguably less bloody career (like Law), my Mom arranged for me to spend a day at our local veterinary practice when I turned 13. The rest, as they say, is history – I spent every afternoon after school and most school holidays at Dr. Frost’s Veterinary Hospital seeing practice, and working there as a receptionist/dogsbody every weekend.
After qualifying from Onderstepoort Veterinary Faculty in Pretoria in 1980, and completing National Service, I worked with a specialist surgeon for 10 years. As he wasn’t keen on medicine and I wasn’t keen on surgery, we worked well together. My interest in internal medicine led to me studying further, taking up a lecturing position at the Medical University of South Africa, and becoming a Veterinary Specialist Physician in 1993.
Our family emigrated to the UK in 1994,and I joined Newnham Court Veterinary Group in March of that year, becoming a Partner in 1996. As many skin cases have an internal medicine component, the study of skin disease (Dermatology) was a natural step to take, and I obtained a Royal College post-graduate Certificate in Dermatology in 2002.
Acupuncture fascinates me, and I’ve been treating dogs and cats (and occasionally myself, family members and friends) with needles since 1982.
Outside of work, spending time at home with my wife Judy, our children, two dogs, 3 rescue budgie and a rescue parrotlet keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Judy and I have recently taken up birdwatching again and spend many glorious hours in the damp and cold. My other interests include Ancient Greek and Latin, resulting in Open University Degree in Classics in 2011.
Along with my wife and the two of our four children still living at home, I am a vegan for ethical reasons; consequently I have a keen interest in studying and promoting Animal Rights.
Martin Smith, BVM&S MRCVS GPCert(B&PS)
I was born in Weymouth, Dorset and my family moved to Warrington in the north-west when I was six. I went to grammar school in Manchester and was set to become a marine biologist, being mad keen on all things fishy. However, the James Herriot books and seeing practice at the local vets changed all that and I qualified from the Royal “Dick” in Edinburgh in 1983.
I spent the first ten years of my career in small animal and equine practice, successively at Bath, Hastings and Canterbury. I started in the small animal side at Newnham Court in 1993 and became a partner in 1996. During that time I have seen the small animal department grow from three vets when I started to the current total of fifteen.
I have always had a keen interest in surgery and my particular areas could broadly be described as ears, bones and bums! I have been responsible for the orthopaedic caseload at Newnham Court for more than twenty-five years. During this time we have seen a vast numbers of cases in a wide range of species. In addition to cats and dogs, other animals we have treated include lions, tigers, goats, rabbits, owls and even a swan! I am able offer a wide range of orthopaedic surgeries including total hip replacement, advanced treatments for cruciate ligament disease (tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO) and tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA)), arthoscopy and a full range of fracture fixation, including locking plate technology.
I have an interest in practice management and was awarded the General Practitioners Certificate in Business and Professional Studies in 2006. I am a keen supporter of the process of practice accreditation and I am very proud that here at Newnham Court we have held Small Animal Hospital status since 1997.
I am the current president of the British Veterinary Hospitals Association. I am also a member of the Practice Standards Group, the committee at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons that lays down the criteria for the Practice Standards Scheme.
I live in Maidstone with my wife and our gorgeous and very spoilt and naughty terriers, Ruby and Poppy. While away from work I enjoy playing, collecting and building guitars and fishing; both fly-fishing for salmon and trout and sea-fishing from boats out of Brighton and Weymouth.
BSc (Hons) BVMS MRCVS
I was born and brought up in west London. My birth was within the sound of Bow Bells so technically I am a London Cockney. I went to school in Palace Street in Victoria, not far from Buckingham Palace, although never did get an invitation to tea. From a very early age I was fascinated by animals, and by 11 had decided that I wanted to be a vet. This kept me motivated for my O and A levels. I also spent my Saturdays seeing practice at a nearby veterinary surgery. I was fortunate enough to get a place at Glasgow University, and left there as a qualified vet in 1989. During the veterinary course I undertook a second degree, gaining a 1st class Honours degree in Physiology.
Since 1994 I have been at Newnham Court. I enjoy all aspects of being a vet, and have particular interests in ultrasonography, endoscopy and keyhole surgery and soft tissue surgery. I have done many training courses in these areas over the years which have all helped me extend my knowledge. You never stop learning. I’m very proud to be part of the team at Newnham Court, which enshrines one of my principles of always being prepared to go the extra mile to achieve the highest possible standard of care.
Outside of work I have three children to keep me busy and entertained. I’ve always been particularly fond of greyhounds, and have owned several over the years. I currently have a lurcher called Basil.
In my spare time I particularly enjoy cycling, and in the summer months try my hand at some time-trialling which is a good challenge. I like getting out in the open air and going on long walks and kayaking.
BVSc CertSAM MRCVS
Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Medicine
I was born in Kent to an English mother and Maltese father, hence the unusual surname Camilleri which is as common as ‘Smith’ in Malta! Apart from residing in Kuwait when very young and in Bristol during my university days I have always lived in Kent.
I have wanted to be a vet since my early teens. There were no vets in my family to inspire this decision – a love of animals and the challenge of a varied and interesting career were my motivators. After qualifying in1997 I took a locum position as an equine vet at Newnham Court after ‘seeing practice’ as a veterinary student here for some years. That appointment quickly became a permanent position. After three years I switched to become a small animal practitioner at Newnham Court and I have been a small animal vet ever since.
In my early years I had aspirations to travel the world with my work. The furthest I reached was just north of the Dartford Tunnel! I was in sole charge of a small animal practice there for nearly a year and then moved to a practice in Ashford prior to rejoining the team at Newnham Court in 2011. During my time in Ashford I gained further qualifications studying for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Certificate in Small Animal Medicine. Juggling work with study was not easy but well worth the effort – advancing my knowledge in my area of special interest has been of great benefit to me and my patients. I also did it at the right time – with two young children in the household I now know how hard it would have been combining study with family life (even with a very understanding veterinary nurse as my wife!). As well as internal medicine my other areas of interest are diagnostic imaging and soft tissue surgery.
In 2015 I was awarded ‘advanced practitioner status’ in internal medicine. This is a ‘middle tier’ accreditation between the original veterinary degree (equivalent of general practitioner (G.P.)) and RCVS Specialist status ( equivalent of consultant in human medicine).
I have been lucky enough to have always worked in good veterinary practices but returning to Newnham Court has definitely felt like coming home and now, as a director, I am here to stay. I know I am working not only in a hospital standard practice with outstanding facilities but also in a practice where everyone else shares the same values as I do – doing what is best for your pet, and you. That is very important to me. That is why I am here.
Outside of work I enjoy the peace and solitude of fly fishing. I also enjoy photography, horse racing and cooking. I am a qualified scuba diver, although I only dive occasionally on holiday nowadays (the clarity of the waters off Malta are ideal).