Henry L’Eplattenier become ECVS President

July 14, 2016

Southfields’s Clinical Director, Henry L’Eplattenier, has become president of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS).

At last week’s 25th annual meeting of the ECVS in Lisbon, he took over from Ann Martens, professor of equine surgery at the University of Ghent in Belgium. Henry has served on the exam committee for 3 years before joining the board of the college and serving for another 4 years.

He will now continue for one year as president then one year as chair of the board. Henry’s tasks this year will include overseeing the organisation of the certifying exams and of future Annual Meetings. He will also travel to the Annual Meeting of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) in Seattle in October, where he will address American surgeons and continue the tradition of close bonds between European and American specialists in Surgery.

The ECVS has more than 600 members all over Europe, all specialists in veterinary surgery. About 2/3 of members are small animal surgeons (cats and dogs) and the remainder are large animal surgeons, mainly equine surgeons. The UK is the country with the largest number of specialist surgeons in Europe. All members of the College (so-called diplomates) have completed a multi-disciplinary internship (in internal medicine, surgery, oncology, anaesthesia, radiology, etc) before being trained for three years under the supervision of specialists who are members of the College (so-called residency). They have to have an understanding of research and publish scientific articles before finally sitting a very challenging exam. In the UK, the term veterinary specialist is protected and only vets who have completed a similar training can call themselves specialists.

There are veterinary colleges in a whole range of disciplines in both Europe and America. The specialists working at Southfields include oncologists, internal medicine specialists, surgeons, a cardiologist and a neurologist. In addition, VRCC employs a radiologist and an anaesthetist who have completed their specialist training but yet have to sit the board exam. Southfields Specialists also take an active part in training residents to become specialists in oncology and surgery, and several Southfields-trained specialists are currently working in various European countries.