Ayrshire vet and farmer Dr Melissa Donald MRCVS has been elected as the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons junior vice-president for 2021-22, and will take up the post at the College’s AGM in July.

Dr Donald graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 and, after working as a food animal intern at Iowa State University in the United States for a stint, in 1990 joined a two-person traditional mixed-animal veterinary practice on the Ayrshire coast. Over the next 25 years she developed it into a 4.5 person small-animal practice with a focus on dentistry, before moving away from clinical work in 2015.

She was first elected to RCVS Council in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020. Since 2019 she has chaired the Standards Committee where she has led the Review of ‘Under Care’ and Out-of-Hours Emergency Cover and also chairs the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice Subcommittee.

As well as her work with RCVS Dr Donald has also been president of the British Veterinary Association’s Scottish Branch and is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Red Tractor Assured Food Standards Scheme and a Trustee of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

She said: “I’m delighted and humbled to have been voted in as JVP from July. Thank you to my peers on Council and, as with everything I have done in my career, you, the profession, will see me put all my energy and commitment into the role.

“Themes that I'm keen to develop as a member of the RCVS Officer Team will be: communication, as that can always be improved; community, including within the profession, within the workplace and within the society in which you live; and continuing with the ‘blame culture’ theme originally set out in Chris Tufnell's presidency by looking into how we can use veterinary human factors to improve patient safety.”