The Vet Voyage with Dr. Littlewood - Episode 4

Dr. Janet Littlewood MA PhD BVSc DVR DVD MRCVS RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology

Dr. Janet Littlewood (MA PhD BVSc (Hons) DVR DVD MRCVS) is a veterinary dermatology specialist practicing at her independent clinical referral dermatology service in Cambridge, the United Kingdom. In February 2022, Dr. Littlewood will begin a 4-month dermatology locum at Animal Dermatology Clinic – Perth, in Australia.

Join Dr. Littlewood here for her travel blog, as she journeys from the UK to Australia during these interesting times for global travel.

Episode 4: How did I get here?

As I write, I should have been on my way to Perth, but now have an extra 3 weeks to go. Gives me time to sort out the last things on my “to do” list that I didn’t get around to – particularly sorting out my office! My housemate will thank me for leaving a clear desk in my absence – if I manage to clear the decks before I go! The enforced hiatus has given the opportunity to reflect on how I came to be in the place I am now.

IMG_2575I have loved my career as a boarded dermatologist, but it certainly wasn’t on my life plan as a new graduate! I was horse-mad as a teenager and young adult, and although I had always (from age 8!) wanted to be a vet, I never had dermatology on the wish list. But it’s strange how doors of opportunity open and I am so thankful this one opened for me! My interest in dermatology was whetted when I was a new graduate intern at University of Pennsylvania, exposed to the amazing dermatology group there, and subsequently nurtured by working under the mentorship of Michael Herrtage at the University of Cambridge. Dermatology was part of my responsibilities as a resident at Cambridge, and although the main focus was internal medicine, and my PhD studies were in haematology, the next job opportunity was dermatology, reviving the service at the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket. I passed the RCVS exams and became a Diplomate in Veterinary Dermatology, re-established my passion for equine veterinary medicine in an area that had few experts in the UK, Europe, and even worldwide – and enabled me to join the amazing fellowship of veterinary dermatologists around the globe.

I have loved my professional life as a boarded dermatologist – it has suited me well! It must be around 3 decades ago that I first met Dr. Mandy Burrows at a nutrition company meeting in Florida, and a long-distant friendship developed with opportunities to refresh and deepen that friendship over the years since then. I am so excited at the prospect of working with Mandy and her colleagues over the next few months! Counting the days until 23 January!