On Tuesday 21 September 2021, The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) formally welcomed seven overseas-educated veterinary surgeons to the RCVS Register at the Statutory Membership Examination (SME) Ceremony.
Passing the exam is a requirement for anyone who has qualified outside of the UK with a veterinary degree that the RCVS does not recognise, in order for them to join the Register and practise in the UK. For their exam, the new RCVS members had to complete a series of written exams over five days and then travel to Glasgow to take their Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs).
During the virtual ceremony, the RCVS welcomed Aisha Abdelmawla who qualified in Egypt, Guido Bertoldi who qualified in Argentina, Larissa Campos Aquino who qualified in Brazil, Maks Carey who qualified in Russia, Bridgette Gambanga who qualified in Zimbabwe, Constance Nicholl who qualified in Grenada and Sade Swanston who qualified in Trinidad. Two additional veterinary professionals, Sophie Ployon and Elliot Kirwan, had also recently passed the SME but were unable to attend the ceremony. Attendees were welcomed by RCVS Chief Executive, Lizzie Lockett who congratulated them on passing their examinations under such challenging circumstances. She introduced the new RCVS members and gave an overview of each person’s veterinary experience and areas of expertise.
Lizzie commented, “Passing the SME is an incredible achievement at any time, but during the ceremony, we wanted to acknowledge the obstacles that the new RCVS members had overcome to pass their exam.”
During the ceremony she said: “I would like to start by saying, the past 18 months have been extremely difficult for all of us and has affected and disrupted everybody’s lives in all manner of ways. I am in total admiration of our successful candidates here today who studied for, took and passed their exams in the face of those extraordinary pressures.”
Kate Richards, RCVS President, talked the new members through their professional declaration before welcoming them into the profession. She then gave an overview of what RCVS resources the new members can use to help them during their career including the Mind Matters Initiative, established to support the mental health of the professions and tools such as the 1CPD app that the RCVS has created to help with their continuing professional development (CPD).
During the ceremony, Kate said: “The theme for my presidential year is making connections that count, by that I mean connections that are meaningful and mutually beneficial with others in the profession and more widely. You will have made connections with friends and colleagues throughout your lives and I encourage you to build on these as you start this next phase of your career in the UK.
“This is a proud moment for everyone who has helped you reach this point – family, friends, mentors, colleagues and teachers. Becoming a veterinary surgeon is not an easy career option – you have worked hard for your degree and to pass the Statutory Exam! Please, be kind to yourself and others, especially as you find your feet. When you’re having a tough day turn to your personal and professional connections for support.”
More information about the Statutory Membership Exam can be found on the RCVS website at https://www.rcvs.org.uk/registration/applications-veterinary-surgeons/statutory-membership-exam/