José Miguel de Campos, DVM PHD got his Master’s Degree at Vasco da Gama University School (EUVG) in Coimbra, the oldest and most important academic city in Portugal. He made postgraduate studies in areas of soft tissue surgery, orthopaedics, intensive therapy and anaesthesia. He also accomplished a lot of externships at European Universities and private practices in several countries. He got his PhD in Veterinary Sciences at University of Porto, in the area of biomaterials and cell therapies for bone regeneration. His research on the use of dental pulp stem cells to bone regeneration in dogs served to develop new therapy, which he is using in his private clinic, Veterinary Surgical Center Assafarge. He has been also the teacher of theoretical and practical anatomy at EUVG since 2014. He is the member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Portuguese Association of Expert Veterinary Surgeons in Company Animals and British Small Animal Veterinary Association. In an interview with Vet Trends, he shares his insights into the work of a veterinarian in Portugal, his thoughts on the future of veterinary orthopaedics and the need of sharing the clinical knowledge.
You travel a lot and have the opportunity to see how work in veterinary medicine looks like in other countries. Which countries did you visit in means of work or accomplishing professional training?
After finishing my master’s degree, I had a chance to take a closer look at work in the veterinary profession in a few countries, among others Spain, Italy, Holland, UK and recently Poland. This allowed me to realize that there are different ways of working and that the quality of life of other societies influences our way of working. In my opinion, this does not mean that in some countries people are smarter or more capable people than in others. Actually, it seems to me that vets, wherever they are, can be limited depending on the level of quality of life in a society. In each country I found incredible colleagues with whom I learned so much in such a short time. Practicing with vets from other cultures is one of my favorite things.
Have you noticed any particular distinctions between these countries? What in your opinion differs them from Portugal in means of work in the veterinary field?
In my opinion, there are a few countries that are more developed in the field of veterinary medicine comparing to Portugal. They have a higher capability of treating animals and higher quality of medical care, which is of course strictly connected to more money spent on veterinary services. This can be particularly seen in the UK and Germany. The minimum salary and quality of life are higher in these countries and people have the ability to pay more for pet health and welfare. In the UK and Germany the veterinary insurance also function, conditioning the amount of money owners can spend. This is something that does not exist in Portugal. Some clinics are trying to introduce private insurances, but they only lower the price of the services in their practices.
Do you notice any other substantial problem for veterinary medicine in Portugal?
During my training in the UK, I realized that they are much more organized. Veterinary doctors and nurses have more qualifications, they know their tasks and cooperate during every day work. Commonly, more nurses less doctors. They also have CPD (Continuing Professional Development), an educational platform tailor-made to help all veterinary professionals evaluate their knowledge and complete their mandatory CPD requirements. In Portugal, we have too many vets and not enough nurses, which makes this kind...
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