Similar to the human healthcare sector, the pet industry is also moving towards a patient-centric model of care. This evolution is giving rise to new roles and skills, as well as greater focus upon continuing education.
Similar to the move towards treatment in ambulatory and specialist centres in the human health and medical care field, the pet healthcare industry in Singapore is shifting towards the patient-centric design of treatment. Further, a recent Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) and Singapore Veterinary Association (SVA) survey found that vet paraprofessionals, such as vet technicians and nurses, want better development opportunities and the particular promotion of lifelong learning.
And this is why, at the opening of a new facility by Veterinary Emergency & Specialty (VES) Hospital Singapore within Whitley, a first-in-Singapore role for the dog healthcare plus veterinary industries was announced – the Veterinary Relations Representative. This is a veterinarian who will focus on building partnerships with the veterinarian community to provide a smooth patient care experience for pet owners.
In addition, as of 2020, VES and Mars Veterinary Health (MVH) have committed in order to a strategic partnership focused on enhancing the development of the particular veterinary profession in Asia.
In HRO’s brand-new section, Inside Job, we sneak a peek into some of the most unique roles and skills that are being developed across Asia. In the spirit associated with lifelong studying, we firmly believe every job is interesting and we all have the opportunity to pick up a thing or two from how things are done differently across sectors. So we hope you’ll enjoy this new segment!
For this debut feature, HRO’s Bridgette Hall and Aditi Sharma Kalra speak to Dr Sebastien Monier, Founder and Medical Director, at specialty plus emergency hospital for pets, VES Hospital Singapore , on how the particular sector will be evolving and new roles are emerging as a result.
Dr Sebastien relocated to Singapore in 2014, bringing over his expertise in cardiorespiratory medicine, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, plus critical treatment. This includes the management of cardiac patients, renal diseases (chronic and acute kidney injury), hepatic and pancreatic conditions, as well because sepsis.
Outside of work, he enjoys travelling, scuba diving, cooking, and spending time with his family and friends. He has two cats, Dao and Matsu who both were rescued here in Singapore.
Let’s dive straight into this Inside Work on upskilling in the particular pet healthcare and veterinary sector within Singapore.
Q What drew you to the veterinary industry?
I was raised in the family with dogs and cats plus have always been interested in medical science since young. This led me to naturally become a veterinarian. Even my parents often remind me that it has been my goal since I was four or five years old!
While within veterinary school, I became very interested in the particular diagnostic challenges that veterinarians faced and that led me to develop my interest in Internal Medicine. Diagnosis is a journey that involves a lot of investigations. Being an internist is like being the detective, where we have to search for clues to help us reach a final diagnosis for that animals under our care. Think about the American healthcare drama ‘House, M. D. ’, just that in my case, pets are involved instead.
After completing my Doctor associated with Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in France, I moved to Canada to further the studies in the University of Montreal. I began with a small animal rotating internship before relocating to a specialised internship within Internal Medication & Cardiology. This gave me the foundation to pursue my postgraduate studies in these fields. I discovered more about Cardiology which has turn out to be one of my main interests and a large part associated with my caseload at VES.
After many years in Canada, We decided to move to the United Kingdom, specifically London where I actually practised in a large emergency hospital. Personal reasons directed me in order to Singapore within 2014.
Right after two years in Singapore and with our previous experience and exposure, I rapidly noticed the particular lack of a multidisciplinary and 24/7 emergency medical center that includes different specialist-led departments. There was not only a demand from the veterinary local community or the owners to have access to specialist care but clearly a need to improve the medical standards overall.
My co-founder (Dr Laurent Fillon) and I joined forces to function on this project. After 18 months, all of us opened VES Hospital from our original location in Rochdale. We grew from a team associated with 15 in order to more than 100 associates, and recently moved into the much larger facility with Whitley, ready to diversify our own services plus face an on-going demand.
We are usually currently the largest veterinary hospital in Singapore in terms of floor space as well as specialists, referral clinicians, crisis vets and paraprofessionals.
Q What does your everyday look like?
As the particular founder of VES, I believe I am in the position to inspire my colleagues. We continue to think about VES’ ongoing development, sharing ideas and future projects with our partner, Roter planet (umgangssprachlich) Veterinary Wellness, to continue our expansion and growth.
As the healthcare director associated with VES, the role is usually to maintain and improve the standard of care within our hospital, coordinating with the particular different sections and promoting excellence plus innovation. However, 90% associated with my time remains clinical as part of the Inner Medicine department, while running the Cardiology service on the same time. My day usually starts early with morning rounds, transfer of individuals then consultations and procedures.
Q You’re leading the pathway to a first-in-Singapore/first-in-VES part for your family pet healthcare and veterinary industries – Vet Relations Representative – what does it entail and what do you hope to achieve from this function?
The referral medical center scene within Singapore is definitely relatively brand new. In more developed markets such as the United States plus Australia, an animal referral hospital has already been the norm with regard to decades. In contrast, the idea of a specialist referral medical center has only started out within the last five to ten years.
The particular Veterinary Relationship Representative’s (VRR) role is to help create Singapore’s recommendation hospital scene. Through clinic and vet outreach, the representative will inform both clients and general practitioner vets on the referral process, enhance clarity upon services, while getting feedback to improve the process.
The VRR focuses on building collaborative relationships with the veterinarian community in order to provide the smooth patient care encounter with better patient outcomes for pet owners. This role will also support the referring veterinarian community through training such as events and workshops.
Queen Other initiatives you’ve led include programmes to upskill experts such since vet healthcare professionals and professionals and also aspiring vet students. Talk to us about the difficulties and impact of implementing these programmes.
These programmes will certainly help in order to transform Singapore’s veterinary occupation, by making sure that there is a career path for each individual in the veterinary industry, whether one can be a vet, a technician or a patient care assistant.
We are nurturing the expertise of the particular pet health care sector via continuous education and lifelong learning; and also ensuring there is support of students and others who share the exact same aspiration as us to see a stronger vet profession here in Singapore.
In terms of effect, what we all want to achieve is to elevate the patient treatment standards associated with the veterinary industry plus build the better world for domestic pets in Singapore. This is something that happens over period, and not overnight. We believe that simply by supporting and nurturing specialists and college students alike, we will definitely get there.
Q What advice do you have for people aspiring in order to work within the veterinary business?
Working in the vet industry is certainly both gratifying and very demanding. For most of us, it is a vocation so it is important to know what in order to expect. I always recommend people who want to be part of the veterinary market to spend some time within a veterinary practice to observe the day in order to day life of a veterinarian. This gives a better perspective associated with what we do plus aim for.
With regard to an individual who wants to be part of this particular industry, empathy is crucial because you deal with pets and their human being parents.
Be willing to step away of your comfort zones, be emotionally adaptable and resilient. Learning how to work collectively plus collaboratively is essential, especially in a multidisciplinary structure like VES Medical center.
And be prepared for a fast-paced environment, you never understand what your day will be like!
Q What will be the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing a patient recover and enjoying a much better quality of existence, of course! It is always rewarding when we are able to make the difference to a patient’s lifestyle and its family. That is the reason why we function so hard on a daily basis. It validates all the years of intense studies and the incredible motivation and resilience that will characterises being a veterinarian.
As VES’ medical director and founder, it is usually simply observing the team that we have been assembling plus nurturing all these many years, working collaboratively, efficiently for the good of our patients.
Queen Beyond the biological knowledge, what are some other important abilities you might not realise at first are essential to becoming a good vet?
It is definitely essential to have compassion and love regarding animals. After all, that can be why all of us become vets in the first place. Other important soft skills include interpersonal skills in order to communicate with pet parents, analytical and problem solving abilities to diagnose animals, since well as patience and perseverance.
At the same time, being a vet can be a very emotional job. It is important to be able to manage one’s own emotions plus distance yourself from moments such because the death of a pet in order to maintain the mental balance.
Q Technology has impacted lots of sectors, how has it affected yours and what are some of the positives and negatives?
Technology has had a major and obviously very positive impact on the particular veterinary sector. Advanced medical technologies this kind of as MRI and CT scans possess boosted our abilities in order to diagnose accurately and quickly. This is certainly particularly true for complex and critical cases we all see upon an every day basis in our hospital. VES Hospital provides some associated with the majority of advanced diagnostics and treatments thanks to this technology.
This has furthermore allowed all of us to progressively fill the gap between human plus veterinary medicine even if there are still many advancements to make!
New technology such since telemedicine and artificial intelligence have a lot of promise and are expected to become used more and more in the particular veterinary industry.
However , advanced technology is but only a part of our analysis arsenal. What is critical is the professional medical analysis plus problem solving skills that vets have got to employ during each patient analysis.
The individual brain remains the best technology!
Queen Exactly what does the particular future associated with work appear like intended for vets? What upskilling needs to happen?
Similar in order to the proceed towards treatment in ambulatory and specialist centres in the human health insurance and medical care sector, the pet healthcare sector within Singapore will be moving in the direction of a patient-centric model of care. There is the particular need for a lot more accessible, high-quality pet health care to treat complicated medical conditions in Singapore. To achieve this particular, we hope to see more veterinarian specialists in Singapore. VES Hospital is the perfect location to welcome these professionals.
At the particular moment, veterinarians in Singapore have in order to undergo training overseas to get several yrs before getting certified as specialists. In order to achieve professional qualification, one has to have undergone a rigorous coaching programme supervised by qualified senior experts, published research in peer-reviewed journals, end up being involved inside a set minimal number associated with cases and pass a good exhaustive examination process. As VES is usually committed to provide specialised and emergency services because well since grow plus nurture the next generation of vets, we hope to establish the framework that will allows local veterinarians in order to upskill and become specialists without having to travel overseas.
The long term of work for vets will also be one where there will be more awareness and understanding of vets’ mental health, especially for employers. As mentioned earlier, as being a vet can be emotionally and mentally draining. Hence, this heightened consciousness will become critical to help transform the veterinary industry within Singapore.
Q What’s already been your best or many memorable day at work?
There are too numerous of them!
As an internist, we often perform endoscopic methods to retrieve foreign objects from the particular digestive tract. We are usually amazed at what a patient can actually swallow. I will constantly remember this particular young Standard Poodle that clearly developed a fetish for socks where I actually removed more than 10 clothes from their stomach!; )
On a more personal note plus as the founder of VES Hospital, the first day associated with operation in our initial location from Rochdale in 2017 will always be memorable. We were not just fully operational and receiving dog patients, we were also welcoming fellow vets from your referring vet community. It was truly a busy day time and evening! Thinking back, while the hustle has never really stopped, that will day has been especially special to me because the group knew we were embarking on a mission that was needed and welcomed – in order to transform the veterinary business in Singapore.
Q Exactly what advice do you possess for family pet parents?
The most important advice? Enjoy almost all the happy moments that any pet brings to your living. They can mean the world to pet parents and have got clearly seen a shift about how essential pets are usually to their owners in the past 10 to 20 years. A pet is a family member.
Find a general practitioner or even “family vet” whom a person trust. Build this relationship over time. They will know your household pets better compared to anyone. This particular relationship is definitely essential. I often say it can be more difficult in order to find the trusted family vet than a specialist.
Get insurance for your own pet. Not only perform you want to protect your pet from the pain of old age, ill into the accidents, as a pet owner, you also want to end up being protected through the hefty financial discomfort and cost that could come with the particular treatment of a pet. Unfortunately, there are not many pet insurance plans to choose from within Singapore. This is our hope that this will change which such protection pertaining to pets may be created similar to several European countries.
Be prepared for an crisis. No dog parent wants anything to befall their house animals, but it is often advisable in order to be prepared. Have on hand contact details of your trusted family vet.
If you feel that your pet needs specialist input, do not hesitate to discuss this openly along with your family members vet.
Lead image / Shutterstock
All some other images / VES