The number of European Specialists in Veterinary Ophthalmology in Surrey has increased by one, following Richard Everson's recent qualification.

Richard, who works at North Downs Specialist Referrals (NDSR), graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2003. 

While working in general practice, he developed an interest in ophthalmology and undertook an internship in the field at the Animal Health Trust in 2013. 

Richard said: "Watching cataract surgery for the first time as a student, I was amazed it could be performed through such tiny incisions and an artificial lens could be placed inside the eye.

"My grandmother had cataract surgery around this time, followed later by corneal transplants when I was a recently qualified vet, and this further sparked my interest.

"I was very fortunate during my time in general practice to be able to attend an excellent one-year modular course, with an inspiring teacher, and also to spend some time with two specialist ophthalmologists at NDSR.

"These experiences made me realise it was time to make the leap and try to become a specialist. It was quite a daunting step, but one I’ve never regretted."

Following his internship, Richard undertook a three-year specialist training programme in comparative ophthalmology at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, studying towards the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmology Diploma.

After the successful completion of his training, he remained at the RVC as a clinician for a further year before joining the team at NDSR in July 2018.

Richard says he is now looking forward to further developing ophthalmology services at NDSR, alongside RCVS and American specialist James Histed: "I have already been discussing with James how we can develop the ophthalmology service, with new equipment and treatment options.

"We will soon be taking delivery of a new Zeiss operating microscope, which will have video facilities and eyepieces for an assistant. This will help us to perform more complex surgical procedures, and also help in teaching our interns and visitors to NDSR."

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