Meet Dr Sarah Davies

BVSc MS DipACVR Assoc Member of ANZCVS

Diagnostic Imaging Veterinarian


Why Vets Love Her:

With four years training through the American College of Veterinary Radiology, three years in imaging practice at Veterinary Imaging Associates, Dr Davies is quickly becoming known as one of Australia’s finest and most vital professionals to turn to for advice.


Sarah also lectured numerous times at the University of Adelaide, with Dr Natalie Webster and impressed her veterinary knowledge upon many with dozens of oral presentations, as a part of a few research projects, and with numerous publications. Dr Davies is the recipient of several awards including the Veterinary Imaging Associaes Prize for proficiency in veterinary radiology, and 1st place award for Masters Student Poster Session.

Sarah receives imaging data from across Australia and reports with attention to the clinical picture. This helps practitioners understand their case better so they can make better clinical choices for treatment.


On Rare Days Off:

Yoga, dog walking, and reading are just a few of Dr Davies’ favourite pass times. On a day off, you can find her catching up with family and friends – – staying away from computers and her mobile phone!


Words from our Specialist:

“My favourite part of the abdomen is probably the duodenum and its neighbours (bile duct, duodenal papilla and right limb of the pancreas).  The ilio-caecal junction in cats is my other favourite spot.”


“Although sonography is a practical skill, you will at some point, if you want to do this well you have to pick up and read a textbook and peruse the odd journal article.  Some skills in sonography come down to persistence, patience and practice.  Set yourself up for success, don’t rush your ultrasound examination, make a wide clip, use sedation (if safe) and be systematic in your approach to organ examination.  I also really like to do a ‘recheck’ exam in a few hours or the next day if I am not happy that I got a good look at an organ the first time around because of gastrointestinal gas.”



“Meet Dr Sarah Davies,” by Stephanie Buelna at VetPrac ®

Many thanks to Dr Sarah Davies for this exclusive interview. We cannot wait to welcome her to the Abdominal Ultrasound Workshop, May 16th – May 17th



A look at the upcoming Wound Management Workshop

Dr Ilana Mendels BVSc

VetPrac Founder


Why a Wound Management Workshop?

 “The Wound Management Workshop is a delicate balance of understanding fundamental wound physiology and the practical elements of getting the wound closed.”


Why is the Wound Management Workshop important to the general practitioner?

“If you have ever had a brown underpants moment in surgery, or been fearful of it happening, then this is a workshop to help you. I learn something new each time we run it.  It’s also a fantastic review.”


Who would benefit from this workshop?

“Everyone who picks up a scalpel blade with a BVSc or DVM!”


 Why VetPrac for Wound Management?

“This workshop was built using novel educational theory, and manages to concisely train the attendee in just two days. Other training opportunities might offer education or information, but VetPrac bridges the gap towards understanding, and the confidence to practice what you learn.”


What do the international workshops say about VetPrac ?

“They say we are innovative, resourceful, energetic and fun.

In the last twelve months, we have had people travel from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, and New Zealand for our workshops with our educators. I feel proud to know that VetPrac represents the best of Australian practical training that other nations appreciate our Australian educational institutions.”


Closing Thoughts:

VetPrac only exists because people support it by attending the workshops and sharing our story with others. Workshops sell out because we meet the needs of the veterinary community. It doesn’t happen alone. Our training partners and educators all contribute greatly so vets “in the field” can do it better. I would like to thank all the people who want to keep learning, and the people who believe that knowledge and practice of our craft is the key to a healthy work life!”


Thank you Dr Mendels! It’s nice to hear the perspective of the woman behind the movement!



Interview by Stephanie Buelna, via Share this with your friends via Facebook or email! And follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn. Alternatively, sign up for our monthly newsletter by emailing us at




“Membership Candidates: Pay Attention! New Graduate Gives Tips on Exam Taking”


Dr Kate Drew,  B. VSc, B. Laws, B. Communications


RSPCA Yagoona


What do you find most challenging about exams?

“Time management. I have a tendency towards ‘word vomit’ that can cost me valuable time. Structuring a precise response that directly answers the question asked, in the time provided is therefore the biggest challenge I face when taking exams. I like to have time to think, and plan, and then think again – exams do not allow me to do this.”

What are some of the obstacles of studying that a Membership Candidate might relate to?

Finding time to balance work and study is a real challenge that Membership Candidates are likely to face. I think that every vet is already familiar with the feeling that your time is no longer your own, having studied for all those years to get to where they are today. Something I found when studying was the lingering feeling that there is always ‘something else’ you should be doing when you decide to take a break. I can only imagine that when candidates are working in addition to study, ‘down-time’ may again be in short supply and that such feelings can arise. Time and time again though, its been shown that its better to take the break, refresh yourself and come back ready to effectively study (and retain) the information!”

How do you deal with these challenges as a student? 

“Probably not very well – thankfully the terms/ semesters were pretty short and a study free intra/ inter-semester break was always on the horizon to get you through. Seriously though, I find breaking tasks into smaller chunks helped me to manage the mountain of material required and give you a (false J ) sense of achievement when ticking tasks off my list.”

What are your strategies in organising your time when studying?

“Lists, lists, lists. I do love a good list. This helped me to prioritise my work and then set goals based on how much of the list I wanted to cover at each study session. Again, this helped me to break the work down into manageable chunks and gave the feeling that amidst the mass of work required, I was making process.”

How do you organise concepts?

“I used mnemonics a lot – my friends and I also tended to make up silly little stories to try and link material to triggers. Sounds juvenile, but it worked.”

What tricks do you use to understand and memorise concepts?

“I can’t express how much studying in a small group helped me to understand and memorise concepts. It is not until you are required to explain a concept in detail to a peer that you can really identify gaps in your knowledge. It also provides an opportunity to share and pick up any tricks that you have all formulated to deal with the material. Hearing others explain the concepts to you is also invaluable in small group sessions, as each person picks up slightly different aspects of importance that you may have glossed over or misunderstood.”

What would you advise vets studying for their Membership Candidate to do when overwhelmed or frustrated?

“I find Mercy Valley cheese and quince paste fixes everything. Peanut M & Ms also provide comfort. If comfort eating is not your style, I found taking 15 minutes to get out of the house, go for a walk and just breathe to be very effective in recharging your battery. Sleep also plays a key role in managing these feelings. I never studied past midnight or before 6am – you gotta sleep. Otherwise you are wasting your time – you won’t retain the material.”

What tricks do you use to cope with stress?

“Prioritising sleep so that you are better able to cope with stress. Asking for help from friends when you need it.“

What tricks do you use to concentrate?

“I don’t think it’s a secret, but coffee helps. Also breaking work down into bite-sized pieces and deciding after how many bites you will take a break helped me.”

Any other thoughts or words of encouragement?

“I wish the candidates all the luck in the world as they prepare for Memberships. I have nothing but respect for the achievement – those vets that I know who have been through the experience are an inspiration to those of us who hope to do the same one day.”





Thank you Dr Kate Drew! What great tips, for all of us busy bees – – not just those studying for exams. Best of luck to everyone who IS prepping for their Memberships.  You can do it!

Interview by Stephanie Buelna, via Share this with your friends via Facebook or email! And follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn. Alternatively, sign up for our monthly newsletter by emailing us at



Language of Love: Workplace Communication


Dr Phil Hutt

Southern Animal Hospital


How is your relationship with your co-workers at the clinic?

“We work in a horizontal management structure where the vets are treated equally as a team. The relationship is based on mutual respect with good humour, and relies on lots of verbal communication.

How is your relationship with clients?

“We are a large practice, but we try to embrace family values, treating the pets as part of the clients’ family. Many of the regular clients are treated as friends of the practice.”

What are some challenges you face in communication?

“Passing cases from vet to vet requires verbal and written communication. The communication has to be over done all the time to ensure no gaps.”


What advice would you give to vets who want to improve their communication skills with co-workers and clients?

“You must want to exceed clients expectations, and you must want to work as a team. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then it simply doesn’t work. Exceeding what you think the client expects is rewarding, and where the job becomes fun both in client satisfaction and clinical results.”

What advice would you give to vets in isolation who do not get the opportunity to discuss surgery with other vets?

“Avoid isolation at all costs; otherwise, use the phone to regularly communicate and reduce the sense of isolation. Professional isolation is the worst situation for any professional, but especially vets. It leads to poor self esteem and poor clinical outcomes. Isolated practises should form buddy relationships with bigger practices and rotate staff on a regular basis.”


In your opinion, how could vets benefit from a workshop regarding  communication?

“Sharing ideas between vets who are good at communication and those learning is always useful.”

Interview by Stephanie Buelna, via Share this with your friends via Facebook or email! And follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn. Alternatively, sign up for our monthly newsletter by emailing us at