Bourgelat Award winner announced – and launches global surgery techniques stream at BSAVA Congress 2018

8 January 2018

Dr Clarence Rawlings will receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), and launch a new stream of lectures at Congress 2018 covering his vast veterinary experience.

Dr. Rawlings DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate ACVS, is a general surgeon who has been active in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for the past 20 years, but spent his first 30 years as a traditional surgeon, promoting the benefits of ‘stem to stern’ laparotomies. He transitioned from Professor to Professor Emeritus in June 2004 after spending 30 years on the staff at the University of Georgia, during which time he was an author on more than 130 papers.

He continues to practise as a surgery consultant and is passionate about helping more veterinarians to integrate endoscopy into their practices to improve patient care.

The Bourgelat Award – in honour of Claude Bourgelat who founded the world’s first veterinary school in Lyon, France in 1761 – is presented annually by the BSAVA for outstanding international contributions to the field of small animal practice, and takes the form of BSAVA manuals and a financial award.

Dr. Rawlings will deliver the new Bourgelat stream of four 45-minute lectures on Friday 6 April at Congress 2018:
·    Laparoscopy: the basics, examination, and laparoscopic assisted treatments
·    Cystoscopy: is the standard of practice for calculi removal?
·    Advanced laparoscopy (adrenalectomy, gall bladder, intracorporeal gastropexy)
·    What minimally invasive surgery can be done in the thorax?

Dr Rawlings said he was overwhelmed to receive the Bourgelat Award and looking forward to sharing his experience and learnings with Congress delegates.

“It is flattering to be recognised by a large and prestigious organisation such as BSAVA. I also asked myself ‘why me?’ when there are many other leaders in minimally invasive surgery,” he said.

“I enjoy the opportunity to promote what I believe is one the most exciting developments in clinical care of our patients. Having seen the benefits of MIS in my patients and reached the age where I and many of my friends have had surgery, I can earnestly vouch for the benefits of surgery being done by a minimally invasive approach. Hopefully, images and movies of clinical patients will infect the audience with MIS fervor.”

Dr Rawlings is Past-President of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and directs Veterinary Endoscopy Training Symposia at the University of Georgia. In addition to his clinical practice, he has conducted basic and clinical research into several areas involving heartworm disease, abdominal surgery, incontinence, and minimally invasive surgery.

He added: “I am proud I was able to have a career doing what I wanted to do and not based on my early perceptions of financial or social rewards. As a farm boy with strong interests in anatomy and physiology, 50 years of veterinary surgery has been fun.”

BSAVA Vice-President Phil Lhermette said: “We are delighted to recognise the significant achievements of our international colleagues and I would like to publicly thank Dr Clarence Rawlings for his excellent contribution over many years, moving our profession towards ever-higher standards of science and welfare.

“We are also pleased to welcome Clarence to deliver this new Bourgelat stream of lectures at Congress, which we hope will become a permanent fixture at our annual event, bringing benefits for many years to come.”

Claude Bourgelat (1712 – 1779) was the founder of the first veterinary school in the world at Lyon, France, in 1761. The London Veterinary College was established 30 years later in 1791.