Leading vet to receive global accolade at BSAVA Congress

12 December 2018

Professor Mike Herrtage will receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) at its Congress in April 2019, in recognition of making an enormous contribution to the development of the veterinary profession and particularly specialisation in UK and Europe.

As one of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists, Professor Herrtage has been a co-author on more than 100 scientific papers covering small animal medicine, diagnostic imaging and neurology, and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He continues to be an inspirational teacher to generations of undergraduate and postgraduate students.

At the same time he has remained an active clinician providing a referral service in small animal medicine and diagnostic imaging. Retiring this year as Dean of Cambridge Veterinary School, he also holds qualifications in internal medicine, diagnostic imaging and dermatology.

Professor Herrtage shared his thoughts on being honoured with this award: “I believe this prestigious award is more a reflection of the tremendous support and stimulation I have received from students, residents and colleagues over the entire period of my career. In particular, their probing questions and their constantly enquiring minds have stimulated much of the work I have published over the years and I am truly grateful for their contribution.”

“To work as a vet throughout my career has been a great privilege and to be recognised by my peers for my contribution to small animal practice is indeed very humbling. I very much hope that the Bourgelat stream during Congress will be fitting reflection to my contribution.”

The Bourgelat Award – in honour of Claude Bourgelat, founder of 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. It takes the form of BSAVA manuals and a financial award.

Professor Herrtage will deliver two lectures as part of the Bourgelat stream of four 45-minute lectures on Friday 7 April at Congress 2019:

  • Atypical hypoadrenocorticism
  • Diagnosis of canine hyperadrenocorticism: is it always straightforward?

Additional lectures in the Bourgelat stream are:

  • Imaging the adrenals (Dr Raquel Salguero, Madrid)
  • Monitoring treatment in canine hyperadrenocorticism (Professor Ian Ramsey, Glasgow)

Professor Herrtage has made a major contribution to veterinary research and scholarship by his investigations into metabolic and endocrine diseases such as diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism), Addisons’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism), Bedlington terrier toxicosis, fucosidosis and endocrine responses in critical illness.

He has held numerous prestigious positions in national and international veterinary organisations, including the presidencies of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, European Board of Veterinary Specialisation, European Society of Veterinary Endocrinology, British Veterinary Radiological Association and last, but by no means least, British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA). He also served as a member of the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for over 20 years and held many positions in the College’s committee structure. Most recently, he received the 2016 Kennel Club International Canine Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award ‘in recognition of a career dedicated to improving canine health and welfare’.

During his career Professor Herrtage has successfully supervised 58 Diplomates and been a source of inspiration to thousands of undergraduate veterinary students. However his influence on veterinary specialisation extents far beyond these boundaries as he was the first President of the EBVS from 1993-96, he was responsible for driving the development of veterinary specialisation in Europe and in designing the criteria for the Residency training programmes of the European Colleges. He regularly presented the scholarly concepts and ideas to committees within the European Commission as well as steering the development of a blueprint for Veterinary Specialisation in Europe. Ultimately, this led to the successful development of 25 specialist European Colleges who between them have more than 3,000 veterinarians as active European Veterinary Specialists.

BSAVA President Philip Lhermette said: “BSAVA is delighted to recognise the significant contribution and achievements of one of our UK colleagues, the Bourgelat is our highest award and Professor Herrtage is truly one of the brightest lights on the international stage. I would like to publicly thank Professor Herrtage for his outstanding contribution over many years, moving our profession towards ever-higher standards in the education and specialisation of veterinary surgeons.”