Dr John Baguley
Sentient Veterinary Member, Sentient Committe Member, Veterinary Pratitioners Board of NSW - Registrar
Animal welfare is much more than fixing the injured and healing the sick and Sentient is a great step forward for the veterinary profession and animal welfare.
I completed my veterinary degree from the University of Sydney in 1985 and worked mostly in small animal practice in Sydney for the next 10 years. I don’t think I really appreciated the significance of animal welfare in the broader sense of the term until late into my veterinary career. Of all things it was stimulated during an MBA when I decided to take up some philosophy and psychology studies.
After completing my memberships in pharmacology, an MBA and starting a family I looked for a change and was appointed Lecturer in Equine Studies and Professional Practice at the University of Western Sydney (UWS). Soon after starting my teaching career I enrolled in a PhD which eventually morphed into the topic of marketing of professional services.
After a couple of years at UWS I moved back to the University of Sydney to teach a new stream of studies to veterinary students called Professional Practice. This stream had been created by Dr Henry Collins and included five main themes: professionalism and ethics, practice management, personal development, communication and veterinary humanities. The curriculum included animal welfare science but together with Associate Professor Robert Dixon I saw an opportunity for veterinary students to look at some of the deeper philosophical issues around animal welfare during the Professional Practice stream of studies.
Whilst at Sydney I mostly taught in business, ethics and law and served as the Professional Practice Coordinator, Veterinary Student Intern Program Coordinator, Honours Coordinator, Mentor Program Coordinator and Sub Dean for Learning and Teaching.
In 2012 I decided to further my interests in professionalism, ethics and law and move from Sydney University to the Veterinary Practitioners Board of NSW and I have been the Registrar for just over 2 years now. I have now seen some of the ethical dilemmas veterinarians face as a veterinarian, as a teacher and as a regulator.
Veterinary graduates need to be adequately prepared for the ethical dilemmas they will face each day and they need to know that the profession has a vital role to play in contributing to animal welfare and not just animal health. I believe that Sentient provides veterinarians with a much needed voice in animal welfare.