An Ayrshire-based veterinary
surgeon and farmer has been elected as the RCVS Junior Vice-President (JVP) for 2021-22, taking up the post at the
College’s Annual General Meeting in July 2021.
Dr Melissa Donald MRCVS was
elected JVP by her peers on RCVS Council at its meeting on Thursday 18 March
2021. Melissa graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 and, after
working as a food animal intern at Iowa State University in the United States
for a stint, in 1990 joined a two-person traditional mixed-animal veterinary
practice on the Ayrshire coast. Over the next 25 years she developed it into a
4.5 person small-animal practice with a focus on dentistry, before moving away
from clinical work in 2015.
Melissa was first elected to
Council in 2016 and re-elected in 2020 and, since joining, has sat on a number
of committees including the Education Committee, Finance and Resources
Committee, and Preliminary Investigation Committee/Disciplinary Committee
Liaison Committee. Since 2019 she has chaired the Standards Committee where she
has led the Review of “Under Care” and Out-of-Hours Emergency Cover and also
chairs the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice Subcommittee.
As well as her work with RCVS
she has also been President of the BVA’s Scottish
Branch and is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Red Tractor Assured
Food Standards Scheme and a Trustee of the Scottish Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals. Outside of work, she enjoys running, swimming, cooking, reading and hopes to
have the patience one day to write children’s books.
Speaking of her election
Melissa said: “I’m delighted and humbled to have been voted in as JVP from
July. Thank you to my peers on Council and, as with everything I have done in
my career, you, the profession, will see me put all my energy and commitment
into the role.
“Themes that I’m keen to
develop as a member of the RCVS Officer Team will be: communication, as that
can always be improved; community, including within the profession, within the
workplace and within the society in which you live; and continuing with the ‘blame
culture’ theme originally set out in Chris Tufnell’s presidency by looking into
how we can use veterinary human factors to improve patient safety.”
Other appointments that were
confirmed by election at the same meeting of Council was Dr Niall Connell MRCVS
as RCVS Treasurer, a role he will take up at the July AGM after completing his
year as Senior Vice-President.
Dr Connell said:
“It is a tremendous honour for me to be elected Treasurer. The RCVS has an
exciting strategy which I am looking forward to playing my part in ensuring we
remain on a sound financial footing, supporting projects within the RCVS
Strategic Plan and continuing to play a wider role within the RCVS Officer
In terms of
committee chairs, Dr Sue Paterson FRCVS was reconfirmed as Chair of the
Education Committee, Dr Melissa Donald was reconfirmed as Chair of the
Standards Committee and current RCVS President Dr Mandisa Greene MRCVS was
elected as Chair of the Advancement of the Professions Committee, replacing
Professor David Argyle in that post from July 2021.
Professor Argyle stepping down as Junior Vice-President earlier in March 2021,
an election to replace him as Junior Vice-President for the remainder of the
presidential year will take place in April 2021. Subject to the usual approval
from Council, this person will take up the position of RCVS President 2021-22
following the AGM in July.