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The clinical director At Animal Ark Vets, a leading Essex veterinary practice has returned to her former university in Greece  to inspire the next generation of veterinary surgeons. 

Dr Laila Liakouras, from Animal Ark in Ilford, spoke to students at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (APTh) in Greece about life after vet school. 

Laila, who has worked in Greece, the United States and now the UK, said the aim was to help prepare the students for what to expect from a career in the veterinary industry. 

Laila said: “I went to speak to clinical year veterinary students about life after vet school and to offer some advice about practicing in primary care.

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“I described my own professional journey working in Greece, the USA and finally here in the UK, and what steps brought me to the clinical director role at Animal Ark. 

“I discussed the differences in each country and highlighted the benefit of having trained and licensed Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) that are so instrumental in providing quality patient care in the UK. 

“The lecture was very well received and there were lots of questions and discussions with the students afterwards. 

“I can certainly say the next generation of vets in Greece are very talented, very keen and have a lot to offer.” 

Zoe Polizopoulou, professor of clinical pathology at the university, was also impressed, adding: “This was the best turnout we have ever had for an external speaker but, of course, Laila is one of us. 

“The students were very engaged and asked lots of questions in both Greek and English. 

“Laila even stayed two hours afterwards to have a more informal conversation with the students who were interested in following a similar path as her own or those interested in pursuing a specialty. 

“I’ve since had an avalanche of interest from students interested in contacting Linnaeus and Laila specifically so the lecture was a great success.” 

Laila was accompanied on the trip by James Osbourne and Ulrich Goegerle, from Mars Veterinary Health, which owns Linnaeus. 

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Prof Polizopoulou gave James, Ulrich and Laila a tour of the university’s clinics, which have recently been refurbished, giving Laila an opportunity to see her old professors and even a former classmate who is now undertaking a PhD at APTh. 

Laila, who has advanced training in anaesthesia and soft tissue surgery, said: “It was a terrific trip and I was honoured to be representing Linnaeus and Mars Veterinary Health in Greece. 

“I was especially pleased to have taken steps towards future cooperation with Aristotle University in the years to come.” 

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