One Medicine, One Love, One Hope

denDr Denica Djodjeva

Blue Cross Veterinary Clinic

Sofia, Bulgaria


I was extremely impressed with my visit to Fitzpatrick Referrals , UK. I initially visited the Soft Tissue Surgery and Oncology Hospital in Guilford. My colleague from Bulgaria, Ivan Kalmukov, who is a graduating resident in surgery and a great guy, had informed everyone about my visit. I am extremely grateful to him, for that, because otherwise without his help my visit would not have taken place.pic 11

On the first day, I was greeted by the surgical specialists, who showed me around the hospital and helped me going deeper in the working environment there. They introduced me to a large part of the team. Since my main professional interests are anesthesiology and critical care, I was also introduced to the head of anaesthesia – Daisy. She is a very nice young lady and immediately engaged me with  blood gas analysis problems to solve. From day one, I was already aboard. Unfortunately, there were not so many procedures and operations, but for me it was perfect, because I had time to orient myself in the environment and get to know the team. In the following days, the things continued in another direction and I was able to feel the workload of the clinic. In between the many duties and busy workload, everyone talks calmly, without unnecessary emotions and fulfills their duties. In general, a pleasant working atmosphere. I was left with the impression of a great team in which everyone helps each other and has each other’s back. Needless to say, the professionalism with which all operations and procedures are performed.pic 12

The attitude they have towards the animals is great and my question “Don’t the dogs bite here?” was completely unnecessary. Collars and other protective devices were only used for very aggressive animals. Each one of them was spoken to calmly and there was always a person next to him to reduce the stress of the unfamiliar environment and people. In the postoperative period, each patient is strictly monitored and waited until is completely recovered from anaesthesia. After that, it is accompanied to thd e waror goes to see the owners, who are already waiting for him in one of the consult rooms.pic 13

In my last days, I was able to visit and the other referral centre, for Orthopedics and Neurosurgery in Godalming. I participated in every procedure closely related to my interests in anesthesia and there was always someone to explain everything about it to me. Unfortinately I was not allowed to practice, because I am not a licensed veterinarian in the UK.  In my last days, I attended many operations during which I saw some innovative practices, one of which was on a cat with fractured vertebrae. My colleague Ivan was one of the surgeons. The next day, the animal was already walking.pic 14

Although there were inexperienced colleagues, they always found support in dealing with daily tasks and everyone celebrated their small victories.

During this one week, I learned a lot, I saw the high level of medicine that is being worked on, and I hope I will be able to apply this to my work in Bulgaria or at least some part of it. I am extremely happy for this opportunity and am very grateful to Ivan for helping to make this happen. My experience at both hospitals was a once in a lifetime. I hope I am wrong and have the opportunity to visit them again.pic 15

Luba Gancheva