A very warm Vet Mentors welcome to Andrew Francis.

Andrew has been a Vet for 17 years. He has done almost every job going in the profession; general practice, small and large animal, industry, academia and specialist medicine, high-growth technology start-ups.

"I have always had the privilege to work with some of the most genuine, hard-working and authentic people on the planet. That is our profession. We are the advocates for the animals under our care and it is our responsibility to remain at the forefront of animal health and welfare as the digital revolution takes hold."


Tell us about a daily habit or routine you practice that contributes to your productivity and fulfillment?

If it can be done in two minutes, then do it now. Never leave little, easy jobs for another day.

Always start the day with the most dreaded item on your To Do List.


What was a major setback that you learnt the most from, or actually turned out to be a success?

I failed my ECVIM-CA diploma exam the first time. I learnt so much that I didn't know before by re-sitting that I am a much better clinician as a result.


When you start to doubt your own ability, or are having 'a bad day at the office', how do you get back on track?

I remember that everyone doubts themselves. Those that don’t are unconsciously incompetent. The more experienced you become the more you tend to doubt yourself. That is what experience is. You now know all the many ways that things can go wrong.

I don’t worry about mistakes. Everyone makes them and they are a gift if you always learn from them and try never to repeat them.


What have you got better at saying no to? How did you realise this and how has it benefitted you?

I say no to things that don’t take me where I want to go.


If you could gift a book to all vets at graduation, what would it be, and why?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – Believe in yourself to achieve what you want from your life.


Tell us about something you are currently a fan of?

https://fullfact.org. I am a fan of understanding the real truth, however complicated and nuanced, in a world that has fallen out of love with reality. There are never any simple solutions to any problem worth solving.


What purchase of less the £100 has most positively impacted your life in the last 12 months?

A Leather Journal – I ask myself the same two questions every day. What went well today? What could I do better tomorrow?


What advice would you give veterinary graduates about to begin their careers?

Grab every opportunity that comes your way. There is no ‘correct’ way to build your career. Go with your gut and most importantly, have fun.


What is the worst bit of advice you hear regularly in our profession? Why do you feel it is bad advice?

That vets should focus on clinical work while others run the business side!

Anyone can learn to run a successful business as long as they are willing to learn on the job. You need nothing more than a brain, basic maths, a jargon buster book and a thirst to understand. Sounds very like being an undergraduate and you are all masters at that!


If you could send a single text to every vet around the world simultaneously, what would it say?

Look for inspiration in the people and animals you meet every day


Have you been inspired by someone in your career? Or know someone in the veterinary profession who has made a positive impact on you?

There are no strict criteria for contributors or mentors, other than that they are positive, supportive members of our profession.

If someone you know springs to mind, or you have any feedback or ideas relating to our Vet Mentors project, please get in touch - info@vetled.co.uk