Ambassador Profile – Max Buchen, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK.
Hi, I’m Max – Former president of the Zoological Society (RVCZS) at the Royal Veterinary College, London. I have been a part of The Expedition Project Ambassador team since 2021.
I have been working with The Expedition Project since 2021 doing live streams and developing online courses with the help of Wildlife Vets like Dr. Peter Rogers, and fellow ambassadors from around the world.
WHEN DID I FIRST REALISE I WANTED TO BE A VET?
I realised I wanted to become a veterinarian when I worked at a local aquarium in the US in the summer of 2018, during my undergraduate degree. We had a traveling veterinarian who would come weekly to assess the health of our animals, mainly fish and reptiles. I was enticed by the vets seemingly endless knowledge about the health and husbandry of these animals. A couple of months later, I completed an internship at a small animal hospital, and fully fell in love with veterinary medicine.
WHAT IS MY MOTIVATION TO BECOME A VET?
I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career working with animals. What really motivates me about being a veterinarian is the ability to be a diplomat and foster the relationship between humans and animals. Additionally, this profession allows you to make vital hands-on contributions to the lives of animals which you will not find in any other animal-related career.
MY BIGGEST TIP IF YOU WANT TO STUDY TO BECOME A VET IS…
Be prepared to learn to rest of your life. This is not a career in which you graduate and are a master of your field. Becoming a veterinarian is only the beginning, as you will constantly be learning new techniques, procedures, and research to implement into your practice of medicine. If you are like me, and you are motivated by what you do not know, this career will never fail to satisfy you.
THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A VET IS…
The hardest thing about being a veterinarian is the lack of recognition. Vets tend to compare themselves to other healthcare related professionals, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, etc, but when you are a veterinarian, you often must be all of these rolled into one. There is not much public knowledge about this, and you will likely face people who do not study this field, claiming they know more than you about the health of animals. I cannot tell you the amount of people who were shocked to find out that the education required to become a veterinarian is much more extensive than just a four-year degree. However, as long as you keep your main priority in mind, helping the lives of animals, you will have an extremely rewarding career.
WHAT IS MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL?
That’s easy. I am a huge fan of birds of prey. My favorite animal would have to be Harris’s hawks (Paratubeo unicinctus), as these are the only raptors know to hunt cooperatively in packs. I had the pleasure of seeing these birds in the wild in Arizona, USA, they are truly astonishing
MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL RELATED STORY IS…
I am an avid scuba diver. I once dove in the dark, freezing cold waters of western Norway. Towards the end of the dive, I noticed a few large shadows in the outskirts of my range of vision. A wave of anxiety rolled over me as these were unfamiliar waters to me. Imagine my excitement when they got closer, and I realized it was a pod of friendly Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). I watched in awe as these majestic creatures passed by our group.
MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL PHOTO I HAVE TAKEN IS…
In the summer of 2019, I worked at a veterinary hospital of a local zoo to gain experience for veterinary school. My boss, head veterinarian and curator of the zoo, knew that I was interested in a career as a veterinarian. When opportune, she would allow me to practice doing full physical examinations on our zoo patients. This picture below shows me auscultating the cardiovascular respiratory system of a female Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus).