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Love letter to our vets

Dear Oakleigh Central Vets, 

On behalf of our clients, staff and of course, patients, we would like to take this time to talk about each of you to demonstrate why you are so special to us all.

Starting from the person who has been here the longest, Dr David Northeast.

Dr David, the best decision ever made was to make your home here and open up Oakleigh Central Vet.  The wealth of knowledge that he brings and so effortlessly demonstrates each day is impressive.  Other vet clinics seem to be in crisis with staff members burning out, but Dr David made the brave decision to run his clinic to look after not only himself, but the people around him with reasonable opening hours and a pace that gives our patients time to feel comfortable when seeing the vet.  Dr David, you are the epitome of kindness, caring and joy.  Every staff member, past and present has nothing but praise for you.  Thank you for being the kindest boss, mentor, veterinarian and friend.

Dr Mel Cooper Fell is next in line as the longest serving staff member.  While she also locums at many other clinics and lives nowhere near Oakleigh, she is the first person to put up her hand to fill in for the other vets and is always happy to travel to work with us.  While she is exceptional with all species, we all know she’s the cat lady of the clinic.  Somehow, she understands cats who are little enigmas wrapped in mystery.  Not one to gate-keep, she is happy to teach staff and clients alike about cat body language and share her infinite feline wisdom with us all.  She takes time from her day to educate the nurses to help upskill them and continue with their education from blood collection to microscopic analysis is always appreciated.  Always down for a coffee and a chat, we love spending time with you Dr Mel and your wry sense of humour.

While Dr Siobhan Baker hasn’t been with us as long as Dr David or Dr Mel, she sure has integrated herself as a vital member of our veterinary team.  When I think of Dr Mel, I think of the Eye of Providence, or the All-Seeing Eye.  She watches over the clinic as a whole to ensure that it is running smoothly and is constantly seeking ways to improve what we are doing.  She also educates the team by bringing back the learning she has from her further education and thus updates our protocols and procedures.  Staff, clients and patients love her for her no-nonsense approach and realistic expectations.  We can always rest assured that if Dr Siobhan says she will do something, it will absolutely be done to perfection.  We are so grateful to just how deeply you care for everyone and everything around you Dr Siobhan.  You are one in a million!

Let’s not forget about Dr Dilini Ilangaratne.  Small in stature but huge in personality and knowledge!  Dr Dilini absolutely loves the medical cases that lesser vets would shy away from.  She loves to put the puzzle together and work out the why to a problem and then the how to fix the problem.  Just like Dr Siobhan, Dr Dilini is a person who lives in the small details, ensuring that all her t’s are crossed and her i’s are dotted.  She is always thinking of others and keeping them informed, constantly working on new ways to communicate information to her clients.  Her warm personality makes her a much loved member of the team, especially when they get to see through to her hilarious sense of humour.  Dr Dilini, you are a surprising package and we love to continue to laugh with you.

Lastly, I would like to pay tribute to our two locum veterinarians who you may have had the pleasure of meeting.  Dr Tawanda and Dr Priyanka.  Both of these veterinarians were chosen by us as they uphold our values of Stress Free and high standard of veterinary medicine.  Our team have thoroughly enjoyed working with them, however short our time has been and we know our patients were well cared for by them.  Thank you both for joining us and we hope to spend more time with you in the future.

To wrap this up, I, the author have personally been working in the veterinary industry for over 20 years and have met many veterinarians in my time.  Some were clinical and some non-clinical.  I have also seen many teams work together in both GP primary care vets and Emergency and Specialty centres.  This team of vets is indeed very special.  They care for each other and the rest of the team and all work together to bring each other up, supporting one another at all times.  While all very different in personality, they all work together so well because they share one very important aspect - a deep love and respect for the animals they treat and the people who bring them to us.  Thank you for being exceptional.    

Love the team, the clients and the pets xx


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