Leading the Way in the Veterinary Profession: A Call for True Leadership

Leading the Way in the Veterinary Profession: A Call for True Leadership

Strong and visionary leadership in the veterinary profession is necessary to reaffirm, confirm and strengthen the role of veterinarians in society.


Dr. Jason Aldiss, president of the Union of European Veterinary Hygienists (UEVH), Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) at our invitation kindly prepared an article on the importance of leadership in the veterinary profession, which we would like to share with colleagues.




In the world of veterinary medicine, we are often faced with the challenging task of balancing the noble art of healing with the realities of running a successful business. Over the years, I’ve been constantly surprised by the lack of true leadership in the corporate landscape of our profession. It’s disheartening to witness how, once the ‘money men’ take the reins, innovation, visionary thinking, and transformative processes seem to fade into the background, giving way to a singular focus on profit maximization, maintaining the status quo, and resisting change.


The True Essence of Leadership

Leadership in the veterinary profession, or any profession for that matter, is not about collecting fancy titles, hefty salaries, flashy company cars, logo redesigns, or hollow marketing slogans. True leadership is about being one with your team, understanding their needs, empathizing with their challenges, and acting in their best interest. It’s about protecting, supporting, guiding, and ensuring a bright future for each member of your team. It’s about empowerment and engagement.


Leading by Example

One of the fundamental principles of effective leadership is leading by example. I’ve always believed in the mantra, “I would never ask any employee to do anything that I hadn’t done or wouldn’t do myself.” This approach fosters trust and respect within the team. It shows that you’re not just a manager but a fellow colleague willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty when the situation demands it.


Accessibility and Availability

A true leader is always available to their team, regardless of their role. It means being approachable, attentive, and accessible when your team members are working, irrespective of the time of day. True leadership means understanding that problems and challenges can arise at any moment, and your team should feel that they have your support and guidance whenever they need it.


Challenging the Status Quo

Veterinary professionals need leaders who are willing to challenge the status quo. Leaders who don’t rest on their laurels but constantly look to the future, seeking ways to enhance our roles as veterinarians. Instead of reaping vast profits at the expense of our colleagues, true leaders seek to uplift the entire profession, pushing boundaries and striving for excellence.



It’s high time for a change in our profession. We need leaders who embody the essence of true leadership: understanding, empathy, action, protection, support, and guidance. Leadership should focus on empowering and engaging the veterinary community and challenging the existing norms. Let’s stand together and work towards a future where the veterinary profession is not just a business but a calling that enriches the lives of animals and those who care for them. It’s time to shift the paradigm from “lions led by donkeys” to a profession led by visionary and compassionate leaders who can inspire and elevate us all.


Dr Jason K Aldiss BEM BVSc MRCVS 

President, Union of European Veterinary Hygienists (UEVH),

Federation of veterinarians of Europe (FVE)