Comedian Russell Brand has been announced as the keynote speaker at VET (Veterinary Education for Tomorrow) Festival 2017 and will join Noel Fitzpatrick on stage for a discussion on “Wellness and what that means to us”.

Image: D B Young from London, CC BY 2.0.
Russell Brand will join Noel Fitzpatrick for a discussion on “Wellness and what that means to us”. Image: D B Young from London, CC BY 2.0.

The 2017 conference theme is “Wellness” – a subject chosen in response to the increasing rise of veterinary professionals feeling disenchanted in their chosen career path, and in recognition of the stress and concerns felt by many in their working life.

Informal discussion

The keynote will take the form of an informal discussion between Russell and Prof Fitzpatrick, followed by a question and answer session with delegates to provide help and insight into coping with the challenges of working life in the veterinary industry and beyond.

Prof Fitzpatrick, who founded VET Festival three years ago, said: “This is a challenge I can really empathise with.

“Along with lack of sleep and challenging cases, I have experienced feelings of depression, anxiety, isolation, fear and worthlessness first hand and I have invited Russell Brand, who has had his own fair share of challenges, to converse with me about these themes.

“We sincerely hope to reach out with integrity and honesty so others may learn and, perhaps, take some comfort from our experiences.”


He added: “I am deeply grateful to Russell for being here with us, and for sharing his own personal story and experiences.

“I truly believe this collectively shared vulnerability in the face of life’s challenges will make a difference and I sincerely hope you will feel the same.”

VET Festival takes place on 9 to 10 June at Loseley Park, Guildford, Surrey.

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of


related content

Students from Edinburgh and Nottingham's vet schools have won plaudits from the British Veterinary Behaviour Association for their insights into the field of animal behaviour.

5 mins

Alex Gough casts his eye over more companion animal research and studies, including one on degenerative mitral valve disease in cavalier king Charles spaniels.

11 mins

Vicky Robinson discusses why it's important to see beyond the obvious ‘cute factor’ and recognise the significant clinical and commercial factors implicit in the arrival of a new puppy or kitten.

19 mins

A course designed to help those in management roles support colleagues with mental health issue has been launched by the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) and VPMA.

4 mins

The hardest part is getting into university? Wrong, says Jordan Sinclair, as she reflects on her early struggles at vet school and urges others to speak about their feelings with friends, family and peers.

15 mins

Vets who prefer consulting to theatre work should be tasked with front-of-house duties to help practices better meet preventive health care challenges in the 21st century.

4 mins