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BVA Young Vet of the Year 2020 finalist: Fabian Rivers

29 Oct 2020 | Fabian George Blake Rivers


BVA Young Vet of the Year 2020 finalist Fabian Rivers looks back at his career journey and how it has shaped him into the vet he is today.

BVA Young Vet of the Year 2020 finalist: Fabian Rivers Image

Sometimes I look back at the points in my life and it’s always humbling. I look back at the darkest moments and also what followed. I always felt, even at young age, that to know what joy is, to know what contentment looks like, to experience blissfulness in your life you have to be honest about the opposites. The sad, the sore, the vulnerable times. Letting all those moments come into your life and letting them out in good time.

So to be here writing this, is probably the most validating experience I’ve had since the journey started. Before vet school, before I even knew what being a vet may really entail. Back to where it all started - being obsessed with animals and nature.

I always felt I had a deep sense of understanding with animals of all shapes and sizes. I tried to let them be who they wanted to be, exhibit the characteristics they chose and enable them to live as authentically as possible. Ironically, me ‘letting them’ do that was actually a much bigger lesson for myself on how to live my life. How wonderful it is that I can now do that daily in my job. It isn’t even a surprise that I work with potentially thousands of species now. Having to use all those years of observation to get a sense of what they need to live and be cared for - researching, sharing, discussing.

Community is where the heart of this practise is. This time is very much a huge personal honour but I am more than aware that if it hadn’t been for so many parts of the puzzle it could all have been so different. Be it the many times my Mom lifted me up, when I felt like I couldn’t even get into vet school, or the moments my brother would help me buy any textbooks I needed, or even the times my peers said 'You’d be great on TV!'. And look what has happened. All their love and appreciation and investment has helped propel me to this, a nominee for Young Vet of the Year. I once doubted being able to get here! And so it's essential to me that I help amplify their care and commitment because they kept me grounded when I felt my passion would melt away many a time.

My core values which I hope will be the epicentre of this moment is that, whilst being nominated next to two great other nominees, it’s not about winning or losing, or success or failure. I want it to be more about doing what you can. To not compete but to collaborate. To not hyper focus on results but to celebrate the journey. Don’t be anxious about the future of unknowns but appreciate the victories of the past. I want everyone to feel like they are worthy of Young Vet of the Year. We all deserve to feel this appreciated and grateful for what we’ve managed to do and also be ready to share that with others. I want everyone to remember that there was a moment I once thought all may be lost, and I wouldn’t even become a vet. Now I write this, nominee of BVA's Young Vet of the Year, it’s all possible. By working to give every person and animal an opportunity to be authentic, to be considered and feel more valued. It’s time to care for all the facets of our world and celebrate all those moments we did to preserve that. That’s what this is to me.


The BVA Young Vet of the Year Award 2020 is supported by Zoetis.


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