Lluís Ferré Dolcet is now a diplomate of the European College of Animal Reproduction. This is the highest level of specialization in animal reproduction and it’s a field that Lluís discovered as a Veterinary Medicine undergraduate at the CEU Cardenal Herrera University.
With an entrepreneurial spirit and as a committed advocate of the concept of One Health, Lluís has taken the international route in his efforts to further his education and develop his career.
A native of Barcelona, he’s now in Padua in Italy, but his journey there has taken him through Valencia, Cluj Napoca in Romania, Vancouver in Canada, and Paris.
He’s currently combining duties as coordinator of the Small Animal Reproduction Service at the San Marco veterinary clinic in Padua with responsibilities for promoting training and research in his specialty, animal reproduction.
“I want to keep on developing professionally, carrying out research and communicating my passion for this work to future generations”
- What was it that attracted to becoming a diplomate?
After gaining my doctorate, there weren’t many options available as a clinician and what I was really interested in was clinical research – I don’t mind laboratory research, but what you miss there is the contact with the animals.
“Gaining a diploma is the best option if what you want is to keep on learning, training and publishing research.”
- Why did you choose this specialty?
During my undergraduate degree in Veterinary Medicine, I felt a bit lost because I started to see what I’d liked before starting the degree in a different way. When I did the course on reproduction, I saw that that could open up a lot of opportunities. Within the field of reproduction, you work as a clinician, an endocrinologist, a paediatrician, and you do diagnostic imaging, intensive therapy and surgery. It’s a very wide-ranging and interesting specialty, with so much still to be discovered.
- How have you found living in Italy while you were preparing for the diploma examination?
Of course, it’s always difficult to leave your home behind. We always think that Spanish and Italian people are really alike, but culturally it’s actually a bit different, or more than a bit, in fact. It wasn’t hard to learn Italian. The most difficult thing was and is having to live in a small town like Padua when you’re from a big city like Barcelona.
- During your residency, what was your day-to-day life like?
Every day I had to attend to clinical cases in the reproduction area. I had scheduled surgery two days a week and I would be on call once every three weeks. Luckily, my research projects focused on clinical cases so I didn’t have too many problems to fulfil the requirements needed to sit the exam. However, you don’t have much free time to study, so I spent every weekend studying and preparing the huge amount of material that you need to show that you know at the end of the three-year period.
- But this isn’t your only international experience in recent years, is it?
That’s right, I’ve worked in Vancouver and Paris. And I spent an Erasmus period in Cluj Napoca in Romania. Travelling and living in new places gives you a very different perspective on things. For me, it was important to see clinical cases in a different way, to come into contact with different kinds of people. That helped me learn and to decide what I wanted to do in the future.
- Lluís, why did you choose Veterinary Medicine as your degree?
Since I was a small child, we always had animals at home and I’m from a family of doctors.
“I saw medicine close up, but what I always wanted to do was bring what I saw in human medicine to animals. I never had any doubts about that.”
- What memories do you have on your time at CEU?
Veterinary Medicine is not easy path to take, but I’ve got great memories of that time. I’m still friends with many of the people from there (both classmates and lecturers) and every time I’m in Valencia I always make a point of visiting CEU.
- Now that you’re a diplomate, what are your plans for the future? What would you like to do now?
I’m still processing it really. I’ve just created a specialized internship place at the San Marco clinic and I’m trying to organize a residency place there for the future. I’m a member of the European Veterinary Society for Small Animal Reproduction and I’m interested in becoming a member of the organizing committee so as to offer more opportunities to specialize in reproduction. I’m also organizing a lot of webinars, lectures and courses in Europe and Latin America, thanks to the support of different pharmaceutical companies that I work with.
I want to keep on developing professionally, carrying out research and communicating my passion for this work and this specialty to future generations. I’d like many more people to explore this unfamiliar and neglected field.
Congratulations Lluís and the best of luck!