American vet hones her skills in Hucknall

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A NEWLY-qualified vet has flown thousands of miles from Pennsylvania in the USA to hone her skills and gain work experience in Hucknall.

LAURALEA COLAMUSSI (30) has spent a total of two weeks working at the East Midlands Referrals veterinary centre on Nottingham Road.

The surgery is a sister practice of Buckley House on West Street. Both are run and owned by renowned vet Graham Oliver.

It was Mr Oliver’s reputation for performing cutting-edge surgery that prompted Lauralea to apply to visit Hucknall as part of a five-week stay in the UK, which also took in the Royal Veterinary College in London and Bristol University.

The experience is part of a year-long internship that will complete her studies.

“Graham is phenomenal to watch in the theatre,” said Lauralea, who is originally from New York.

“I have been so lucky to get this opportunity. One day, I hope to return to the UK, and maybe Hucknall, to continue my career as a vet.”

Lauralea studied at the University of California but the base for her internship, which she will complete in June, is the University of Pennsylvania.

She was at East Midlands Referrals when Mr Oliver completed a groundbreaking double ‘nano’ hip-replacement on a tiny terrier-type dog last month.

The operation was a world-first and featured in a Dispatch exclusive with photos of the surgery.

She said: “It was a real privilege. I’ve seen hip replacements before but not ‘nano’ surgery. Graham is doing cutting-edge things, so it was an honour to scrub in and be a part of it.”

Mr Oliver described Lauralea as a “top-class individual”.

He said: “She was great to work with and very knowledgeable.

“She already has a degree in public health and has worked in the area of infectious diseases. She is a mature student.

“Lauralea qualified as a vet a year ago and is extremely on the ball. Considering her relatively short experience, she knows as much as some vets who have been qualified for ten years.

“She is very sharp, bright and bubbly and good fun, with an excellent work-ethic. What’s more, she is prepared to put in the necessary hours.”

n OUR PHOTO shows Lauralea with one of her ‘patients’ at the Hucknall surgery — DISPIC NHUD12-0706-1.