Meet Andrew Crook, head of the anatomy service of the Royal Veterinary College in Great Britain. He'll explain more about his job to you in this video, which is designed to introduce new students to the anatomy services of the college.
Have you ever considered the variety of specialty professional positions within the broad category of "hoof-related"--meaning that they are available to someone who is interested in applying (or pursuing eternally) their knowledge of the horse's foot?
No one is a better example than Andrew Crook, although his knowledge stretches far and wide across the anatomy spectrum to include expertise on the structure of birds, mammals, fish and everything that runs, crawls, slithers, hops or flies.
He has one of the most interesting jobs in the animal world, and his dedication to education, and promotion of anatomy as a subject to be studied with enthusiasm, are both refreshing and inspiring.
The Hoof Blog isn't alone in thinking that, however. Earlier this year, he received a note from the Queen; she named him a Member of the Order of the British Empire ("MBE") for services to veterinary science.
Andrew Crook has worked at the RVC anatomy lab for more than 30 years, and his superlative contributions to the study of the horse and all animals may give some readers a wider perspective.
Do you want to pursue a career that has something to do with horse hooves? Or are you perhaps wondering how your knowledge from years of farrier or veterinary work can be put to good use later in your life?
Choices are not limited to a lifelong career working as a farrier or veterinarian. New careers in imaging, technology, biomechanics, physiotherapy, education and product marketing/development are just some of the careers that can revolve around the horse's foot.
How do you get or find those jobs? In most cases, you don't. You find a niche and you build the specialty around yourself. In other cases, you may have the opportunity to work under someone like Andrew Crook, and hope that a job somewhere in the world becomes available.
But there is opportunity unlike anything that has ever been available previously, in large part thanks to the diversification of the horse industry, the development of horse sports and racing in countries around the world, and the growing appreciation for the role that good hoofcare plays in the well-being of horses.
Meanwhile, we are all field technicians, as well as ongoing students, in Andrew Crook's "integrated structure and function" school of thought and practice. How lucky we are to have someone like him on the job.
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To learn more about Andrew Crook's MBE award, visit this link about his honor from the Queen.
To learn more about the anatomy museum at the Royal Veterinary College, read this article on John Hutchinson's Whats-in-John's-Freezer blog (which is wonderful, by the way).
--written by Fran Jurga
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