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Richard Ewers

Clinical Associate Professor in Small Animal Practice and Diagnostic Imaging, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

Contact

  • workRoom A11b School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
    Sutton Bonington Campus
    Sutton Bonington
    Leicestershire
    LE12 5RD
    UK
  • work0115 951 6641
  • fax0115 951 6440

Biography

After three years in mixed, mostly cattle practice, I joined PDSA to concentrate on small animal work. In 1991, I became a Senior Veterinary Surgeon and have been responsible for all aspects of running and developing a successful hospital. This has included team leadership, mentoring and coaching, health and safety, HR including recruitment, selection and appraisals, financial management, quality assurance and managing clinic performance. During this time, I had the opportunity to contribute to the development of aspects of PDSA's national veterinary service, including hospital management groups, scope of service and clinical governance.

I have a special interest in diagnostic imaging, and am an RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. In particular, I am committed to furthering diagnostic imaging from a first opinion perspective. This has involved active participation in the European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging, including regular presentations to British and International audiences, and I received the Roentgen award for the best congress presentation in 1996. For four years, I served as secretary to the group, which involved communicating and working with professional colleagues and organising scientific meetings. I have conducted research based in first opinion practice and published peer-reviewed material. From 2002 - 2006, I served as the imaging examiner for the RCVS Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing.

As part of my role in PDSA, I was instrumental in the development of diagnostic imaging, especially radiography and radiology, including accepting internal referrals and training. I possess the City and Guilds 7307 Post School Education Certificate (Part 1) and have provided CPD outside PDSA, including national and local BSAVA and BVA groups. Within PDSA, I also performed several management roles, including successfully managing an inter-departmental project to introduce preventive services across the whole organisation, and serving as Head of Pet Health. I was awarded PDSA's Edward Bridges Webb award in 2007 for exceptional contributions to the charity.

In 2009, I joined the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. I have been involved in the development and delivery of teaching of small animal clinical practice through the PDSA clinical rotation, and teaching of diagnostic imaging throughout the BVMBVS course. In 2012, I was awarded the PGCHE and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Expertise Summary

I am the rotation leader for the PDSA final year clinical rotation in the BVMBVS course. As part of my final year teaching, I perform small animal diagnostic imaging examinations (radiography and ultrasonography) at Clinical Associate practices. I also have responsibilities for diagnostic imaging teaching throughout the course, and deliver lectures, practicals and small group sessions as well as being involved in assessment.

Teaching Summary

In my clinical practice, I teach aspects of first opinion, small animal practice to final year veterinary students on clinical rotations, particularly diagnostic imaging. I also have responsibility… read more

Research Summary

My current research concentrates on how diagnostic imaging is performed in veterinary practice, including decision making.

Recent Publications

  • BOOTH, N., MORLEY, S. and EWERS, R., 2018. Use of radiography in small animal practice in the UK and Republic of Ireland in 2013 Vet Record. 182(8), 225
  • DEAN R, BRENNAN M, EWERS R, HUDSON C, DALY J, BAILLIE S, EISLER M, PLACE E, BREARLEY J, HOLMES M, HANDEL I, SHAW D, MCLAUCHLAN G, MCBREARTY A, CRIPPS P, CRIPPS P, JONES P, SMITH R and VERHEYEN K, 2017. The Challenge of teaching undergraduates evidence-based veterinary medicine Veterinary Record. 181(11), 298-299
  • GOODWIN B, CRIPPS S, ROSHIER A and EWERS R, 2017. Investigating the emotional state of teaching dogs at School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham. VetEd Meeting 2017.
  • S MORLEY, N BOOTH and R EWERS, 2014. Use of radiography in small animal practice in the UK and Ireland In: European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging/Veterinary Cardiovascular Society Autumn Meeting 2014.

In my clinical practice, I teach aspects of first opinion, small animal practice to final year veterinary students on clinical rotations, particularly diagnostic imaging. I also have responsibility for teaching diagnostic imaging (radiography and ultrasound) in all years of the veterinary course.

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I enjoy teaching in a variety of formats - lecturing, practicals, small group teaching and personal tuition. In all of these, I aim to be very interactive, to try to engage with my audience as much as possible. I always assess prior learning to make sure this provides a firm base for our activities. As my subject is very practical within a clinical environment, I encourage experiential learning. This allows students to become familiar with working in their future workplace and maximises the relevance of their learning. Practical and small group teaching is based around problem/patient-based scenarios, again making the learning relevant to their future needs and helping to develop clinical skills. The clinical relevance of the activities should motivate the students to make good use of the learning resource. All my material is derived using an outcomes-planning approach, ensuring a good fit with module and curriculum learning objectives.

Past Research

A cross-sectional questionnaire study to describe the uptake of digital radiographic systems, wider aspects of radiographic practice and use of other diagnostic imaging techniques in the UK and ROI. Seventy-five per cent of respondents worked in practices using digital radiography systems. Cost appeared to be the largest barrier to digital conversion. Chemical restraint was used on 86% of cases, however 3% of cases were reported to be restrained by hand. Thirty-one percent of respondents had not received specific training in radiation safety. Ultrasonography was reportedly now widely utilised on a regular basis. These results provide useful information on the use of radiography and additional diagnostic imaging techniques in the UK. These results should be used to indicate future training requirements, particularly to improve radiation safety.

An evaluation of the radiographic quality of images produced in small animal, general practice used a test phantom and step wedge to provide an objective assessment of radiographic density and contrast, and also assessed the adequacy of radiographic processing. There was a general tendency of radiographers to prefer films that were too dark for good evaluation, and a significant number of automatic processing units were under-developing (Ewers and Hofmann-Parisot 2000).

References:

Booth, N., Morley, S. and Ewers, R. (2018) Use of radiography in small animal practice in the UK and Republic of Ireland in 2013. Vet Record, 182, p. 225.

Ewers, R.S. and Hofmann-Parisot (2000) Assessment of the quality of radiographs in 44 veterinary clinics in Great Britain. Veterinary Record, 147 (1), pp.7-11.

Future Research

Many treatment and diagnostic regimes used in small animal clinical practice are traditionally carried out without a well recognised evidence base. The BestBETs model of evidence-based medicine provides an opportunity to evaluate these practices against the available literature. This can lead to increased effectiveness in clinical practice and help engage general practitioners with evidence-based veterinary medicine.

The usefulness for diagnosis of diagnostic radiographs is directly related to their radiographic quality. The rapid introduction of digital radiography into veterinary practice provides many opportunities to improve efficiency and quality. However, it is important to appreciate the differences from conventional film radiography and its limitations to avoid poor diagnostic results. There is a need to understand the issues faced by practitioners switching to digital radiographic systems, including the resulting quality of their images. This should allow appropriate advice to be provided to achieve the best results from the investment.

Techniques for diagnostic imaging in veterinary practice are rapidly developing, e.g. the widespread, rapid introduction of digital radiography and increased used of ultrasonography, CT and MRI. These changes provide many opportunities to improve efficiency and diagnostic quality. However, it is important to recognise the strengths and limitations of these techniques to avoid inappropriate use and poor diagnostic results. For example, there is a need to understand the issues faced by practitioners switching to digital radiographic systems, including the resulting quality of their images. This should allow appropriate advice to be provided to achieve the best results from the investment.



Biobank

The University of Nottingham
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD


telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 6563
email:sv-biobank@nottingham.ac.uk