Attempting a new form of continuity

Now that we are getting used to doing this blog weekly, we have started to get a bit cocky and are going to try and do an end of month special. Now to further get to know the practice, on the last Friday of every month, there will be mini-interview between yours truly and a member of the practice, asking the questions that you hopefully wanted answering.


5 minutes with...Murray Jones

As this is the first edition of a series of mini-interviews, I thought I should start at the top. Murray Jones, as you all know, is one half of the Ashman Jones partnership, and is the only male vet on site. He graduated from Murdoch University in Perth in 1997 and has been a successful vet on both sides of the equator. Muz has gained a reputation for being both caring and professional, and forming close bonds with many clients and their animals. So here we go, as I attempt to sound like I know what questions to ask:


What made you want to be a vet?

Firstly, I didn't want to work behind a desk for the rest of my life and I really loved animals. I then realised I had a good enough aptitude and score to get into uni to do veterinary medicine. It was when I was around 15, so quite late in comparison to most vet hopefuls.


What aspect of veterinary interests you most?

I like talking to people and I like dealing with them, but I also like the problem solving. It is particularly interesting when there is a bit of a challenge, where the answer isn't clear in front of you, where you have to dig deeper and find out some more information to help the patient in the best possible way.


You weren't always a small animal vet, were you?

No, I was in mixed practice for a few years. As soon as I graduated from uni in Oz, I got on the next plane to the UK and arrived within a month of graduating in the middle of Suffolk, as a mixed animal vet. So I've done my fair share of calvings, caesareans and some equine veterinary as well as the small animal stuff.

So did you know what area you wanted to go in once graduating?

Not really, no, so I thought I might do a bit of everything to get a feel of what I liked most, then make a decision based on experience.


If you weren't a vet, what would you be?

If I wasn't a vet? I would quite like to be a landscape designer, or a scuba-diving instructor.


So what made you want to open your own practice?

I like working for myself, and I like setting myself my own goals. And I'm not very good at people telling me what to do. Also, in the UK there are lots of opportunities if you want to break out, put your neck out and go it alone, compared to Australia.


Because everyone in Australia is trying to do that, so it is almost normal. However, if you do it in the UK, I think you would be rewarded.

Would it be any different in, say, the US?

As long as you know your market, what your clients want, then it doesn't really matter where you are.

So that's why you opened in Bath, because you know the people?



What do you look for in a prospective employee?

The biggest thing, without a doubt, is someone that can work as part of a team, and put the team as number one. They are involved to make sure that all the team is working together and that they're always part of it.

Does the team just mean the staff, or all of Ashman Jones?

The team is the staff, as the clientèle is the what the team is serving. Customer services is of course paramount however there is no point being excellent in customer service if you're not working as part of a team.


What is the main advantage of Ashman Jones being an independent practice?

The main advantage is that you can be honest and you don't have to rely on having a bottom line of what your treatment options are. You also are not ruled by a company that influence your decisions on a patient's treatment.


What makes you get up in the morning?

My dogs. They're at the bed come 6:30, rain or shine, kicking off, expecting a walk.

Well then what makes you walk to work, rather than just round the park a few times?

Apart from the fact that I own the business, we have a very good team that I want to be involved in every day. We are also very lucky and frankly blessed by wonderful clients who look after us.


10 quick questions:

Radio 4 or Radio 1? Radio 1

Tea or Coffee? Coffee

Sweet or Savoury? Savoury

Beer or Cider? Cider

Dry or Humid? Dry

Drama or Comedy? Comedy

Convertible or Saloon? Convertible

Brain or Brawn? Brawn

Cricket or Rugby? Rugby

Sith or Jedi? Jedi


And finally, the most important question of them all, what is your karaoke song of choice?

I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, sang really badly.


To next week

Since there is literally nothing to report with regards to the past week, I am going to jump straight ahead to the coming week.

On Sunday, due to the increasingly variable weather, Hayley and Bridget have bought themselves a pair of skis each just in case the severe snow warning comes true. If you're still yet to donate for HEART as Bridge and Hayley slog it out over the 13 miles, then just pop in over the next few days and give to a great cause.

Also, we are all very jealous of Sophie as she has the week off next week. And what's she doing? Nothing! Makes us sick! OK, I lie, she is doing some CPD, where she will become what is known as an Official Vet and be able to sign off pet passports and give rabies injections. But the rest of the time she is doing barely anything! And whilst she's away we have a locum veterinary surgeon in. His name is Matt and is an absolute gentleman. He is also even taller than Murray!

Finally, our consultant complementary medicine vet is getting married tomorrow. Veerle is tying the knot with her partner Ben and we would all like to wish her a congratulations and for many happy years together!


And to top everything off, this is what I have found for this week:

 Oh, yes I did!

Oh, yes I did!