From Nepal to Gordonton – say hi to Shrawan

Photo of Shrawan

He’s fond of chooks, cows and is checking out the Gordonton cafes.  Meet Shrawan Bhandari, one of the new vets at  Global Veterinary Services.

What were your first impressions of Gordonton?
I have driven past Gordonton a few times on my way back to Tauranga from Auckland and used to wonder – what it would be like to live in this little community- you can enjoy the country life and still be within an hour or so drive from Auckland and other two big cities of NZ- Tauranga and Hamilton. Now, I am here- enjoying the best of both worlds!

Have you tried the local cafes and shops, visited the Alpaca farm? Woodlands?

Yes, I have tried a few local cafes and they are amazing. No chance to visit the Alpaca farm yet, I have left that until my family from Tauranga are visiting next time.

When did you start at Global Vets? How is it going?
I started on the first week of June 2021. It’s going really well. It’s good to meet the farmers, many have been farming for generations.

Where is home?
I am originally from Nepal. I came to NZ in 2004 to study at Massey. NZ has been home for almost 17 years now, although my accent sometimes sounds like I came off the banana boat just yesterday! I have lived in a few cities and towns of NZ so far (namely Palmerston North, Christchurch, Timaru, Hastings/Napier, Dannevirke, Matamata, Tauranga and Gordonton). I think working at Gordonton gives me the opportunity to enjoy the rural lifestyle and still be closer to the big cities.

Can you give a brief overview of your background?
I was qualified as a veterinarian in 2001. I have more than a decade of clinical veterinary experience across large and companion animal practice. I am also a trained research scientist and have published several high-quality research papers in reputed international scientific journals. In addition to the vet degree (BVSc), I have undertaken several postgraduate courses relevant to small and large animal practice.

I have also worked with sheep as an animal model of human disease in my PhD project at Otago University, between 2007 and 2012. I have undertaken an MSc degree in Animal Science (in the area of Reproduction and Fertility) at Massey University, between 2004 and 2006. As a part of this Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Clinical Science (PGDipVCSc), I have undertaken courses in Small Animal Oncology and Anaesthesia at Massey University in 2013.

My first job as a vet in NZ was at a big practice in the South Island that employed more than 75 vets. I got the opportunity to see how big dairy farms of the South Island operate. After that, I moved to the Manawatu and then to Matamata. In these two towns, I was able to see many family-owned farms that are run by the same family for generations. In Tauranga, I was one of the owners of a small animal practice (plus some dry stock work). As a veterinarian and one of the directors, I had the chance to learn business management skills.

What do you like about veterinary work?
My interest in the vet work is very broad – from chooks to cows. I like surgeries, mostly soft tissue and dental works. I also like calving the cows! Also, I like researching/collecting the latest evidence-based information that can be valuable to the pet and farm owners. While working for Global vets, I am looking forward to develop some new skills related to the zoo animals.

Can you tell us what it’s being like a zoo vet? What kind of animals might you work with? Do you have any stories to share?
Sorry, not much opportunity on this area yet!

Small animals or large animals? Dogs or cats? Do you have pets of your own? (What would you have it you could?)
I think it has been answered already! My interest in the vet work is very broad – from chooks to cows. I used to have a lot of pets back in Nepal (dogs, cats, pet cows, pet goats, water buffaloes etc.). I will be looking forward to have a block of land (in the Waikato) sometimes soon and can have a ‘little zoo’ of domesticated animals again.

Any advice to young vet/vet student?
It is a very rewarding profession but also has some unique challenges of its own.

How are you finding the team at Global?

What are your other interests/hobbies?
Keeps changing – used to be tramping, gardening, yoga/gym etc.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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