Steve Raphael BVMS MRCVS
Having been reared on an Ayrshire dairy, I trained in Stranraer during work placements whilst attending Glasgow Vet School. On graduating in 1998 I came straight to the practice only intending to stay a few years but on meeting my wife Christine I have been here ever since.
Now with two lovely daughters, Imogen and Violet, I stay just outside the town on a small holding with a few fat coos, ponies, dogs, cats and even the odd tortoise. When not acting as a taxi service for my kids I enjoy walking and a few beers. My professional interests are mainly connected with farm animal work in particular cow and bull fertility. I do also enjoy the challenges that a mixed rural practice brings and still enjoy looking after dogs and cats as well.
Alisdair Gaw BVMS MRCVS
Having graduated from Glasgow University in 1999, I worked in Fife for a year before joining the team in Stranraer, bringing me back to my roots having been brought up on a local farm outside Portwilliam. My work is mainly to do with horses and the small animal side and I’ve enjoyed the growth of equine medicine and surgery within the practice.
I live with my wife Gael, daughters Charlotte and Phoebe and youngest child (and soon to be a Scottish Rugby player!) Noah who are all attribute to my receding and greying hair! I occasionally play rugby (sometimes without getting injured) for Newton Stewart but as age is beginning to catch up on me, I am drifting more into a coaching role, as I’m not quite ready to give up yet.
Alistair McClelland BVMS MRCVS
I joined the practice following a spell working in central Scotland in 2003, this brought me back into familiar territory as my family have a hill sheep and beef farm in the local area. I enjoy doing a variety of work which includes all aspects of farm and companion animal duties but have a specific interest in sheep medicine. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my long-suffering wife Kirsty and our two kids, Thomas and Anna. I also enjoy watching sport, socialising with friends and tending to the few animals that I keep at home.
Ian McDonald BVMS CertAVP(Cattle) MRCVS
Graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2009 and after a brief spell in Northern Ireland I joined the practice in 2010, becoming a partner in 2018. I enjoy all aspects of veterinary work in the practice from large to small. However, in 2013 I went back to being a student studying for 3 years through the University of Liverpool to gain a Certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practice with a designation in Cattle Health and Production. At home my wife Rebecca and son Cameron keep me away from mischief. Our two Hungarian Viszlas and moggy cat compete the tribe. When not on duty I enjoy snowboarding in the Scottish mountains or abroad and running to try and keep fit!
Elaine McGregor BVMS MRCVS
I have just returned to work from a period of maternity leave following the arrival of our 3rd wee baby boy! I enjoy the challenges of work and I enjoy all aspects of veterinary work but I'm most at home out on farm or equine calls.
I like to spend my spare time in the countryside, riding my horse Dusty or walking my two dogs Barney and Gilbert.
Carol Nelson BVM&S MRCVS
I qualified from Edinburgh Vet School in 2004, and after spells in Lanarkshire, Angus and the Machars, I joined Academy Vets in September 2017. Growing up on a beef farm near Ballantrae, Stranraer is almost home territory.
I enjoy all aspects of mixed practice but have a particular interest in small animal medicine and surgery, and sheep medicine.
Away from work I own a Jack Russell Terrier called Archie and enjoy walking, cycling and the odd game of badminton or tennis.
Jennifer Hamilton MedVet MRCVS
Having studied to be a vet in Budapest, Hungary, I joined the Academy team in March 2018. After spending a busy spring driving round in circles trying to find farms, I’m slowly
managing finding my way.
Originally from Co.Armagh in Northern Ireland, I’ve enjoyed meeting all the NI folk who have moved here previously, while I can still sail over home to check up on the family pig farm at weekends.
The range of work has been great, being able to spend the morning in clinic operating on small animals while the afternoon can be spent on farm gives a great variety to the job. All the staff at Academy vets have been great and very supportive, I can’t thank them enough for welcoming me to the team.
Heather McKie BSc (Hons)
I started work at the practice in 2002 as a receptionist. I have worked my way up to become Practice Manager and have the pleasure of trying to ensure the smooth running of this busy practice!!! I have lived in the area all my life, excluding four years studying Animal Science at Stirling University and the Scottish Agricultural College, Auchincruive. I am married to a local farmer and enjoy helping out on the farm and have a keen interest in all aspects of rural life.
I currently work part time, well at the practice anyway. When I go home my 8 year old twin boys, Logan and Archie keep me very busy! If I have any free time I like to spend it outdoors, in the garden, on the farm or walking! I also enjoy socialising with my family and friends. I have a cat called Smirnoff, named before I matured (slightly) and diversified onto gin! I also have two tortoises Harry & Ginny.
I started with the practice in June 2009, it was a lot smaller then! Over the years I have survived the many changes and enjoy the challenges that working in a large practice can bring.
I was born and brought up in the area, escaping to study in the Borders for a short time. Now living near Wigtown, I have two grown up sons, Stuart and Euan and two dogs Coco and Hector. Any spare time I manage to get I can be found walking my dogs in the forests near where I live, enjoying my garden and spending time with family and friends.
After being a hairdresser for 4 years I started with the practise in January 2015. I have lived in Stranraer all my life and have had dogs, horses and my dad keeps a few sheep so I have been involved with many different breeds of animals. I now live near Leswalt with my other half Joel and my 2 Shetland ponies Bruce and Maeve.
In my spare time I enjoy horse riding, walking and socialising with family and friends.
Rachel Kilday RVN
Hi, I’m Rachel. I grew up in Cumnock in Ayrshire with a love for animals of all shapes and sizes and so decided that Veterinary Nursing was the perfect career choice for me. After completing my degree at Napier University in 2013 I moved to the Stranraer area. I currently have 2 crazy Spaniels, Pixie and Bear although I intend to add more dogs to the clan at some point!
In my spare time I can normally be found outdoors walking my dogs, with my loyal pony Brambles or rescuing baby hedgehogs!
Karen Reid RVN
Hi, I have worked at the practice since 2004. I started work as a trainee nurse, then after qualifying in 2006, they decided to keep me on and have never quite got rid of me! I live with my husband, Anthony, sons Gregor, Fraser and Murray. I have just returned following a period of maternity leave, but I’m glad to be back part-time for some peace and quiet as it is hard work looking after my husband and my three boys! On the rare occasion I do get time to myself I can usually be found walking my Border Terrier “Lola” or helping my father with the cattle on his local beef farm
Kirstyn Connor Nursing Manager
I joined the practice in 2000 as a receptionist but soon realised that I was more interested in hands on work with the animals and became a member of the nursing team in 2002.
I still live in Portpatrick with now husband John, 1 year old daughter Rebecca, Tweed the Border Terrier and Quilla the cat.
Having always wanted to work with animals, this is my dream job. I joined the practice in 2009, the “mature” new girl. I find the work both very interesting and rewarding.
I live in Portpatrick with my husband Billy, son Adam, Labrador Honey and two mad cats Samantha and Buster. My spare time is filled by swimming, walking, gardening and making lots of Millionaire shortbread to keep everybody at work sweet!