Academy Vet Centre
Academy Vet Centre

Meet our team....

The Vets

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



Having trained at the Academy Vets in my student days I am delighted to find myself back in Stranraer.  I joined the practice in the Spring of 2010 after working for a year in a mixed practice in Northern Ireland.  I enjoy all aspects of Veterinary work in the practice from large to small.  When not on duty I can be found “on the piste (snowboarding), running or walking my faithful hounds Morgan and Pie the Vizlas, with my lovely wife Rebecca.

Elaine McGregor BVMS MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon


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.

Rhona Anderson BVMS MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon


Hailing originally from Kelso, I joined the practice in August 2014 after graduating from Glasgow Vet School that year.  I love all aspects of mixed practice but on a sunny day I’m happiest in the fields working with cows.  I am slightly accident prone and bruise easily so I’ve been keeping the nurses and A&E busy since my arrival!

Outside of work I enjoy swimming, skiing and going for walks on the beach and of course having an “occasional” gin and tonic

Grace Armstrong BVMS MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Jennifer Hamilton DrMedVet MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

I am the newest member to team AVC. I haven't ventured far from my home in Co. Armagh.  I graduted from the Universit of Veterinary Medicine in Febuary 2018 and I'm now enjoying being part of this busy mixed practice.   

The Admin Team

Heather McKie  BSc (Hons)

Practice Manager


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 5 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 and drinking Vodka – hence my cats name “Smirnoff”. Although I admit I can’t cope with the hangovers like I used to and nowadays I am more partial to a quiet night in! (I am getting old!)

Mandy Davidson


I started with the practice in June 2009 and have lived in the area most of my life, now near Wigtown with my two boys Stuart and Euan and my two dogs Tilly and Coco.  Having now been at the practice for over 6 years I have seen, and survived, the many changes.  The merger of the two practices, Walker and Alan’s retirement and many new employees.  To help me relax I enjoy walking my dogs around the hills and trails in Galloway.

Tracy Milligan


I am one of the longest standing members of the team, with a couple of breaks, the most recent was to have my wee girl Anna.  In my spare time I enjoy golf and spending time with my family.

Kirsty Park


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.

Jill Dunlop

I have retuned to Academy Vets part time following a break from working after the birth of my secon son.  

The Nursing Team

Rachel Kilday RVN

Head of Nursing Team


Hi, I’m Rachel.  I am the newest member of the nursing team.  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 Port William to live with my soon to be husband, Jeffery.  We 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


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.

Fiona Milven

I joined the practise in 2003.  I live locally with my fiancé Rodney.  I have 2 sons and a 11 month old grandson.  I enjoy spending time with family and friends

Carlyn McDougall

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!

Carolyn Fisher RVN


I joined the Nursing Team in July 2014 after coming to the practice for two years for work experience. I have recently finished my training at Edinburgh College and look forward to the challenges of being a fully qualified RVN.


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Tel.: 01776 703131



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