Over the coming months, we will be publishing Career Stories, a blog series dedicated to showcasing the remarkable lives and career journeys of the vets and clinical teams at Linnaeus.

From our nurses to clinical directors, the series will take you on a journey through the careers of our talented and hardworking team, providing a closer look at their career paths, achievements, and the challenges they've encountered along the way.

These stories illustrate the diversity and rewards of a veterinary career. No two journeys are identical; most paths are unique and will take unexpected twists and turns as an individual evolves their interests and skillset. That's why Linnaeus is introducing the Vet Career Framework, a new process designed to empower its vets to take charge of their career progression.

Whether you have a passion for sustainability or enjoy the intricacy of surgery, the Framework offers a clear pathway to transforming your aspirations into reality. These stories will delve into key moments in their careers, highlighting instances where the Framework could have provided invaluable support to our vets.

In the first instalment, we are turning the spotlight to Andrew (Andy) Armitage, Clinical Director at Greenside Veterinary Practice, a passionate professional who has reshaped the world of veterinary medicine with his pioneering work in regenerative medicine and rehabilitation.

Andy has transitioned from his early days as a veterinary surgeon to becoming a trailblazer in regenerative treatments, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of veterinary care.

The Early Days

In the early days, Andy's journey in the world of veterinary medicine was kindled by a deep love and fascination for animals that had been with him since he was just 4 years old. Despite having no pets or family members in the field, this innate passion inspired Andy, taking him on a path that started at The University of Edinburgh, where he eventually graduated with a degree in Physiology and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. This equipped Andy with the fundamental skills and knowledge that would prepare him for a successful career.

After graduating, Andy wanted to stay in Scotland, but the veterinary world was significantly different from what it is today. Job opportunities were scarce, especially in the northern regions where choices were quite limited. Despite this, he was able to land a job with small animals locally.

A fast-paced start

Starting as a fresh graduate, Andy was quickly immersed into the world of a small animal veterinary practice, which brought with it some hurdles he had to overcome. He was required to work independent from an early stage, which led him to quickly develop his clinical and surgical skills through a hands-on approach. Despite the challenge, this experience gave the new junior vet the self-confidence to kick-start his career.

Whether you’re a fresh graduate or an experienced professional, our Vet Career Framework will facilitate two-way discussion between vet and their line manager, identifying and addressing any hurdles that may be block career progression.

Changing paths

As a fresh graduate, Andy had a strong interest in both soft tissue and orthopedic surgery. He was always up for a challenge and possessed a genuine passion for anatomy, finding satisfaction in the ability to cure diseases and injuries through surgical procedures. However, after a chance encounter with fellow professional Dr. Christine Standen, his career path trajectory changed.

Christine was setting up a canine stem cell lab and asked for help with initial research on tissue collection and processing. This led him to trial stem cell therapy in a number of patients, and after seeing some miraculous effects in his patients, this changed the way Andy approached veterinary medicine for and shifted his clinical focus moving forward.

Our Vet Career Framework empowers vets to take control of their career journey by helping them discover and nurture their interests and passions. It will offer clear guidance on how they can align their career with these passions, making it more flexible and adaptable as their interests evolve.

Revolutionising veterinary care

His involvement in pioneering stem cell therapy in the UK marked a pivotal moment in his career. Driven by the remarkable outcomes he witnessed in patients, he transformed his approach to musculoskeletal disorders. Andy moved towards preferring to use minimally invasive regenerative medicine treatments, such as the use of stem cells to facilitate healing and disease modification.

This shift led him to establish the first Regenerative Medicine and Rehabilitation Referral Centre in the UK, making advanced treatments like stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma accessible to a broader audience. The Centre continues to take referrals to this day, ensuring that Linnaeus can deliver its purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS.

Balancing practice and research

In addition to his clinical work, Andy is a published researcher, having contributed to a significant peer-reviewed study published in Frontiers Journal. Dr. Luisa De Risio, Clinical Research and Excellence Director, is one of Andy’s mentors at Linnaeus and has played an instrumental role in inspiring him to publish his work and forge collaborations with fellow experts from Mars.

This publication marks one of Andy’s proudest achievements, allowing him to demonstrate the positive impact his treatments have had on patients. Despite facing scepticism for his techniques from some of his peers, he has persisted with his research for over a decade - fuelled by his clients and patients who have seen miraculous improvements, in the most challenging and dire circumstances.

Linnaeus actively encourages team working and collaboration among its Associates. This mentorship opportunity - within the vast network of veterinary professionals at Mars Veterinary Health - created an environment for Andy to thrive and realise his dream of publishing his research.

Joining Greenside Veterinary Practice

Andrew was interested in launching his own local veterinary practice, however his wife introduced him to a contact at Greenside Veterinary Practice, where he joined as a Partner in 2008. His new role covered both small and large animals, forcing him to reacquaint himself with large animal care through surgeries like bovine caesarean sections and uterine prolapse replacements.

In 2018, Andy became Lead Clinical Director for Greenside’s Regenerative Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre, continuing to deliver leading-edge treatment to pets across the UK.

Combining practice and research

Andy's passion is deeply rooted in research, and he has successfully merged his clinical practice with his research pursuits. Here at Linnaeus, we actively promote a culture of continuous professional development (CPD) and research exploration. We recognise that careers in the veterinary field should not always follow a rigid linear path.

Maintaining balance

Although difficult at times, Andy enjoys maintaining a work-life balance. He enjoys unwinding by spending time with his family and keeping up with his hobbies such as fishing and breeding canaries and British finches.

Continuing the journey

As Andy looks towards the future, he is motivated to publish more of his work and educate others in the field of veterinary regenerative medicine. His dedication to pushing boundaries is relentless, with plans to release research on the treatment of elbow dysplasia.

Vet Career Framework

Andy’s story should serve as inspiration to all those in the veterinary industry. It shows how your interests and passions can shape your future. The team at Linnaeus are helping to make stories like Andy’s easier to attain for Associates across our practices.

Launching next year, the Vet Career Framework allows Associates to unlock their potential through a self-driven and customisable career progression pathway that will provide clear milestones and rewards as their career develops.

Just like Andy choosing to focus his career on regenerative medicine, vets at Linnaeus will be able to forge their own path to gain fulfilment out of their career.

If you would like to learn more about the Vet Career Framework, please speak to Rachel Orsborne by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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