Introducing our incredible Veterinary Surgeon at Peak Vets, Macarena Sanchez-Martel, hailing from the picturesque city of Malaga, Spain. Her journey through the world of veterinary medicine is a testament to resilience, passion, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Macarena Sanchez-Martel has had an illustrious career that spans over two countries. Leveraging Linnaeus’ top-tier CPD opportunities and an extensive network of professionals, Macarena has skilfully paved her path to becoming a highly esteemed veterinary surgeon.


A Journey from Cordoba to the UK

Macarena's story began in Cordoba, Spain, where she graduated from the prestigious University of Cordoba in 2010. The veterinary world is a global one, and in 2012, she embarked on a new adventure by moving to the UK.

After her arrival in the UK, Macarena completed a rotational internship at Davies Specialist Veterinary Clinic in 2013. This experience provided her with a solid foundation in a specialised environment, setting the stage for her future endeavours.

Linnaeus offers a range of dynamic internships designed to help you reach your full potential as a vet. Our internship programmes are structured to provide you with unparalleled guidance and support on your journey to becoming a skilled and confident veterinary professional.

Each intern is paired with a dedicated mentor, a senior member of our clinical team, who has undergone specialised mentor training. This mentorship is a cornerstone of our programme, providing you with valuable insights, knowledge, and encouragement throughout your internship.

Discovering a Passion for Feline Medicine

As with many professionals, Macarena's career path encountered its share of twists and turns. She initially aspired to become a soft tissue specialist, envisioning a future where her surgical skills would shine. However, life had a different plan.

As Macarena's career unfolded, she discovered she had a strong passion for feline medicine and found genuine enjoyment from caring for cats. The pivotal moment that solidified her passion was when she faced a tough case involving feline asthma; it was an eye-opener for Macarena, making her realise the importance of enhancing her knowledge and skills to provide top-notch care to cats.

Her drive to give her feline patients the very best care propelled her toward a specialisation in this field.

Mentorship and Accreditation

In her journey towards feline medicine, Macarena found mentorship to be a valuable resource. Dr. Nigel Smallwood, Clinical Director at Peak Vets played a pivotal role in motivating her and guiding her towards pursuing feline medicine accreditation. This support enabled her to develop her expertise and confidence, knowing she wasn't alone on her career path.

With Nigel’s support, Macarena achieved a MANZCVS Medicine of Cats accreditation in 2022, which further enhanced her confidence and knowledge in feline medicine. Nigel also helped her to obtain Advanced Practitioner status in Feline Medicine.

This kind of mentorship and career development lies at the heart of the Vet Career Framework. The Framework empowers you to select the accreditations that align with your aspirations and actively opens doors for mentorship opportunities with our vast network of over 7,000 dedicated Associates.

Overcoming Challenges: A Test of Resilience

The journey to success was not without its challenges. Macarena grappled with stages of overwork and burnout. The heavy workload and the pressures of complaints, at times, contributed to imposter syndrome and took a toll on her mental health.

During her initial struggles in general practice, the Vet Career Framework could have facilitated a two-way discussion between Macarena and her line manager, helping identify and address hurdles that were affecting her mental health. It could have provided invaluable support, guiding her through challenging times.

To overcome these challenges, Macarena has strived to strike a work-life balance that suits her, offering a blend of professional fulfilment and quality time with her loved ones. To achieve this, she made the choice to shorten her work week to four days, enabling her to enjoy precious moments with her husband, friends, and family.

To unwind, Macarena also enjoys hitting the gym and savours the opportunity to travel when it comes her way. These hobbies have played a crucial role in maintaining a sense of balance in her life.

Words of Wisdom: Advice for Aspiring Veterinarians

Macarena's journey carries invaluable lessons for those setting out on their veterinary careers. She emphasises the importance of seeking help when needed and finding answers through literature, articles, and professional resources. Above all, she encourages aspiring veterinarians not to be too hard on themselves, recognising that knowledge and experience grow over time.

Macarena attributes her resilience and success to unwavering self-belief, hard work, and the support of her family and friends.

Beyond Clinical Work: A World of Opportunities

The veterinary industry offers boundless opportunities, as Macarena's journey exemplifies. Just like her, you can opt for a transformative move to an entirely different country, embracing a new lifestyle, and still find ample opportunities waiting on your path.

Macarena's story sheds light on a common reality: what you aspire to specialise in at the outset of your career may evolve significantly as you progress. Her story also highlights the importance of resilience, reminding us that making mistakes is an integral part of the learning process and that knowledge naturally grows with time.

Macarena’s story should serve as an 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 Macarena’s easier to attain for Associates across our practices.

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 careers develop, just like Macarena's choice to focus her career on feline medicine.


Launching next year, The Linnaeus Vet Career Framework will allow 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 careers.

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..