Dr Kathryn Duncan graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2015 and will complete her residency at Southpaws Specialty and Referral Hospital early 2020. She is passionate about all aspects of small animal surgery with a particular interest in cardiothoracic surgery and neurosurgery.

Kathryn joins the VetPrac educator team in the Laparoscopy Workshop at Gatton on February 7-9th 2020. We’re proud to welcome her to our family and spent a little time getting to know Kathryn a little better:

What do you like to do for fun?
Running, playing netball and catching up with family and friends.


How do you pend your days off?
Most free time is sadly spent studying at the moment but otherwise I love spending time with my friends in Melbourne.


In your own words, what it is about laparoscopy that you find interesting and that you believe general practitioners would benefit from learning and performing better?
Performing less invasive surgical procedures should always be something that we strive towards as veterinarians to reduce the morbidity for our patients!


Would you like to share any horror or hero stories from any of the procedures we’ll be addressing to inspire readers to assess and grow their skills?
It’s better to have some experience under your belt before attempting a completely laparoscopic gastropexy on the surgical specialist’s puppy!


What have you learned from experience that you didn’t learn from a textbook? What practical advice would you offer fellow vets?
I gained most of my experience with fracture repairs from hands on experience and courses aiming to improve your technical skills. Attending practical courses can be so great to consolidate knowledge, enhance your skills and expose you to huge numbers of case examples and are really worthwhile signing up for.


What procedure/technology/medication have you used and realized that there was a better alternative?
Orthovoltage radiation therapy – it is unfortunate that we are so limited in our access to megavoltage radiation/linear accelerators in Australia, because they are an incredible tool in the medical profession. We are fortunate to have an orthovoltage radiation unit that can be useful in some scenarios, but the megavoltage radiation units are so versatile in comparison.


What have you tried that doesn’t work? What have you tried that does work and may be surprising to other vets?
I am always pleasantly surprised about the benefit that palliative radiation therapy can provide to patients with osteosarcoma that are not able to undergo amputation due to concurrent disease. This can be a really helpful management tool for pain relief in these dogs.


What practical surgical tips that you learned from experience would you share with general practitioners?
Immersing yourself in fields of interest such as surgery can be so beneficial to your learning. Reading a textbook front to back can be demoralizing, and so if you are interested in a specific field then try to spend some time with other practitioners who work in that area (e.g. visit specialty centers) and see what you pick up along the way!


What advice would you give new graduates?
You are entering an amazing industry with so many resources that you can reach out to, whether it is for case advice, work-life balance advice or mental health support – never be afraid to ask for help or input from others around you to improve your patient’s outcomes and to improve your own personal challenges.


Laparoscopy Quiz 1200x628 V01 1


If you want to learn more about Laparoscopy this is the workshop you don’t want to miss! Dr Brenton Chambers, Dr Peter Delisser & Dr Kathryn Duncan are combining their expertise and we’re keen to share it with you. This workshop is proving to be very popular so don’t delay! Register HERE for the Laparoscopy: Principles and Practice Workshop at Gatton on February 7-9, 2020.


Dr Kathryn Duncan can be contacted by email – CLICK HERE.


Other interesting reads:
Dr Kathryn Duncan’s experience, publications and awards
From Laparoscopy to surgery on large land-based predators (Dr Brenton Chambers)
A peek into Laparoscopy with Dr Peter Delisser
Brochure: Laparoscopy Workshop 2020