This is National Veterinary Technician Week. During this week, recognized annually, the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) faculty and staff will focus on our dedicated technicians who play a vital role in ensuring the health and well-being of the horses under our care. 

Clinical staff sometimes join the EMC from overseas to learn and share their unique knowledge and experience with other members of the team and Rosie Barwick, lead clinical veterinary technician is no exception. 

As a child, Rosie loved horses and dreamed of a career in veterinary medicine. Her journey to the EMC took several years, a lot of studying, good connections, and a lot of experience in equine surgical nursing! 

However, there were setbacks along the way; during the interview process with one practitioner in the United Kingdom (UK), she was told that she was too small in stature to work in the veterinary business, which only made Rosie even more determined to succeed! 

While visiting the Animal Health Trust (AHT) in Newmarket, a nationally recognized, large independent charity in the UK that at one time employed 200 scientists, veterinarians, and support workers, she met a member of staff who encouraged her to apply for a position there. 

Rosie found her purpose and passion while assisting in complex orthopedic cases in the equine surgical suite at AHT. The chief technician at AHT at the time - a perfectionist – took Rosie under her wing and when an opportunity came to work in the equine surgical suite at Cambridge University, she encouraged Rosie to apply. Despite stiff competition, Rosie landed the coveted position. 

One of Rosie’s colleagues at Cambridge University happened to apply for a faculty position at the EMC. When he returned to the UK, he encouraged Rosie to apply for an open position at the EMC and the rest is history.

Rosie joined the EMC as the operating room (OR) supervisor in 2003. Her goal at that time was to expand her equine surgical experience and learn about new evolving technologies and techniques. Rosie found great mentors in the clinicians that she came to know so well. “When you find individuals that you can work with well and learn from in your chosen field it is inspiring,’ she said. 

After several years in the OR, Rosie moved into a position as a service tech which allowed her to work more closely with clients and the ability to see cases through from start to finish. She especially enjoyed building relationships with clients and was often asked how best to rehabilitate a horse after surgery. She decided to seek more training in equine rehabilitation and in 2022, received certification as an equine rehabilitation practitioner. 

Rosie would like to incorporate her rehabilitation skills into her work at the EMC as she finds it extremely gratifying to see horses recover after injury and get back to athletic work.  

During her time living in Loudoun County, Virginia, Rosie has hunted with the Middleburg Hunt and has been dubbed the “Hound Whisperer” by hunt staff after rehabilitating one of the hounds. She continues to trail ride but no longer rides out with the hunt, although she does remain very much involved, walking hounds at the weekends, and participating in social events. 

Written by Sharon Peart for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.


Andrew Mann
Director of Communications and Marketing