Julia A. Langfitt D.V.M
Veterinarian, Weybridge Veterinary Center
Julia moved with her family to Surrey in 2016, where she works part-time as a small animal veterinarian. A series of international moves has given her new and varied challenges throughout her career.
Dr Langfitt graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1996 and undertook a year-long small animal surgical and medical internship at a large specialty practice in her home state of Maryland.
After moving to Beijing, China with her husband Frank, she opened a small animal clinic within the medical unit of the US Embassy. For five and a half years, she worked as the marine mammal veterinarian for the National Aquarium in Beijing, where she created a preventive medicine protocol and helped maintain the health of eight bottlenose dolphins, six false killer whales, six seals, and two Californian sea lions.
A highlight of her time there was repairing a hernia on a polar bear at the zoo. When the pressures of the city got to her, Dr Langfitt would don a wetsuit, hop into the pool, and swim with the whales. One of the largest, Pounder, would roll over like a dog and allow her to lie on top of its belly while they floated around. It was magical.
In 2000, Dr. Langfitt earned her Executive MBA from the Rutgers University satellite campus in Beijing. She left China in 2002 and enjoyed an academic year at Harvard as a Neiman Affiliate, taking undergraduate and business school classes, though her favorite part of living in Cambridge was rowing the Charles.
In 2003, Dr. Langfitt started her own business, a relief veterinary service that allowed her to balance family and career. She also regularly worked part-time at local animal hospitals. Upon moving to Kenya in 2010, Dr Langfitt took a much-needed gap year and focused on her family, including Katherine and Christopher, then aged 9 and 6.
Back in China a year later, she managed one of the new western-run veterinary hospitals in Shanghai called PAW (Pets Are Wonderful). After her nine-year absence, she struggled to comprehend the many changes that had taken place, both in this newly developed China and specifically in veterinary medicine. A personal milestone for Dr Langfitt was repairing a congenital heart defect (PDA) on a one-and-a-half-pound Teacup Poodle with a heart the size of a walnut. Honey is alive and well in Shanghai six years later.
Another five years vanished before the Langfitt family left the polluted but stimulating city of Shanghai for the clean, bucolic life in Surrey. As well as her veterinary work, Dr Langfitt takes creative writing classes at Kingston University and is currently writing a book about a young veterinarian who finds herself living in China.