Married veterinarians create their own special moment with double MMedVet graduation
4 October 2017
When Charlie met Christie at the Faculty of Veterinary Science in 1997, the two prospective veterinarians could not have foreseen that 20 years later they would obtain their MMedVet degrees together as husband and wife, at the same graduation ceremony and on the same day.
Dr Charlie Boucher (MMedVet in Small Animal Surgery) and Dr Christie Boucher (MMedVet in Ophtalmology, cum laude) were awarded their degrees during the recent Spring Graduation Ceremony of the University of Pretoria. The events that culminated in this special occasion started when both veterinarians got an opportunity to further their careers and enrolled for postgraduate MMedVet degrees in 2013.
The two met when Charlie became a student of the Faculty in 1997, and they started going out half-way through his third year. At that stage, they both also played hockey for the University, with Christie captaining the Tuks women's hockey team. Lift clubs to and from the campus allowed them to spend more time together.
Shortly after Christie qualified as a veterinarian in 2000 she went to the United Kingdom and worked as a small animal veterinarian in Greater London. Two years later, in 2002, Charlie also qualified as a veterinarian and, in his words, 'realised she wasn't going to come running after me', so he also went to the UK and started a practice in 2004. 'Christie used to work for a neighbouring practice, which was also the competition,' Charlie adds with a chuckle.
The two got married soon after Charlie moved to the UK, and their children, Charlie and Celeste, were born there. The family moved back to South Africa in August 2012. According to Charlie, both of them studying at the same time with two children presented its fair share of challenges, the greatest of which was balancing family time and studying. 'However, we are grateful for the support of our parents and colleagues, especially our respective study leaders, Prof Louis Coetzee and Dr Izak Venter. Without them it would not have been possible,' he says.
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Drs Charlie and Christie Boucher on graduation day