Safia Barakzai


Safia Barakzai is an internationally recognized specialist in equine surgery. Her expertise lies in soft tissue surgery, and in particular, upper respiratory disorders (‘wind’ problems), dental and sinus surgery and minimally invasive surgical techniques. She is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS), holds both Certificate and Diploma in Equine Soft Tissue Surgery from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and is an RCVS and ECVS recognized surgical specialist. She has also been an associate member of the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (ECDVI).
She qualified from Bristol University in 1998 and started her surgical training at the University of Edinburgh the following year. After her residency, she stayed on at the University of Edinburgh until 2012, working as a senior surgeon in the R(D)SVS referral hospital managing clinical cases, performing clinical research and training many other young equine surgeons who are now surgical specialists in their own right. She then spent 5 years working as an equine surgeon in private practice in the UK and Ireland, before setting up Equine Surgical Referrals as a mobile surgical consultancy in 2017.
Safia travels around the UK and to other countries to consult on cases, perform exercising endoscopy and operate on horses, in collaboration with other veterinary practices. Safia’s clinical research includes over 80 peer reviewed publications in the veterinary literature, plus 2 full textbooks and numerous other textbook chapters. Her main research interests are diagnosis and surgery of upper respiratory tract disorders and imaging and surgical treatment of dental and sinus disorders in the horse. She sits on the Editorial Consultants Board for Equine Veterinary Journal and was previously on the Editorial Review Board for Veterinary Surgery.
She is regularly invited to speak at local, national and international veterinary conferences and has been an examiner and chief examiner for the RCVS certificate. She is also a member of the Council of the British Equine Veterinary Association.