I grew up surrounded by dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens. I tended to cows, goats, and sheep. My free time was devoted to dog training, 4-H, and exploring the outdoors. Like many youths, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Good fortune provided some other opportunities for me to explore before I arrived at veterinary school; I traveled the world, managed the educational department of a zoo, and worked out to sea. The most amazing part of this journey called life is the creatures, human and otherwise, that we share our time with. I came to veterinary medicine with a strong belief about what being an excellent veterinarian entailed; citizenship with veterinarians, staff, and pet owner, cooperation between the veterinarian, the client, and the pet, and communication about medical conditions, life styles, and relationships.
Veterinary school is challenging; we learn a lot of information, about half of which is outdated by the time we graduate, and often we are isolated from the other realms of pet care such as trainers, owners, and groomers. I held onto my mantra of citizenship, cooperation, and communication throughout veterinary school, during exams that exhausted my brain, through scorching reviews by clinicians, and over endless hours without sleep while relentlessly studying difficult cases. These were the values I admired in the leaders I had encountered throughout my life and they serve me well as a veterinarian. I enjoy my work connecting with clients, puzzling out the problems of our patients, performing examinations, medical tests, procedures, or surgeries, and working with a talented and skilled staff. The refrain from my childhood was simply ‘do your best’ and part of doing my best as a veterinarian is to strive to be better every day. I want to be better than I was the day before. Better at detecting illnesses, better at working with patients, better at helping clients, better at caring for my family, and better at being true to myself. As I strive to be a better vet, I want to share my journey with all of you! I hope you enjoy walking this path with me and I hope you will share your own paths with me. What do you strive for in your own life?