April and May are a special time for many people: anniversaries, weddings, graduations, and for most veterinarians the anniversary of their graduation from veterinary school. Welcome to the 2500 plus veterinarians that have now joined the ranks and earned their D.V.M or V.M.D. credentials! For those of us who have been doing this for a little while I am certain that it doesn’t take much to remember exactly what it was like sitting in that seat in vet school imagining what life wearing the coveralls or white coat on a daily basis would be like. The things we would know, the answers we would have for the clients and patients that would be helped by our veterinary skills! It always reminds me of the line from “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.” The possibilities were endless as a newly minted veterinarian!
I thoroughly enjoy this time of year because it serves as a bit of a renewal for all of the hope and excitement about our profession that can sometimes fade. The reality of life as a practicing veterinarian is of course different than we imagine: the sad cases are much sadder when you are the one delivering the bad news, the frustration of cost concerns prohibiting diagnostics and treatments is much more of a daily occurrence, and the joy of helping a sick pet walk out of the hospital a bit better than they came in is even sweeter than anticipated. To keep perspective on this career, this profession, is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned in my few short years out of school: we all fought very hard to get here and it truly is a privilege to be in this small, dedicated group of professionals that get to do what we do every day.