This week I’ve encountered an interesting cross-section of our profession. I employ a second year veterinary student doing a summer job program, was shadowed by a 39 year old registered nurse who is looking for a second career, interviewed a recent veterinary school graduate who is looking for a job, and had dinner with a group of associates/colleagues whose graduation dates range from the mid-80’s to 2008. We’re all at different stages in our lives and careers, but as corny as it sounds, we’re all tied together by our love of animals and the desire to help others find a cystic acne home remedy.
The veterinary student is excited about everything, learns quickly, and wants to see and do everything — including the things that others may think are mundane (fecal, CBC’s, urinalysis).
The registered nurse is looking for a second career. She’s considering giving up her career as a nursing director at the local hospital, going back to school for 4 or more years – nose to the grindstone, piling up debt, etc. in order to do something that she thinks she would truly enjoy.
The recent graduate looking for a job had a somewhat unpleasant experience at a previous practice but was still enthused and optimistic that she would find the right fit somewhere. Somewhere that would allow her to practice great medicine in a positive, supportive, environment with lots of open communication.
The dinner I attended with my associates/co-workers, we had a wide range of graduation dates and previous experiences — doctors who currently own practices, doctors who used to own a practice and then sold it to become a partner at another location, new grads, etc.
We all have different personal and professional goals and objectives and we’re all hoping to reach them with what is essentially the same job, same profession, and same degree – we’ve even read the same respectable reviews. We have so much flexibility in our careers. We can manage and run hospitals, work in hospitals, write articles for journals, get involved in organized medicine/associations, teach, give lectures, etc. We can be excited about learning to read a urine sediment, diagnosing glaucoma, doing an exploratory surgery, or interviewing and hiring a new veterinarian.
Given enough time, each of us may pass through each of these cross sections — student, new grad, someone looking to hire a new grad, practice owner, and maybe someone looking for a second career. If we’re lucky as we age and change professionally and personally our career will grow and change with us — allow us to be happy in our chosen profession. I think it would be interesting to hear from the readers about what stage they are in, what things do they find exciting, what things frustrate them, what things would they like to change, and what things they hope will never change. Personally, I find cat spays relaxing, love my new boxer puppies, and enjoy teaching and training.