Thursday, November 22, 2012


I just recently returned from a vacation which involved visiting several countries in MesoAmerica. Coming from one of the richest countries in the world, it was easy to see why so many people want to emigrate to the US. Most homes that we passed on our way to visit places would barely be considered 'houses' in America. Some were without roofs or had no doors or windows. Most were put together with rotten old boards, thatch, whatever materials could be found. The area surrounding the houses was generally full of trash, debris, and a few chickens pecking at the ground.  There were dogs, so many of them. Unneutered, flea ridden, mangy, starving dogs. I felt so guilty, just for being there, riding past in a sleek, air conditioned bus, staring out at poverty.

The people there had nothing. They had even less than what we would consider as nothing. It really put things into perspective with Thanksgiving right around the corner.

I am thankful for my health, happiness, and all the privileges given to me just by virtue of being an American. I am thankful for my freedom, my ability to work, and my wonderful job helping animals and their people.

I am thankful for my wonderful, supportive husband who gives me everything I ever need all while putting up with the crazy. I am thankful for our three four legged children, who bring joy to me every day. I am thankful for my family and my friends, who love me for who I am.

I am thankful I have many places to call home, delicious food to eat, and so many wonderful things that I take for granted virtually every day of the year.

Thank you, Thanksgiving Day, for reminding us of what we have that is so precious.

Roatan Island, Honduras 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another new vet school

Ok, are you freaking kidding me?

Another new vet school? Because the ones in Alaska, Utah and Arizona aren't enough? Because we really need more vets, especially in the densely populated Northeast? Because we don't want a building to go to waste and we need more jobs????? REALLY?????

Creating more academic jobs and more "long term" jobs for hospital workers is not going to solve any problems. There is no "big money" in veterinary medicine. Opening a new school will not bring economic growth to the area.

Creating MORE veterinarians than there already are, with multiple new schools in the works, is going to ruin this profession, as echoed by colleagues herehereherehere, here and others elsewhere on VIN, and other forums.

There is no shortage of veterinarians. In fact, there are already too many. But the AVMA and academia are apparently ignoring this fact, and presenting a picture to new vets that is very different from reality.

I fought when my school decided to add 20 more seats to the class size (they did it anyway) while they were telling me that they needed the increased tuition dollars to keep their doors open. If a veterinary school, who gets millions of dollars each year from tuition, plus grants for research, donations and the income from it's referral hospital is having trouble staying afloat, how can you expect small business owners to do it? Especially with new grads coming out of school with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and not enough cases to pay the salaries they deserve.

Veterinary medicine is a calling, and I am not sure I would have turned away from it even if I knew the current state of things. However, making it easier to go to vet school is making it harder to find a job, harder to earn a living, and harder to love this profession.