This is going to sound like a whiny post, but it really is a plea.

I really try to do my job well. Mostly because, it is not really a job to me. Veterinary medicine is a vocation. Most of us vets heard a call at some point in our lives. I was 10 years old, I read a book and I just knew. You work at a job, but you live a vocation.

I take "work' home with me. Constantly. I don't know a vet who doesn't. I agonize over my cases. As I drive my long commute home, some of the thoughts that wander through my mind are these. "Did I make all of the best, most up to date recommendations for that GI cat? Did I miss anything? Oh, I forgot to tell that dog's owner to watch out for this other symptom! I hope he'll be okay until I can call her tomorrow. Did I come across ok in that tense emergency? How can I communicate more effectively about the importance of treating ear infections? I need to remember to check and see if that diabetic patient scheduled an appointment."

Then, when I get home and have put my kid to bed and made and ate dinner, I'll go and do just a little more digging on that one tough case and see if I can find any other nuggets of information that could get us closer to a diagnosis. That night, as I get ready for bed I'll be thinking of my surgery from earlier that day and wondering how restful she's feeling, and if I sent enough pain meds home. I might dream about some of my patients or clients as I sleep. On my day off I will check bloodwork online and call or email the owners if it can't wait until the next day.

The next day I'll draft up a client information handout to better explain a complicated disease. I will turn every page of every veterinary journal and magazine I receive because I don't want to miss a single small bit of info that may help my patients. I'll spend an hour on the phone calling pharmacies, specialists, and labs to get the best medicine for the best price for my clients.

And I'll see countless appointments, and then begin a whole new cycle of wondering and thinking.

So it really bugs me when people think vets "do it for the money." Yeah right. I do all of the above work unpaid while filling every other obligation I have as a wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, neighbor, board member, horse owner, and working (and getting paid for) full time. I do all of the above to make myself a better veterinarian, to learn as much as I can to better assist my clients and take even better care of my patients. I do it because I want to.

So please, just appreciate your vet. That's all I ask.


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