Some days in vet school, I feel like a fool who can barely say my name without sounding like an idiot. Some days, I’m dropping syringes and tripping around corners. Some days, I can’t find an answer to a question from a clinician, or don’t know differentials for a certain disease. There are a lot of times in vet school, particularly in fourth- year, where you just plain feel like a fool who is almost certainly never going to be a good veterinarian.
Then there are days like one I recently had. It was my first day on Community Practice, which is the AVC’s small animal general practice service. I was, for whatever reason that day, being a respectable human being and even being a decent soon-to-be-vet. I was nailing blood draws, getting through appointments well, communicating with clients well. Overall, I was having a great first day!
My last appointment of the day was absolutely the icing on the cake when this fantastic gentleman brought his two dogs in. We had quite the chat, not necessarily just about his dogs but what he did for a living and what I was planning on doing for a living once I get out of school. By the time the clinician came in, we were fast friends. My heart swelled with pride when the first words out of his mouth to the doctor were, “This one’s going to be a great vet, I can tell.” It wasn’t that I had just performed some life-altering procedure on his dog, or came up with the cure for cancer. I had simply talked to him and expressed his dog’s anal glands. But that was enough for him to give me one of the biggest compliments I have ever received. I will never be able to express to him how much those encouraging words meant to me; a simple thank you is just not enough. We all have good days and bad days, and it’s these good days which make everything worth it.