“Doctor Jill Dentel.”
They called those words for the first time at my oath and hooding. It was a surreal moment as I walked across the stage in my cowboy boots and gown to receive my hood from one of my favorite clinicians. All I can say is wow. It was amazing. Eight years of hard work, and the dream of a lifetime had finally been realized. For the first time officially I had been called “Doctor.” It is more than just a name after this much work; it is an honor and a privilege to stand among veterinarians and be called Doctor. The other honor of the evening was to recite the veterinarian’s oath with my classmates and clinicians. Word by word, we recited it together. It was a special moment. For the last time, all 157 of us were together in the same room after 4 years of countless classes, labs, and tests. It is a weird feeling. Seeing people we’ve seen so often for such a long time, even if we weren’t close, knowing that we may very well never meet again. That is life I guess. Paths cross sometimes to meet again years later, and others diverge never to share the same roadway.
What I do know is that I am grateful for everyone who was with me on this journey. I learned lessons from all of them, and as we stood together as doctors for the first time, the feeling we had is something that never could be put into words. It is a feeling I will never forget.