Just a few weeks ago, I said goodbye to the veterinary clinic where I worked nearly every day for the past two years. When I started working there, I was a fairly shy college sophomore working my way through undergrad who needed to pick up as many veterinary shadowing hours as I could. When I left, I was a confident veterinary receptionist, college graduate, and an incoming veterinary school student. This practice shaped me and solidified in my heart that I truly wanted to go into the sometimes crazy profession of veterinary medicine.
I was originally just looking for a clinic that would let me do some shadowing over my summer break. I had called around to several clinics in the area to inquire about shadowing, but many of them already had students or, due to insurance purposes, did not allow shadowing. But when I called this clinic, the practice owner was so warm and friendly. She told me to come on in and get as many experience hours as I needed. I knew on my first day that I had found my ‘tribe,’ and before the summer was over, they had officially hired me as a receptionist and veterinary assistant when needed.
They laughed and cried with me through all the ups and downs that my last two years of undergraduate work had to throw at me. On the day I got my first letter of acceptance to veterinary school (thanks K-State), they met me at the door with cheers and a huge bouquet of flowers. And when I didn’t get into my in-state school where I thought I would end up attending, they held me while I cried and assured me that everything happens for a reason. Without the amazing love and support, my first clinic showed me, I do not know if I would have made it this far.
On my very last day of work, my coworkers and boss surprised me with Chick-fil-A for lunch, which they all know is my absolute favorite food. They also gifted me with a brand new Littmann Cardiology IV stethoscope that I am incredibly thankful for.
It’s not every day you have to leave a workplace full of such wonderful, caring people. I hope that someday in the future I will be able to mentor pre-veterinary students in the way that I was mentored here. I want to be able to provide the same compassion, guidance, training, and experience that was shown to me at my clinic to the next generation of veterinary students.