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Like a Warm Blanket

If you have been reading my blog over the past year, you know that I have taken a sabbatical from veterinary school to earn my MBA through our dual degree DVM/MBA program.  It has been an extremely positive, eye opening experience.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and learn from my classmates.  And the course work isn't bad either.  I don't make it over to the vet school as often as I like, but when I do, I remember why I made veterinary medicine my chosen path. 

Last week, I got the distinct pleasure of introducing veterinary school applicants to Texas A&M.  In a small way, I was also introducing them to the veterinarian community.  The veterinary community is very small.  As I love pointing out, you could fit every veterinarian in the US in A&M's football stadium, Kyle Field, and still have a couple thousand seats left over.  Now, A&M does have a very large football stadium, but that doesn't diminish the fact that this is a small, tightknit community.  Another way of looking at it, there are more lawyers within the Beltway in Washington, D.C. than there are veterinarians in the entire country.  There just aren't many of us out there. 

As I walked into the gathering area for the applicants, I felt the warm blanket of security and familiarity that comes with being a member of the veterinary community.  I saw professors, advisors, and private practitioners scattered throughout the room.   Many of them came up to me and called me by name, even though I hadn't been around in several months.  I felt like I was coming home for Christmas.  This is my professional family. 

Most other professions are not as lucky as we are in veterinary medicine.  Because of our small size, we can touch so much of our community with just a few phone calls and handshakes.  This is a community that by and large cares about each other and the future of the profession.  How many other professions can you name that allow students, not even full members of the profession yet, to have a voice and a vote in local, state, and national policies and issues?  Yet, next weekend when the annual TVMA convention comes to College Station, two students will be voting members in every single committee and will have a say in every single matter that is confronting veterinary medicine in the state.  By the way, the only reason TVMA continues to have their annual meeting in College Station is to allow students to participate.  Trust me, as much as I love College Station, I know there are more exciting locations in the state to hold a meeting. 

If you are reading this and are curious about what it is like to be a veterinarian, just remember the imagery I used earlier.  The community is like a warm blanket of security and friendship.  I believe people get into veterinary medicine to help animals, but they stay in it because they love the people.  We have some great folks.