Have you had the guts and support of those around you to chase the dreams you’ve had since you were knee-high to a grasshopper (for those of you who aren’t Urban-Dictionary-ing (yes, I used that as a verb!) that phrase, it means ‘really young kid’)? Well, I am happy to shout from the rooftops and mountain tops that I have been a very blessed and fortunate soul; and not without a dash of stubbornness, and some (like my husband and I) would say blissfully ignorant of any obstacles and sacrifices that got in the way of becoming a veterinarian, after having a successful career in human medicine too, by-the-way.
As such, having worked in the field as a veterinary technician throughout college, practiced as a Physician Assistant prior to and after veterinary school, and now two years into vet practice in my mid-thirties, I feel I can safely say I am where I belong. And, hey, I ‘ve always been a late-comer when it comes to life-changing events, so why not include a second career and first-time blogger in the mix also?
You know the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”? I think my life motto is and has been “It takes a whole lotta people to raise this village idiot!”. Even on our best days, where we give a life-saving diagnosis to one patient and think we’ve just conquered the Mt. Everest of diagnostic conundrums, we come to the end of the road for another and concede defeat. We are trained in the ivory castles of vet school academia to hone our diagnostic skills, improve our client communication abilities, and become scientific perfectionists; however it’s only after graduation we realize we learn the most in the exam room with you, the client, and the pet as the loving family member in need of our attentions, right there and in that moment. And everyday I acknowledge there is so much more to become than simply the DVM title I am so dearly paying back gratuitous student loans for! We are your friends, extended family, and moreover voices for the family members without words (although they truly try to tell us something everyday with barks, meows, squawks, neighs, mooing, clucks….). We, as a profession, are so much more driven by our empathy and love for our non-human kin to do better and be better medical providers that frequently we put everybody and everything else ahead of our own needs. If the zeal of one’s career alone drove mankind to awake every morning eager to return to the office/farm/job site, imagine the power of that positivity spread 7 billion times over…oh, the possibilities!
With this blog, I promise these things to you (reminding myself of a random 98 Degrees song right now…):
Dr. Jessica Boudreaux-Milligan is Web-DVM contributor and attending veterinarian at Maybeck Animal Hospital in West Melbourne, FL.