The road near our house is under construction, causing traffic snarls for over a year, and completion this year is unlikely at the work rate seen this weekend. Two days are dead quiet on the construction site. From Friday night to Sunday night, workers do everything except build the new highway: family time, sports, and recreation. Why? Because road construction is a job. These people may be good, or even the best at what they do. But at the end of the day, making a road is just a job that doesn’t call you when the road develops a pothole.
Veterinary medicine is a calling, a passion, that drives people to do extraordinary things, such as commit to healing animals at any moment, despite the personal cost. Today, however, veterinary medical organizations are spending a lot of time working to change the profession to meet the perceived needs of veterinarians. Ignored are the animals and their owners. I discuss in this podcast rather than adjusting to the social norms and a balance of work and life goals, vet schools and professional organizations should focus on returning to the passion of helping horses and their owners.
The obstacles to returning to passionate care seem insurmountable: debt, low pay, and the social perception of family over job. And to this last thought, family always trumps job. But is being a veterinarian a job? Only if horses are robots. Being a vet, especially a horse vet, is a calling that is not for everyone and does not fit the standard social patterns of today. It is similar to deciding to have a child or committing to a relationship; it is a commitment to passion, and there are no days off.
I finally offer the only solution – Enjoy every moment with every horse and accept the challenges and hardships, as nothing is better than helping horses (and their owners) thrive in a human world. If you are faithful to your calling, your friends and family will understand, but never forget them and deliver to them your all when you can. You will always satisfy your family if you remain passionate about giving to others.