I have just returned home from beautiful San Diego where I attended the AASV annual meeting. It was great to connect with other AASV members and to meet face-to-face with journal staff and members of the editorial board. I also made time prior to the meeting to visit the baby panda bear at the San Diego Zoo and soak up some of the beautiful sunshine that Mother Nature so thoughtfully provided.
I typically find conferences and meetings with colleagues to be motivational and inspiring, and I usually return home with renewed energy and a spring in my step. The AASV conference in San Diego was that kind of meeting, and I want to thank the AASV, the organizing committee, and all the presenters for putting together another great meeting.
I particularly enjoyed the Howard Dunne and Alex Hogg memorial lectures presented by Dr Craig Rowles and Dr John Waddell, respectively. Dr Waddell mentioned in his Alex Hogg Memorial Lecture about mentoring with purpose. One particular point he made during his lecture was that we sometimes don’t realize how powerful our mentorship can be and perhaps we don’t even realize it when we are mentoring. This comment hit home with me, as it reminded me of a story from my early days in practice that I would like to share.
Many (many) years ago, while speaking to a client, she thanked me for being such a great mentor and role model to her daughters. I was shocked and flattered, as I had just graduated from veterinary school and I didn’t consider myself to be mentor-worthy let alone a role model. But my client, and now friend, assured me that I had those qualities and she felt I was a positive role model for her daughters. Dr Waddell reminded me of this comment and I agree wholeheartedly with him, that you can be a mentor and not realize it. Here I was fresh out of veterinary school, young, feeling overwhelmed by my new responsibilities as a practicing veterinarian, and my friend thought I was a mentor. I didn’t realize I was setting an example and mentoring young high school students. I had transitioned from “mentoree” to mentor and didn’t even know it. I was inspired by Dr Waddell’s lecture and wanted to share how that reminded me of one of my own experiences. I plan to continue to mentor students, and now I have renewed inspiration to do so. I also want to remind senior veterinary students and new graduates that they have the power to be mentors and to embrace that power. I also remind everyone that Dr Waddell asked us to all to take a moment and thank our mentors. Hence, I would like to thank all my previous and present mentors (too numerous to mention) who have all positively impacted my career in their own ways.
I was also inspired when Dr Craig Rowles led us all in our joint taking of the veterinarian’s oath. It helped to remind me of the importance and purpose of my daily endeavors. If you missed the meeting, I encourage you to review the oath, and I hope you can experience the same renewed purpose that I did. If you want, call me, and I will recite it with you!
My message this issue is short. But I hope that many of you were able to experience the same inspiration as I, and have taken some renewed energy home. And I hope, now that the meeting is a couple of months in the past, that this message helps to remind you of that. Have a wonderful summer