Sunday, October 16, 2011

Consider the Possibilities

It has been a long time, and a bit of a wild ride, since my last entry in this blog. Over the past several months, I have completed a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology, enrolled in graduate school, travelled to Haiti to consult on an agricultural project, and spoken at a national veterinary conference. Phew! I am back now, a bit tired, but ready to share more thoughts on veterinary technology in the twenty-first century.

Recently someone asked why I started this blog and that very simple question served to ground me, reminding me why I have been working so hard. Veterinary technology has the potential, as a profession, to help create the possibility of better circumstances for our world. Previous blogs have touched upon the history of our profession and the need to recognize that we are a young, vibrant and growing force within veterinary medicine. We have physicians, nurses, pharmacists, ophthalmologists, dentists, veterinarians, social workers and host of others, all working together to improve the health of people and animals worldwide. Veterinary technicians can also take their place in this global effort.

While in Haiti, I met couple of women who work with an organization based out of Chicago. This organization, The Children’s Place Association, (, works to support the unique needs of children infected with HIV, both within the United States and internationally. These two women worked daily amid the heartbreak of families devastated by this horrible disease. Our conversations took place surrounded by the most mind-blowing poverty you could imagine, and yet the joy and enthusiasm exuding from them both, for all the possibilities of life, was palpable. The brief time spent with them left me renewed, refreshed and inspired as to what more I could do within my own profession.

We all have areas that call to us, in all walks of life. Within veterinary medicine, it could be dentistry, anesthesiology, behavior, diagnostic imaging, shelter medicine, disaster relief or a number of other fields. An area you might not have previously considered is that of public health. In reality, all of veterinary medicine is a public health endeavor. Herd health concepts are at work in everything we do, from keeping a community of dogs protected from parvo through implementation of a vaccination program, to preventing an outbreak of food-borne illness through education on agricultural safety.

The connection between animals and humans goes well beyond a purely emotional bond: it affects nearly every facet of life. After two trips to Haiti, it has become abundantly clear that human dependency upon animal populations is something that most of us, here in the United States do not really comprehend. Within our professional and personal lives, it is human nature to look for opportunities; let’s make the time to look for needs. From the answers to those needs, new opportunities will arise.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”
~Edward Everett Hale