When people first learn that I am a veterinarian, the first words out of their mouths are usually “you must really love animals!” Well, that’s certainly true-I wouldn’t have chosen veterinary medicine as a career without feeling a special bond with animals. However, my passion for my profession is based on a host of other factors as well.
Medicine fascinates me-I am constantly amazed that a pile of chemicals can become a living, breathing, sentient organism. That, combined with the ability to work with animals, is what initially attracted me to veterinary medicine. It is a career of endless variety, as well. As a private practitioner, I have the opportunity to be a surgeon, internist, radiologist, pathologist, pharmacist, counselor, and businessperson. No two days are the same, and I am constantly challenged to find new approaches to solve problems. And as a staff member of a veterinary organization, I have the opportunity to support and promote my profession, hopefully benefiting animal professionals throughout our state.
Also, the longer I am in this field, the more I realize that veterinary medicine is as much (or more!) about people as it is about pets. In practice, I can enhance the bond of clients with their pets. With the ISVMA, I can support One Health issues, promote our profession to the general public, and work for the overall betterment of my colleagues. Building relationships, making a difference in someone’s life-that’s the human side of veterinary medicine, and it’s priceless.
We all have our own reasons for loving this profession. I am proud to be a veterinarian, and can’t imagine a career that would be better suited for me. Veterinary medicine is rewarding, challenging, entertaining, frustrating, uplifting, humbling…just like life. If I had to revisit the past, I’d do it all again!
Michelle Gundlach, DVM
ISVMA Director of Education