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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Making life-changing decisions

I have not posted for many, many months. My sincere apologies to all readers. I have been traveling and considering major life-changes since September, 2012. I am strongly considering leaving the profession entirely. This is neither easy to say nor a final decision. I love working as a veterinarian, but it does not bring me the same joy and satisfaction that it once did. I care greatly for the clients and patients, perhaps too much. This might sound pretentious but I think after over twelve years of clinical practice, I can say with at least a mild degree of objectivity that I have given it my all. I am burned out, and this is not the first time during my career in which I have felt this way. Twelve years of caring, coupled with frequent and intermittent spurts of frustration, aggravation, anger, sadness, and compassion, have ultimately led me to where I am today. I am sad, but not afraid to walk away from something that is chronically detrimental to my health. All of this said, I am currently on a "journey" of exploration, both literal and existential. And again, I have not given up on being a vet. I'm simply looking beyond. Please keep posting your wonderful comments, and let me know if there's anything specific you'd like me to write about!

14 comments:

GoLightly said...

My BFF is a vet. She's the primary reason I'm glad I decided to give up on getting into vet meds. (Well, that, and money It's a profession where, if you have any sense of well, sense, you're in trouble. I'd never have had any issues with the animals. The owners are pretty tough.
All the best, wherever, whenever you come back.
Stay healthy!!

OldMorgans said...

Making such decisions can be wracking. And it comes down to what is best for you. I wish you wisdom on your journey. I hope that you will be able post things from time to time on your blog from time to time.

OldMorgans said...

Making such decisions can be wracking. I hope that you can continue to post here from time to time. I wish you wisdom on your journey.

Yufuko Mochizuki said...

Hi, nice to meet you!

I found your blog while I'm stadying veterinary medicine in English. Somehow, I read this article and felt sympathies and decided to write a comment.

First of all, if my English is a bit strange to you, sorry about that. It is simply because English is not my first language. It's Japanese since I was bone in Japan and my parents (actually, all of my relatives) are Japanese.

I couldn't continue my job as veterinarian in Japan about 4 years ago. I gave up my career, and couldn't see any positive way for me there. That was why I came to Canada and studyed Chinese Medicine for a year. It was two years ago. Time passed and my mind changed a lots. And now, I'm studying Veterinary Medicine again in order to transfar my licence from Japanese one to Canadian one.

I don't know where you are now - the blog said that you are a vet. in Toronto. It's funny. I'm in Toronto, too.

I just wanted to say, "Good luck" to you. Life is bigger than veterinary medicine. It's just a subject although it has huge influence on people.

Take care, and if you have some spare time, let's have some tea!

Sincerery yours,

zalina said...

Hi ! My name is Zalina and I am in 10th grade, I am doing a project in Careers where we have to interview someone who is in the career field you are interested in. I am interested in becoming a vet and I was wondering if I could interview you through email. If you are willing to do this interview please email me asap (zalinaxo@hotmail.com)

Anonymous said...

I have been frustrated and heartbroken as a dog owner. I have lost too many dogs in horrifying ways despite many thousands of dollars in veterinary care. I followed all the advice, got all the vaccinations, routine checkups, fed the recommended diets. None of it works, most of it harms. Each time I got another dog I made sure to get a different breed, but they all ended up with the same symptoms and illnesses. Each time the vets just said, "This is common in this breed." I never want to adopt a dog again, I can't handle the heart break. I currently have to take care of my sister's dogs but now I have read books written by holistic veterinarians and I now understand that commercial pet foods and vaccinations and medications actually cause most of the health problems in dogs. One book written by Martin Goldstein DVM shows that there is a better way, if you can find a holistic vet. Unfortunately there are no holistic vets where I live. Perhaps this is something that you would like to pursue rather that quitting all together?
I was taking dogs to the vet all the time for chronic severe ear infections that only became worse with treatment. Ear infections that were severe for years cleared up completely once I stopped feeding commercial dog food and biscuits, stopped the prescribed meds, drops, and ear cleanings. Dogs that were old before their time are now running and playing with toys and happy again. Oh how I wish I had known there was a better way when my own dogs were in need of help. Not the drugs, food, and surgeries that only harmed.
Oh how I wish there was a holistic vet nearby so I didn't have to ever go back to the conventional vets office again with my sister's precious little dogs.

L

TorontoVet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TorontoVet said...

Yufuko,

Domo arigato! Thank you so much for leaving such a nice comment!

TorontoVet said...

L,

Commercial pet foods, immunizations, and medications do not cause most diseases in veterinary patients. Pets, like humans, acquire disease (no matter how healthy a life they live). It's a part of life.
I'd rather shoot myself than become a "holistic" vet.

Elliott said...

I just found your blog through Twitter and wanted to say a quick word of encouragement that there are lots of other cool ways to use your veterinary training and experience outside of traditional small animal practice! Check out my website (linked above) for some ideas...

Tory said...

I found your blog after rescuing some cats and have found it very useful. I am a biomedical researcher (CNS infections) and although no field is perfect, research allows for a lot of change and diversity (I went from bird behavior to HIV to autoimmunity to CNS infections). While I do not know much, I do know that a good vet with a bright mind AND the ability to communicate well is a gem in academic research.

I wish you all the best in your career!

If you would like to write about flying trans-Atlantic with cats I would certainly enjoy reading it.

Chuck Brown said...

Making life changing decisions are very hard. And the thing is, we are constantly making them when we grow up, usually the work we choose is the one that makes us change or keep the life we currently have. The thing about changes though is it opens up the door to new possibilities. I admire vets very much. Are you one of the only vet clinics in Toronto? Or are there many others?

TorontoVet said...

Thank you to everyone for your wonderful words of encouragement. See my new post.

Phil Kemmett said...

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