In my childhood years (from Year 4) to be exact, I had dreamed of becoming a veterinarian.
I know I am not alone in that. Every day, I hear someone say "I wanted to be vet", but they are now something else, or "My daughter/son want to be a vet." It is a common ambition for a child, as when you are young, you do not think about the reality of your choice.
Like many of my fellow veterinarians, I studied hard at school, foregoing other activities to do achieve my dream. In 1984 I graduated from Wollongong High School with sufficient marks to get into my chosen degree.
In 1989 I graduated from the University of Sydney with my Veterinary Science degree. The culmination of many many many years of hard work, dedication, sacrifice (of friends, family, money, prestige, life).
With that degree in my hand, with my other on my heart, I inwardly made a solid vow of the type of veterinarian I would be.
The core of everything I am and do is what is in the best interests of the animal in front of me - their health and welfare is the centre of my world. It always was as a child growing up, and it is now, as a practicing veterinarian.
As a veterinarian, I see myself as a voice for those who cannot speak, against those who would do them harm. I have always, and will always, do this by keeping up to date on all things pertaining to our animals, remaining open to new concepts and ideas, changing the way I do things in keeping with to ensure that I always remain current.
Always - and I can't stress this enough - the individual pet's welfare is always at the core of everything I do - with kindness and compassion.
I share with you the Global Veterinarians Oath.
The Oath does not expect me to perform procedures on pets that are potentially harmful, even if this is what the pet owner wants, or that I should succumb to the pressures of individual groups who have their own agenda for the sake of making a bit of money.
It is very fortunate the Oath does not expect me to do that, as I will not perform procedures which are harmful to the pet (either in the short term or longer term), and I refuse to bullied or insulted into performing procedures if it goes against what is in the animal's best interest.
The Oath does not expect me to lie to pet owners, and tell them what a great job they are doing, when all I see are rotting teeth, skin sores, or pets who cannot even stand on their own. The Oath does expect me to be of service to those pet owners, when they ask for my help, without judgement.
The Oath expects me to act with compassion and kindness to everyone, which I try to do.
This I try to do every day.
To all of my fellow veterinarians, veterinary assistants/nurses/techs - Thank you for being the superheroes. The work you all do every day continues to be my inspiration. When you think no one is watching or caring when you are having a bad day or when things do not go well, know that I am sending positive vibes your way, and that you are in my thoughts.