World Veterinary Year 2011

2011 marks the 250th anniversary of veterinary education.  In 1761 King Louis XV established the first veterinary college in Lyon, France.   In celebration of that event and in recognition of veterinarian’s work in animal, human and ecosystem health, this year is designated World Veterinary Year!

As a veterinarian, speaker and author, I look forward to sharing the many ways our profession serves both animal and human populations.  My New Year’s resolution for 2011 is to convey to as broad an audience as possible the shear joy of being a veterinarian, the extraordinary satisfaction derived from those of us lucky enough to be veterinarians and to honor my colleagues – past, present and to inspire future veterinarians among the young people of planet earth.

Helping injured or sick animals is immensely rewarding.   Many of the stories of the last twenty plus years will never leave my heart or memory.  For example, I am still moved each time I participate in the birthing process.  This is true whether helping an animal deliver naturally or though cesarean section.  

As is true of most veterinarians, I enjoy all animals.  We truly do love animals!  At a veterinary conference in St. John, US Virgin Islands, we became aware of the Westin’s traditional afternoon iguana feeding.  They brought out high quality spinach and vegetables from the kitchen.  It was amazing to watch the iguanas swarm out of the bush to dine.  As you would expect, we vets were drawn to the event like bears to honey.

The diverse roles that veterinarians play is stunning and affords a world of opportunity for those pursuing a career in veterinary medicine.  For example, my father-in-law is a veterinarian and worked as a small animal clinician, then was a professor at a veterinary college teaching surgery.  He then spent the majority of his career as an industrial veterinarian in the pharmaceutical industry developing drugs for humans.  Veterinarians have been astronauts, serve in Congress, do mission work, serve shelter animals, are an integral part of the military, take care of farm, zoo and wild animals.  We have specialities like surgery, anesthesiology, radiology, pathology, ob/gyn etc.  

In short, this is a wonderful profession.  We make a difference for animals.  We also help people.  I feel incredibly blessed to do what I love and am thrilled that 2011 is World Veterinary Year!  More information is available at www.avma.org .

Sources:  American Veterinary Medical Association, Lynn Pritchett – Yahoo!         

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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