I am currently in sunny Orlando, Florida attending the VMX (Veterinary Meeting and Expo) organized by the North American Veterinary Community. It is said to be the largest veterinary conference in the world with over 17,000 veterinarians, veterinary technicians, managers, and veterinary team members. We gather at the Orange County Convention Center for 5 days of veterinary learning, personal growth, leadership training, and fellowship. The number of people here is staggering. When I arrived for the first time several years ago, I was overcome with the sheer number of people that share my profession.
The rooms are over air conditioned and often crowded -- my first morning session had me sitting on the floor, because I arrived a tad late after stopping to get a Starbucks. The convention center is over two million square feet, so wearing great walking shoes is a must. The bathrooms lines between classes look like a rock concert and the rooms are over air conditioned so you always need a sweater. The giveaways, in the exhibit hall, are so abundant that many people drag around wheeled carts in order to carry their loot. Today, as I was waiting in line for a free t-shirt, a young boy in line with his dad, gave me a dance lesson - teaching me to “floss” and do the “robot”. (so cute and so fun)
The people here are amazing, because this profession is amazing. Veterinarians and the people that work in veterinary medicine are the cream of the crop. They spend years in school and then spend the rest of their lives continuing to learn to care for those that cannot care for themselves.
Why is this life-long learning so important for all of us?
It increases our self-confidence. The more we commit to learning the better we feel about our capabilities. We are often able to do more, charge more, and feel more accomplished.
It is important to us functionally. If we want to continue to work in an ever changing profession and be proficient, we need to continue to learn. Whether it is formal classroom learning or simply talking to another person that shares our profession, we need to learn about advances in order to remain relevant.
It keeps our passion alive. In order to continue to work in a highly demanding field and do it well you have to have passion. Learning something new, helps to rekindle our interest and refuels our passion.
If you have the opportunity, be sure to attend a major veterinary conference like the VMX. You will learn more than you ever imagined, and you may even get the opportunity to learn some new dance steps.
Dr. Julie Cappel
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”– Harry S Truman
Join me on the Podcast!