Becoming an equine veterinarian requires careful planning of your professional future. According to research by Dr. Lisa Greenhill, senior director for Institutional Research and Diversity at the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), 35.7% of applicants to veterinary schools reported that they want to work in equine medicine upon graduation. Her work also showed that over half of applicants made their decision about their desire for a career in veterinary medicine when they were 10 years old or younger.
Clearly, the dream of being a horse doctor is common. While certainly all applicants are not admitted to veterinary school, many are. You might wonder what becomes of this high percentage of students wanting to be in the equine field upon graduation. Currently, only about 2% of students enter equine private practice or an equine internship after graduating. Somewhere along the way these individuals give up their dreams.
Planning your professional future requires that you have a vision of what you want your life to look like in the years to come, both professionally and personally. A vision statement is a description of what an organization or person would like to achieve or accomplish in the future. It sets a destination to serve as a clear beacon for plotting current and future paths of action. By articulating the long-term goal, you can understand what you are trying to achieve through your work. Working toward your dream can give meaning to hard work and sacrifice.
Writing a Vision Statement
In order to grow the vision into reality, you should clearly write down action steps and a timeframe for achieving them in order to arrive at your destination. If your dream is to own your own sports medicine practice, maybe those steps include enrolling in business education and getting ISELP certification. As an associate in a first job, one could lay out a plan for learning these skillsets in a timely way while getting general practice experience.
For an older practitioner wanting to retire in a few years and worried about providing for their clients’ future needs, that vision could include hiring a younger practitioner and mentoring that person to take over the practice.
Alternatively, the older practitioner could decide to merge with another local practice. Along the way, you might need to make changes in how the practice operates, provides emergency services and handles financial policies in order to bring the practice into a more modern era. Having a timeline to accomplish these things while being a busy practitioner will help you to achieve those goals and arrive at your destination successfully.
Without a clear destination that you can picture, you might struggle to make the changes necessary to grow and improve. A vision helps immensely in planning your professional future to the desired end, whether the vision belongs to an organization or an individual.
When writing about your vision, include the following:
- Project a specific time in the future, usually three to five years.
- Dream big, be brave and focus on success.
- Use the present or future tense.
- Use clear, concise language.
- Paint a colorful mental picture of the future you want.
When you have a clear picture of your destination, you can draw a road map to get there. You can make every decision while considering your objectives for your future. Don’t hesitate to live the life you have imagined.
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