Get a life: Work to live

Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP


When I was first approached about writing AAHA’s new adventure blog, I immediately knew that I wanted to focus on the importance of maintaining a healthy life-work balance. I believe in working to live, not living to work, a philosophy which can be difficult to adhere to in the world of veterinary medicine. While our profession is extremely rewarding, it is also one of long nights, missed family dinners, endless cups of coffee, and only a vague understanding of the word “weekend.” Having owned my own small-animal practice for 10 years, I know as well as anyone how hard it can be to step back and focus on life outside of work. So, this is the corner of Member Connection where we do just that. We take a step back from veterinary medicine and share the adventures and experiences that keep us sane.

I will be sharing some of my various outdoor adventures (and the occasional mishap), from my first time skiing as a sophomore in high school, to my most recent kayaking trip. Over the next several months, I will be inviting a hand full of my colleagues to contribute to "Get A Life" by blogging about their own adventures. In some cases, I might even join them on an adventure!

I will also be using "Get A Life" to share news and reminders about AAHA’s Adventure Series. I know that veterinary professionals are life-long learners who appreciate education that takes them beyond the lecture hall, and we created the Adventure Series with this in mind. The Adventure Series is a program that combines outdoor adventure, such as skiing, rock climbing, and backpacking, with the kind of world-class continuing education that AAHA is known for. We’ll be asking for your ideas on activities, destinations, and timing in order to build programs that meet your various interests and needs.

So, if you have a passion for adventure and believe in the concept of life outside of veterinary medicine I invite you to send your story (about 500 words) to for a chance to inspire like-minded colleagues (and become a very famous, published author). I hope you’ll join me in the future as I try to get out of the office and "Get A Life!"

Edited by Sarah Rumple


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