This one’s for the graduates

“What you do matters.” A message from AAHA staff to the ’24 graduates

By Connor Dunwoodie

Entering the veterinary medicine profession is a momentous achievement. No matter the role, this marks the first chapter in a new story. As new graduates step into their roles, staff here at the AAHA want to wish you the best of luck in your careers!

Congratulations! Welcome to the best profession in the world! To the new veterinarians, you will have difficult days but remember all the good you do every day. Collaborate with your technicians and utilize them to their fullest! To all entering the field, find time to leave the floor. Get out of the clinic if only to take a moment to breathe. A breath of fresh air and a "reset" can do wonders! Make self-care a priority. We can only take care of our patients when we take care of ourselves. Good luck and congratulations again! Kimberly Ferrell, CVT, CCFP
Practice Consultant
Congratulations to everyone coming into the veterinary space; we welcome you with open arms! As you find your place within the field, please know that what you do matters—it directly affects the lives of pets and their people as well as your professional colleagues. Lead with passion—be sure that the passion is gentle, kind, and understanding. We are a diverse group of people and as you join this amazing group—we invite you to leave your mark too—whether it be small or grand, we will celebrate you and all you do! Anthony Merkle, RVT
Director of Accreditation
Congratulations on this HUGE accomplishment. Each of you have completed rigorous studies, attended clinicals, practiced your craft, and now it's time to execute the remainder of your journey. Though national and state exams still await you, we, as members of the veterinary community, would like to officially welcome you to a field filled with compassionate individuals that want nothing more than your success as you care for those who cannot care for themselves. Devon Crandell, MBA, MSML, RVT/LVT
Director of Standards 
To all 2024 grads—what a beautiful thing y’all have done and are setting out to do! Here at AAHA, we wish you nothing but your own definition of success, happiness, and fulfillment. We share in your purpose and are here to support your journey. Our best to you all! Garth Jordan
Welcome to this amazing profession! It will be everything and nothing like what you expected, which is exhilarating and terrifying all at once. Don't be afraid of the unexpected—lean into it! This is an ever-evolving field and you will be doing things the rest of us couldn't have imagined were possible when we graduated.  Jessica Vogelsang, DVM, UCD 02
Chief Medical Officer
The animals of the world—and the people who love them—are so lucky to have you entering this profession. Congratulations! Kristen Green Seymour
Congratulations Class of 2024! You are the future of vet med, and it is bright! We need your enthusiasm, your new ideas, and all the innovation and inspiration you bring with you! Welcome, and we can't wait to work alongside you! Emily Singler, VMD
Veterinary Content Specialist 
Don’t forget to enjoy the ride and see the views along the way. Congratulations on such an outstanding accomplishment! The work you’re doing is deeply important—the connection people have with their animal companions is a beautiful bond—and no matter your role, you help keep that bond strong with every interaction you have. Always know that AAHA is a resource for you! Connor Dunwoodie
Senior Content Manager

Photo credit: © CreativeDesignArt + via Getty Images Plus

Disclaimer: The views expressed, and topics discussed, in any NEWStat column or article are intended to inform, educate, or entertain, and do not represent an official position by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) or its Board of Directors.


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