14 Jul UVMA President Elect’s Letter
Am I becoming a living dinosaur?
Two recent articles 1,2 in popular press sparked my interest. Both articles emphasize the ability to learn new things as a key to success, and with Dr. DeNayer, happiness.
Indeed, the ability to learn new things and embrace change is paramount to being successful. Recently the veterinary students were finishing their final exams. They each were looking forward to that “last” final and the relief of never having another
exam. I certainly can relate and recollect similar feelings and thoughts. But in retrospect, I now realize my naïveté.
Life has been, and continues to be, a series of pop quizzes, mid-term exams, and finals. That new case that walked through the door was a “pop” quiz. The challenges encountered during a routine procedure turned in to a “comprehensive” exam. And, resolving conflict resulting from an unfortunate and unexpected outcome created emotions and feelings as intense as boards.
At the University we teach adaptive principles of biology. Species have gone extinct, or are threatened, because of an inability to adapt quickly to external influences.
This principle was reinforced on a trip to dinosaur national monument east of Vernal, Utah. Fossils from extinct species can be visualized in the cliff-face. Regrettably I have practiced, and now work, with colleagues who are walking dinosaurs. Not in respect to age, but in their willingness to learn new things, embrace change, and adapt to external influences. I recollect a major professor who dismissed the computer as a fad and was reluctant to embrace it. With respect to communication and technology, he became a walking dinosaur.
Outside of work, in a religious service capacity, I have a counselor who refuses to own a cell phone and text. It is very difficult for younger leaders to communicate with him for advice, counsel, and direction. And, we all have worked with or knew a veterinarian reluctant to embrace change and their clinic became a quarry.
For me, these two articles reinforce the need to seek new information, embrace change (change is hard for me), and adapt to forces outside my control to prevent becoming endangered or extinct.
Kerry Rood, DVM