When I began my career, we had real winters, even in North Texas. All my old cowboy-type clients (the ones who had forgotten more about cattle than I ever knew) have all gotten old and passed away.
I used to joke about being so old they taught wooly-mammoth medicine when I was in school, until I was older than most of my clients and some of them were beginning to take me seriously.
Back then everyone wanted to own their own practice and many single-man practices were scattered across the nation. Most of us, if there were any to be had, worked on cattle and other hooved animals. Today in many locations a veterinarian who will work on large animals is a rare commodity.
It's partly our fault.
I thought the work was fun and did emergencies for years by myself. Work was supposed to be fun and thinking it so enabled you to keep some pretty long hours.
Today’s younger, brighter, smarter vets want to work in a large practice that has more vets on staff to give more warm bodies to share in the emergency duties thus giving more time off. This leads to the unfortunate situation in which some rural-type practices simply cannot support multiple vets and the old practice must either close or be incorporated as a “satellite” practice into another, larger practice, only being manned part-time.
Perhaps I should say "persons,” since many newly graduated veterinarians are female. If you haven’t already been exposed, you had better get used to the idea.
Truthfully, women make fine veterinarians, including those that do large animal work. Give them a chance. They are willing and able, times have changed, and most are more than eager to get dirty They will try hard to please.
They may be ladies elsewhere but on the job they are veterinarians, just like all of us are.
It’s going to take some getting used to for many of my clients, who thought nothing of pouring a cup of coffee and enjoying the show as I struggled with a heifer and her prolapse in the mud and blood. They will have to let a female do it or wait and see if a male will appear.
I am realistic enough to know that if my practice survives I will most likely be replaced by a female and most likely my practice will become satellite to one in a nearby, larger, town.
Everything changes. My profession certainly has. The trick for us all is to change just enough that you really don’t change very much at all.