Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald: Supercharge young minds


We come into contact with young people every day. Take the time to nurture their minds.

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Supercharge young minds

Although I don't remember it, I was young once. I had dreams of working with animals and of, yep, you guessed it, veterinary school. Like most young people, I was shy about about making my dreams known. Furthermore, I had little idea of how to make my dreams happen. Then I met older people who believed in me and helped me learn to believe in myself. They weren't “dream-makers”-they were “dream-grabbers.” They mentored me, gave me confidence and direction, and taught me the value of hard work. They taught me how to make my dreams come true.

Whether we realize it or not, we come into contact with young people every day. Shy young people-the children of staff members, clients, and friends and your own children-stand in the corners of treatment and exam rooms and wait. They wait for you to explain the treatment that you are giving their animal, what diagnostic tests you will run, and why you are running them. Sometimes, because of their natural shyness, they won't approach you. Take the time to engage and nurture their young minds. You may even discover a young person interested in animals and veterinary medicine. Let them shadow you, go to their school for career day, talk to their class about animal-related topics, or create an after-school program specifically designed for committed young people. Provide them with the opportunity to succeed and allow them the chance to acquire new skills and strengthen existing ones. Let them in on the secret of our profession, which is the wonder and magic of medicine and of working with animals. You will be surprised how much these kids will blossom if given the chance. Supercharge these young minds! Someone took a chance with you. Take the time with them, and you won't be disappointed.

Finally, a few weeks ago a young Cuban floated to the Keys on a raft fashioned from a door from his house. Imagine how desperate you must be to think that your best option is to float out of a place. There are a lot of things wrong with this country, but still, no one in my family is floating back to Ireland on a door. Get involved in this election, learn all that you possibly can about these candidates, and base your precious vote on the knowledge and understanding you have obtained about the issues, the candidates, and your own beliefs and moral compass. Vote smart, and encourage those around you to learn what is happening and get involved. Be thankful for our system and that your best option is not a raft.

See you next week, Kev

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