When it came time to apply for vet school, there was only one place I wanted to go. Auburn University set the bar on medicine; Auburn educated every veterinarian I knew at the time, and Auburn was my dream.

I thought Auburn was a mythical town, full of the best vets in the world, and home to legends like Carson, Wolfe, and Dr. J.T. Vaughn. Auburn was rigorous and tough, and with 34 seats available for Kentucky residents, I knew it would be a major challenge to be accepted.

Being accepted was only the beginning, we were expected to arrive promptly for class, wearing khakis and a tie each day. Class was eight hours per day, and on average, we studied three to four hours for each hour of lecture we completed. The standards were high, and they had no intentions of giving participation medals for vet school.

I remember Dr. Coleman describing the standards she demanded for each student in anatomy, and I am convinced she would have sent us all home, if we couldn’t have achieved that standard. ( she did send a few) My point is, Auburn expected us to represent them well. Auburn’s culture demanded that we hold to their standards and meet high expectations. Being mediocre carried self disappointment, but it paled in comparison to letting down the Auburn faculty. You didn’t want to be “that guy” who screwed up a spay on the clinical floor, or who poorly prepared for medicine rounds .

When we started Todd County Animal Clinic clinic, we wanted to set the standard. We wanted to emulate the culture I grew up in at Auburn. It was part of our mission to be more than mediocre; we recruit the best people we can find,( often with no vet experience), and we continually train them in patient care, communication, and office management.

Being excellent in medicine is a continual battle; in the last year, we have added diagnostic tools like bloodwork machines, a microbiology lab, digital x ray, ultrasonography, and pulse/ oxygen monitoring systems for surgery.

We completed our first irap case this year, and just returned from training involving milking systems analysis in Wisconsin. It’s important for us to continually offer the best in medicine and patient care for our people, community, and clientele.

To truly excel in medicine, we can never forget our roots. Veterinarians were originally tasked with finding ways to protect our human population from animal diseases. Our clinic is attempting to help prevent diseases like rabies from entering our community through the stray animal population. We have partnered with TOdd county TNR to sterilize and vaccinate stray cats around the area. We also work with local rescue and adoption organizations to find quality homes for stray pets, and give them vet care before they travel to their new homes. Our first mission is excellence in medicine, and over the course of the week, we will delve into the rest of our mission, and the steps we are taking to achieve it.

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