I distinctly remember my first encounter with the world of emergency medicine. It was when I called the local emergency center for advice on how to manage a patient that was bitten by venomous snake. I was blown away by the calm, knowledgeable and reassuring voice on the other end of the phone. I put the phone down reassured and thought to myself that I would like to be that person someday. I was so grateful to that emergency clinician and little did I know that she was to become one of my mentors and have a huge impact on my career.
When I graduated from vet school, I was not aware that the field of emergency and critical care existed. My first two years were spent in a busy small animal practice where I had great support and mentorship. My decision to turn to the dark side (i.e. emergency medicine) was based on a number of unfortunate circumstances. I was in the position where I could not afford my mortgage and required more money otherwise I would have to sell my house. My intentions were that it was only going to be a temporary career shift. I did not expect to still be an emergency and critical care veterinarian to this day.