I want you to be happy. There, I said it. Veterinary Economics—in its name and in its metaphorical bones—argues that happiness through hard work, lifelong learning, personal growth, and
financial success is yours for the taking. As some of the brightest, kindest professionals in the world, you'll decide what
it means to live a life well lived. You'll decide what it means to be "the world's greatest veterinarian," as some called
Dr. David Jackson in the December 2012 cover story.
You'll decide whether you work too much, whether your daily challenges are exhilirating or debilitating. And for those of
you who enter into the proud halls of practice ownership, you may learn more than others the joys of worrying, working hard,
and feeling pressure at work.
Will you be available at all hours to clients you cherish and who cherish you? Will that fulfill you? Will you work six days
a week because you feel your pet owners, patients, and co-workers deserve it? Is that really a rewarding way to spend your
time—or a poorly balanced life?
By all accounts, Dr. Jackson loved his family, his colleagues, veterinary medicine, and owning a practice. And, boy, he was
good at it, if we judge how much he loved and received love in return, how much he taught and learned, how much he shared
You sent in letters about the story; the best criticism we print on page 6: "Some of the qualities that made Dr. Jackson great
may have taken a toll on his health." Maybe he worked too hard. Maybe he lived with too much stress. Maybe he didn't spend
enough time taking care of his own health. (Was he overweight? I can relate.)
The practice management icon Dr. Ross Clark called Jackson the greatest, but that's a personal thing. What does the life of
"the world's greatest veterinarian" look like? The answer is: It's whatever you're going to make of it right now, doctor.
Brendan Howard, Editor