A [veterinarian’s] life managed with no regrets

A [veterinarian’s] life managed with no regrets

Why I don’t pine for a lost career as a professional flutist or miss whatever it is ‘everyone’s’ watching on television.
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Jan 08, 2016

Photo courtesy of Dr. Bradley, pictured here with her family.I live by lists and calendars—none of which have any time scheduled for binge watching television (shocker). I’ve learned when it comes to “doing it all,” it often means I have to do less (see television), which means I’ve learned to limit the number of roles I take on—beyond wife, mother, veterinarian and practice owner. My personal and professional lives work (most days) because even though it is my nature to do a million things at once, I have to draw the line somewhere so I can enjoy my life and never regret not becoming a professional flutist (seriously, that was the other option).

Achieving professional sanity

Becoming a practice owner is the most important career decision I have made because it gives me the stability and financial security I would not otherwise have. I’m part of an ownership team at our clinic, so I’m one of the partners who shapes how we practice medicine, the culture of our clinic and how we share the workload.

What you don’t know is that if I hadn’t been a veterinarian, I would have been a professional flutist. Really! I had a music scholarship and was on pace to continue that path when practical parental advice sent me seeking something in the sciences and being a veterinarian was what I chose. And I sincerely do not regret it—I love what I do.

Life management

Lists and calendars help me control that feeling that I am forgetting something I was supposed to have done or forgot to do. Having a shared family calendar on our phones/computers is also unbelievably helpful.

Give it up

Television. And playing the flute (see above). I only find small amounts of time that I indulge in watching a favorite show here or there but I’ve given up the ability to be a die-hard fan of a show or follow every season of a series I enjoy.

Also, I’ve learned that in order to do projects or contribute to a volunteer role at the level I am satisfied with, I have to limit the number of roles I take on at once. I currently volunteer with Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), work 30 hours a week, am building a new veterinary clinic with my clinic partner and manage the household with my husband and two children (who are going 10 directions at once with all their activities), so I have to draw the line and not say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that avails.