White Coat Ceremony: Dr. Morris's Remarks to the Class of 2015
Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 2:10pm
Samuel "Jake" Tidwell (m)
The current OVMA president, Laird Goodman, asked me to come today to speak with all of you, our future colleagues, as he could not be here due to another commitment. I am sure Laird would agree that for all of you and your families this is really a day for celebration.
We want to welcome you to this profession today. I am from Canada, so the ceremony today is a little different than when I went to vet school, when we had a welcome party at the nearby veterinary frat house for our induction, that’s what we do in Canada, eh? But really, the opportunity to chat with you for a minute or two to say hello is certainly is one I am flattered to be asked to do on behalf of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association.
I have been in private practice now 21 years, 18 of those in Oregon, and you know, I wouldn’t change my decision to join this great profession for anything. As you go into these 4 years ahead of you, right now, the job market is more difficult than at other times in the past, but the prospects for the future in this industry continue to be bright. Members of the veterinary profession continue to be employed in all sorts of jobs - traditional small and large animal medicine, as well as diverse jobs in government, industry, research, teaching, even those like the Honorable Kurt Schrader as a congressman representing Oregon in Washington DC. I encourage you to be optimistic about your futures in veterinary medicine. You all have proven to be intelligent, committed and driven individuals for the simple reason that you managed to jump the hoops into the Veterinary College at Oregon State University. My experience with your slightly older student colleagues reinforces my opinion that Oregon State, Dean Clarke, and all his teaching staff is doing a great job to mould students like you into well prepared young veterinarians ready to take a place in the profession in 4 years.
While the next 4 years of learning will be a challenge, Dean Clarke tells me you are all ready to take up the torch on our behalf!
So, while I have the microphone, I want to be sure to tell you to keep the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association in your mind. We are an organization of your peers as you join this profession, even as students, and we volunteer with the organization so that we can serve this profession and keep it strong in Oregon. We encourage you to be a part of our association because through your participation, we help the organization to reflect the concerns of its members, to provide services our members want, and to reflect the values of the members as a whole.
Being part of the OVMA has brought me to know my colleagues across the state, and over the years, being a part of organized veterinary medicine gives back far more than the effort required to take part.
I will leave you with a quote from Steve Jobs in his 2005 Stanford University Commencement speech:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
After 21 years as a practicing veterinarian I firmly believe you have picked a profession where you can do great work.
Good luck, work hard and enjoy your time here at Oregon State.
-- Sheri Morris, DVM, President Elect, OVMA