Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated
To paraphrase the famous quote by Mark Twain, when he was erroneously reported as dead, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” So too, I have to respond to rumors/innuendos of my own demise of sorts.
Let me explain. I was at the TASC (The Avicultural Society of Chicago) Expo this spring. Typically, I will do a question /answer session and sometimes a lecture at the show. As I was at the question /answer booth, several people came up to me, acting like they were surprised to see me and said that they heard I was no longer practicing. This came as a huge surprise to me. Since that time I have heard similar statements repeated by others. I had no idea where this was coming from. However, recently I did learn who was perpetuating this falsehood, and this veterinarian will remain unnamed. Sadly, these types of things tend to perpetuate themselves in the pet health community and such gossip can be far-reaching. Needless to say I am very disappointed in this person, as I had always been very collegial to them and was always available to help them out.
Let me set the record straight. First of all, there is no retirement for me in the near future at all. Both my kids want to go on to medical school and my fatherly duty is to support them as they try to achieve their career goals. I have no extravagances, no real bucket list, no mid-life crisis….I am happy to sit in the back yard and watch the grass grow. I fervently love my profession. I am not burned out. Those of you who come in to see me as clients (or see me lecture) know who much I love what I do. I enjoy helping all sorts of animals and, being a people person, truly enjoy working/interacting with our clients.
As for my work schedule. Over the past several months I have been working six to seven days a week. My work schedule has expanded, not been cut down. Although, we have hired an outstanding associate, Dr. Kalivoda, has been a great help and hopefully, I can return to my usual schedule that I have maintained for thirty years. If I have not been at work it is usually because I am off lecturing, going to a continuing education opportunity, or attending to a family obligation. Oh yeah, on some occasions I may leave a bit early to go to a concert as I have been doing rock reviews for an online magazine in my spare time (you can read them and see my concert photographs at rockchicago.net).
Yes, one day I will have to slow down and consider retirement but I plan to work as long as I have the passion for the profession (which has not diminished in my 30 years as a veterinarian) and my body holds up. If you hear anything to the contrary, set the person spreading the erroneous information straight.
I am living my lifelong dream…..I never really want it to end. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it all over again!
I just pity the person who felt they had to spread false rumors about me.
Peter S. Sakas DVM, MS