Six years ago AC&C opened our doors, metaphorically speaking, and saw our first patient. Since then, things have changed in so many ways – for this practice, for me, and – especially in the past year – for the world.

This past year has seen so many challenges for all of us, as families, as caregivers, and as veterinarians. It was a year ago today that the American Veterinary Medical Association released guidelines that we should cease seeing all but the most urgent cases. Those guidelines have since been walked back, but for several months I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to help my clients, and that house call medicine wouldn’t be able to survive.

But my clients and my colleagues are creative, wise, and compassionate, and the crises we’ve faced have given rise to so much ingenuity and collaboration. We’ve adapted in ways that I never would have imagined – telemedicine, borrowing empty apartments, even moving favorite chairs out onto back porches so a pet can still pass peacefully in his favorite seat while keeping the family safe.

Every year I try to find a way to improve and grow as as a doctor, to find new ways to help my patients and clients. In past years this has taken the shape of certification in hospice medicine, or training in Western herbal medicine. This past year, it was learning how to navigate a pandemic and continue to provide care while keeping families safe.

I have no idea what this coming year will bring, but I know that with the help of my amazing clients and the veterinary field in general, it will be better, and I will be both grateful and lucky to be part of it. May this year be better for all of you, as well.