Behind every great mentor is another great mentor, and for me, one of those people was Dr. Valerie Creighton. During those precious years between undergrad and vet school, I had the good fortune of working as a tech assistant for Dr. Creighton at her then-practice, The Cat Doctor, in Thousand Oaks, California.

Many know and admire Dr. Creighton—a former AAFP president (2006-2007)—for her championing of feline health, but to me, she was equally inspirational as a veterinarian as she was a business owner. Dr. Creighton had a way of making everyone feel like a vital part of the team—no matter their role and no matter how busy she was. And she impressed upon me a commitment to work-life balance—working hard but always finding time for rest… even if it was only a lunch break. As I guide new veterinarians through the early stages of their careers, I’m discovering that it’s these small, intentional actions—not big gestures—that are the most important lessons in sustaining a successful and meaningful veterinary career.

Quality mentorship is made up of these pearls of wisdom—designed to help the next generation navigate our profession with fewer bumps and bruises. If your practice doesn’t have a Dr. Creighton, let Ready, Vet, Go mentorship equip your new associates with the practical wisdom they need to fast-track veterinary success.