“Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.” – Denis Waitley

This past Friday, I had the privilege of providing opening remarks at the 37th Annual House Officers Day, recently named in honor of Dr. Gerald V. Ling. Dr. Ling was a faculty member for 35 years before his retirement. He influenced the early development of training programs for veterinary students and veterinarians in several specialties. Dr. Ling also helped establish the Small Animal Emergency and Small Animal Outpatient services at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. He would have been proud of the most recent House Officers Day.

Our residents contribute extensively to their education and expertise by conducting research and in doing so they also contribute to the reputation of our school. We host through the Veterinary Hospital the largest and most diverse residency program in the country. The faculty and staff of the VMTH train more than 100 house officers in 34 specialty services every year, each involved in raising the standard of care for our patients, seeking solutions in translating knowledge into helping their patients.

The range of topics at the annual event is impressive, as it is reaffirming. I even learned of a new idea to create a “bovine sports medicine facility” as part of our new hospital building plans! It was apparent from the good humor during the award ceremony that, along with their specialty training, our residents have made enduring friendships with their colleagues, faculty, staff, and students. Judging from the accomplishments of our residents, the future of specialty veterinary medicine and translational science is in good hands.

Our internationally-recognized faculty veterinarians who lead the VMTH are supported by resident veterinarians from across the globe. They come to us to learn their discipline, knowing that they will receive exceptional training in an environment that demands excellence. Our residents are supported by specially-trained technicians and senior students in our top-ranked veterinary school. Collectively, these teams work together to not only train the next generation of specialist, but also to achieve the optimal outcome for every patient. Our people and programs that make up the VMTH are committed to building strong relationships with our clients, stakeholders, referring veterinarians, and our community. Our residents are at the interface of these relationships and extend our ability to address societal needs.

One needs only to review our amazing news stories to see the impact of our specialists in the lives of the animals that come to us in need of specific expertise or a unique treatment. In their daily experiences, our residents are working closely with our faculty, staff, and students to elevate the practice of veterinary medicine through cutting-edge clinical trials, new approaches to medicine and surgery, and through a constant desire to provide compassionate care for our patients. As our highly trained residents enter the workforce, we can rest assured that they will continue to seek new avenues to expand their knowledge and skills to help the animals and people in their communities. We hope that they will look back fondly on their time with us and know that they will always be part of the UC Davis family and our history—helping to build on our reputation of distinction in leading veterinary medicine.