"I want to thank you all for attending tonight's Veterinarians Anonymous meeting. My name is Dr. S and I've been a veterinarian for 21 years. I'm working my way through the 212-step program but keep tripping up on the "Don't Strangle A Client" step. I recognize that no matter what I do, no matter how much help I get, I'll always be a veterinarian. Temptation is everywhere. Picking stray pets off the road, volunteering at the local shelter, helping out rescue groups, giving discounts to owners who can't afford their pet's care, adopting pets through owner relinquishment. I just have to recognize my limitations. I take one day at a time, because, well, I'm part of a chronologically-challenged species and have no other choice. This is usually the time, too, that we need to apologize and make amends to others who are negatively affected by our being under the influence of veterinary medicine, whether it be to inattention, over-work, or what we used to call "lost weekends" in vet school. Like a lot of you, I got hooked on veterinary medicine early in life. Before we knew better. The profession should come with a warning label, but it's just another of those addictive things that society allows and the Surgeon General stays quiet on. We thought we'd get into this to help pets, only to find that we have to treat people's whims, expectations, and psychology before anything else to be able to get to the pets. And we have to base our livelihood on "the public", a most frustrating and uncooperative group at its best. Like we often say in VA about clients, "One is too many, a thousand is not enough." I often find myself using the Serenity Prayer to get through a day. By "often", I mean several times during each client visit. But, really, in my defense, can they just shut up about their personal problems? Your divorce from five years ago has no relevance to treating your pet today! It's not my responsibility to control your spouse and your stupid spawn/children to not feed the pet off the table! Or that your job changed your hours and it's going to be difficult for you to give two pills a day, because that's just too much of a burden for you! And can they just stop interrupting us when we're trying to give them advice and guidance, because, you know!, you know! that's the part later that they'll say you never told them, because they weren't listening in the first place!, after they do something wrong and want to blame it on you. And can we, for God's sake, stop talking about money! All I need to know is "yes" or "no". I don't need your warped logic and convoluted justification as to why you can't do something. I'm not your accountant, financial planner, social worker, or parole officer! And, no, I'm not interested in what you read off the internet, or what the worker at the pet store had to say, or your breeder, or your groomer, and, hey! I'm not finished! No, Iam not letting go of this podium! I've got stuff to say. Let go! Arrrgggghhhh! Let go! Serenity now! Serenity now dammit!"