C'mon, Pennwes!

C'mon, Pennwes!
Yes, this IS ridiculous! I agree!

There are a lot of current controversies in veterinary medicine: will mid-level practitioners flood the border? Will autonomous telemedicine drones flood the border? Will xylazine flood the border?! And let's not forget the perpetual debate about the correct number of veterinary schools inside the US border: way too many, or not nearly enough.

I have a hard time keeping track, because I'm a simple-minded person. To me, all of our professional unhappiness stems from the same root cause. I have come to believe that the multifactorial existential crisis in veterinary medicine has a single primary etiology. The University of Pennsylvania's refusal to be a team player.

Generally, I'm not one to place blame on any single individual. However, if everyone else is trying to play an organized ball sport and you're the only one throwing around haymakers, we need to have a sideline chat.

"MY preferences matters MORE!"

Penn is a pariah among veterinary schools. Out of the 15,000 veterinary students in the United States this year, 125 will graduate from Penn. But instead of conferring the title of "Doctor of Veterinary Medicine" (D.V.M.), they'll call themselves V.M.D.s. Just to be difficult.

What's wrong with D.V.M., I might ask the Provost? For that matter, what's a Provost, and is it higher ranking than a Chancellor? Who gets who coffee in the morning? And if no one knows the difference, why not simplify it? If you've got a perfectly good TLA¹ that everyone else is already using, why not just use it?! Do you also hate broccoli even though you've never even tried it?

"I know I don't like it because it's doesn't smell like cat poop!"

There are 31 other schools with their house in order. Everyone from the valedictorian at the top ranked program, to the guy studying chicken medicine at Bumpkin State share the same three letters of pride. But a handful of cheesesteak-ettin' contrarians in Philly refuse to get in line.

There's nothing admirable about being unique when that uniqueness just looks like a lazy typo. It's fine that you always say "But at Penn we..."². The Cornell kids will give you enough grief for that. It's cool that you pioneered research into chicken leukemia in the 1930's. Just don't use that as a nonsensical justification for switching letters around and claiming that it makes your program different from the rest. It convoluted gibberish!

We need to limit confusion in the profession. Every once in awhile, someone will come in and try to register their vehicle with us. I know you're only 3.125% of the veterinary schools in the United States, Penn, but you've got to change. There's no way it could be that hard. Much bigger letters have been changed. You don't even need new ones, just switch them around! Get your act together. Grow up. March into the registrar's office, and perform a "V"-plasty.

If you don't, I'm gonna lead a frivolous campaign to alter the meaning of "V.M.D." and start using them behind your back. Here are five to start:

  1. Vegan Milkshake Detectives
  2. Vintage Mustache Decorators
  3. Viking Mime Diplomats
  4. Virtuosos of Marzipan Design
  5. Very Meticulous Divas³

I'll say one more thing. If this comes across as a pedantic rant, half of my goal has been achieved. I sincerely hope that the tone and absurdity has clearly signaled that any ire is strictly invented. But much as I see the need to change some very simple, low hanging fruit in medical professions, I think ridiculous opinions probably need to be verbalized more. The second intention of my post is to actually start a conversation about switching around the "V". Would that be so hard to do? And I pre-apologize if this post gives any offense. I understand it's petty, but they started it!

  1. Three-Letter Acronym.
  2. Never heard one of them actually say that.
  3. Five more? Sure!
    1. Ventriloquistic Miniature Ducks
    2. Vicious Meerkat Duelists
    3. Vegetative Moose Dunkers
    4. Vehement Muscarinic Dandelions
Greg Bishop

Greg Bishop

A veterinarian with unquenchable creative impulses. Unquenchable? Hmmm... creative "tendencies"? Well, it depends on how well I slept last night. Also a writer, illustrator and whatever-elser.