Be A Mentor

Dr. Rebekah Hartfield and Dr. Hal Reese

What does it mean to be a mentor?

There are many significant people in my life that have influenced me and have helped guide me down the right path.  I have been blessed to have MANY mentors: my parents, my grandparents, my husband and various employers.  But today I want to single out one that influenced me the most in my veterinary career.

When I stepped into Wise County Animal Clinic 13 years ago, with no clue what I was doing, I don’t think Dr. Reese knew what he was getting with me.  As my very first veterinary clinic job, Dr. Reese had A LOT to show me, but he took me under his wing, and patiently guided and directed me for five solid years.  He was tough, but he was kind.   He was serious, but knew when to have fun.  But above all else, he was and is, a Godly man.  He showed God’s love every day with every client and every staff member.  He taught me how to communicate with clients about veterinary medicine, but he also showed me how to do that with a Christ-like mind.

Working with Dr. Reese and knowing that I can call him anytime for advice, reminded me of the scripture in Proverbs 13:20, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

I have seen so many people, throughout my life so far, that have chosen to walk in the companion of fools.  And by fools I mean, friends/co-workers/family that feed them false truths about life and pull them into the gutters with them.  It is so hard to stand back and watch friends suffer through life because of decisions they have made and to whom they have placed their trust.

So, yes, I believe that it is important to have a mentor that can help guide, support and be your biggest fan.  But most importantly, one that has a heart for Christ.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

As I forge on with my adventures of educating young minds, I think about how I can be a good mentor and a good example to them. Here’s where I plan to start:

  1. Keeping my eyes centered on Christ
  2. Surrounding myself with friends and family that also have their eyes centered on Christ
  3. Having a good attitude
  4. Loving people and loving life

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak to the first-year OSU veterinary students.  I took this time to encourage them about school and let them know that there will be struggles, but YOU can overcome! Yesterday, I received a “thank you” letter that had a quote from a student about me.

“Dr. Hartfield was by far my favorite speaker, she was open about her struggles, gave insightful words of wisdom and was very encouraging.”

Dr. Lionel Dawson mentor through veterinary school at OSU

This made me tear up a little bit.  I want to help influence the next generation of veterinarians in a good and positive way! Hearing this from a student confirmed that God has me right where He wants me.

I hope that if you are in the position to be a mentor, be the mentor that God sees in you and be a light in this dark world.

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