What does it mean to be a Professional?


Over the years I have seen a growing trend to call Veterinarians part of an 'industry.'  Well I must disagree with this trend. Veterinarians are part of a profession and to help us all understand what is meant by that word I have included a pretty useful definition. My father before me, as a local human medical general practitioner taught me the principles below.   I hope I can live up to what society expects of professionals:

" Profession: An occupation whose core element is work based upon the mastery of a complex body of knowledge and skills. It is a vocation in which knowledge of some department of science or learning or the practice of an art founded upon it is used in the service of others. Its members are governed by codes of ethics and profess a commitment to competence, integrity and morality, altruism, and the promotion of the public good within their domain. These commitments form the basis of a social contract between a profession and society, which in return grants the profession a monopoly over the use of its knowledge base, the right to considerable autonomy in practice and the privilege of self-regulation. Professions and their members are accountable to those served and to society. It also behoves a professional person to serve on the basis of need where financial gain is of secondary importance."