When I went off to university my parents gave me a cassette (those existed back then…) with recordings from my early youth. On the cassette you could hear the voice of a five-year-old boy who answers the question ‘Magnus, what do you want to be when you grow up?’: ‘A vet!’. This always has remained the same. Living and working with animals was my biggest wish and when I after years of hard work finally graduated my wish had come true.
Soon I could start working in a ‘mixed practice’ in Hengelo. There they threw me in at the deep end. However I always had preferred cats and dogs, I (born and raised in the city) could not avoid the larger animals in Overijssel. Young veterinarians have to work hard and do dirt that older colleagues would rather stay away from. Thousands of pigs I have vaccinated. In warm, rancid sties, where you would leave half-deaf. Many cows, calves, bulls, horses. And when all that hard work was done I used to jump in the shower and start my office hours for companion animals. A life like how many people would imagine James Herriot’s. With a great advantage: you learn fast.
I have always had a special interest in surgery. In a busy practice with a colleague/boss who was perpetually on the road, I was all on my own. With a great assistant and the book there I learned the most important operations, without my old teachers’ all-seeing eyes, in practice.
After having worked for roughly ten years in the east of our country it was time for a change. I wanted to run my own practice. But animal clinics for sale are not too common. After working for a year in a mixed practice in Badhoevedorp I came in contact with veterinary physician Fruithof, who at the time had a companion animal clinic at Hoofdweg in Amsterdam. Dr. Fruithof was going to retire and wanted a younger colleague to take over his practice. Soon we reached an agreement and after having worked under contract for half a year, in January 2000 I was allowed to start taking matters into my own hands. We purchased computers, the old card catalogue got thrown out. And the ‘open office hours’, whereby patients sometimes had to wait for hours, disappeared. We now met with patients by appointment only. And bit by bit I changed the practice to my own preference. In 2004 we were able to take a major step forward. Within six months the whole practice got renovated. We expanded and built a small modern hospital, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. The practice kept on growing, so much so that we rapidly lacked space again.
For that reason we decided to sell our clinic on Hoofdweg and continue in a newer, larger space. We decided on an office building on Koningin Wilhelminaplein, right across from the Fashion Center. Not far from the former location. Easily accessible and accommodated with even more advanced facilities. However… not on Hoofdweg, so the name ‘Dierenkliniek Hoofdweg’ had to be changed. It became Vetcare for the general practice and Vetdent for the dental specialty clinic. Vetcare, a name that stand for what we value: care for animals. Because caring stays the most important part of the job. After all, that is why I became a vet!