My Must Have | Q1 2024


By Jennifer Kasten, D.V.M.

Industry veterinarians are busy people. For most of us, our days are filled spent in airports or driving down highways, attending dinners that extend late into the night, sleeping in hotel rooms and squeezing in email and admin time wherever we can get it. Our office-based colleagues frequently spend their time in front of multiple screens, where meetings and phone calls tend to dominate their time. Each of us has a few products or items that help us get through our days just a little bit more comfortably and easily.

With that in mind, AAIV is starting a new series in our newsletter: “My Must Have.” Quarterly, one AAIV Board Member will highlight a product that they simply can’t live without or makes their day-to-day much more manageable. Whenever possible, we will include links to the product so you can get it for yourself.

As your vice president for external communication, I will kick us off with the L.L. Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag.

I first acquired this bag in 2014 before an extended backpacking trip in Europe, 18 months before I became an industry veterinarian. I liked it then because it seemed to have a pocket and place for everything, including a little caddy to take into the shower. Zippered pockets kept my mini pharmacy clean and away from my toothbrush and razor. Similarly, I fit my makeup into one of the side pockets and brushes in the other. The center compartment has plenty of room for the TSA-approved 1-quart plastic bag for liquids. The hook is handy for hanging in hotel bathrooms (there is always somewhere to hang it), which makes accessing things very simple. The handle on the top makes it easy to carry. The medium-sized bag fits nicely in my roller board suitcase. I also can get it into a backpack or tote bag, if needed.

Since that first trip to Europe 10 years ago, my toiletry bag has traveled over 400,000 miles on airlines, survived countless road trips, and been hung up in more hotel rooms than I care to think about. It has held up perfectly for all of it and looks as good as the day I bought it. I take tremendous pride in mentoring aspiring industry veterinarians. Whenever one of my mentees lands their first position, I send them one of these toiletry bags. At the very affordable price of just $35, it makes an easy “welcome to industry” gift for field veterinarians. For all these reasons, this bag is my “must have!”

Do you have a “must have?” If so, we would love to hear about it!

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