I enjoy the daily work that being a veterinarian includes. Sure, there are challenges. I have bad days once in a while. More often than not, I have great days. It’s fun to see clients and their families. I’ve been at the practice long enough now that I’ve got relationships with clients that go beyond the job at hand. My first year out of school helped me decide that private practice was where I wanted to build my career. It was the right decision then. It’s the right decision now.
After ten years of practice (eight at Pet Authority), I’ve got the routine down pat. This is good and bad. The good part is that I can save my stress for the really challenging cases instead of the day to day “little things.” The bad part is that now and then I realize that I’m giving my umpteenth rabies vaccination. I’m not trying to say I’m bored with the routine stuff, nor that I’m suffering from burnout. What I’m poking at is that everyone enjoys new challenges in a professional capacity. Humans are creatures of routine and pattern recognition, but we’re also inquisitive. An analytical mind likes new puzzles to work out.
A few years back, I was asked to give a tour of the hospital to a Brownie troupe. I believe I had a Boy Scout troupe in for the same thing not long before that. I was also asked to talk to a middle school class about my career. Initially, I was very nervous about these public speaking engagements. I tend to take on responsibilities with extreme seriousness. It’s a frank need to do a great job, so I’ll spend many hours preparing. My biggest challenge was learning to adapt my material for various age groups.
The presentations went over well. I found that I had enjoyed speaking as much as I enjoy practice. It was a bit of a surprise, to be honest, as I usually prefer to keep a low profile. What I realized is that I can convey my love for my career and profession by sharing things with others. This blog is another perfect example of me taking an opportunity to explore lots of things that I take for granted or even consider routine.
I’ve learned a great deal about others this way, too. I’ve found that nearly everyone has a reverence for their pets that goes well beyond the most simple basic needs of animal husbandry. There’s a whole culture to explore. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet and talk with lots of people that have different outlooks. Friendly debates are an excellent way to learn if you keep an open mind. As I’ve become more comfortable as a veterinarian, I’ve become more comfortable with understanding different people and pets. I’m continually amazed at the myriad dedications people show for animals.
Teaching has become an important aspect of my professional life. I’m able to contribute to the community this way, which I think is a very important civic duty. It allows me to encourage young people aspiring to be veterinary professionals. It also helps prepare them for some of the harsh realities of the profession. At the very least, it will help demystify what happens at our hospital. In turn, that encourages the building of trust between a client and a veterinarian. More trust means a cooperative approach to health care for the pet. Everybody wins.
We currently have students from the local colleges’ Veterinary Technology program doing internships with us at Pet Authority. We’ve had students come in to observe. I’ve spoken in classrooms, business expos, and our own open house events. I’m happy to come speak to classes or set up observation days at the hospital. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment here or to contact me at the hospital.
At the deepest heart of everything is a desire to ensure that pets and other animals are cared for as they deserve to be cared for. These outreach efforts are just as important as giving that next Rabies vaccine.