I have a love-hate relationship with the closed veterinary groups on social media. I get annoyed by the negativity and complaining that often creeps into posts, and the passive aggressive (and sometimes not so passive!) squabbles that pop up all too often has made me delete the offending app from my phone on more than... Continue Reading →
Unhelpful belief #5: Being a vet defines who you are.
“Oh, you’re a vet?!” Two things are happening in the head of the person you’ve just met: No. 1. They’re thinking of a question to ask you. About their horse, their granny’s cat, or their friend’s aunty’s designer Cockadoodlepoopywhip. No. 2. They’ve just labelled you. With that label comes a list of expectations that they... Continue Reading →
Unhelpful belief # 4: A career in veterinary science doesn’t pay well.
Compared to many other professions, veterinary science is not what you would call a high performer on the salary front. Depending on who you ask, vet wages fall somewhere between that of a plumber and a hat rack. But is this necessarily true? Over the 20-odd years of my career I’ve met a lot of... Continue Reading →
Unhelpful belief number 3: Vet science is much harder than other jobs.
You’ve heard those conversations where vets pontificate about the injustice of their lot in life and their poor career choices. We love to share stories about old acquaintances who are invariably less talented and not nearly as smart as us (we’re vets after all - the cream of the intellectual cream...), yet they have magical... Continue Reading →
Unhelpful belief #2: “If you can’t afford to care for an animal then you shouldn’t own one.”
You, young doctor or nurse, living in your privileged society of excess, with your years of study and work in an industry that exists largely to minimise animal suffering, have certain expectations of what ‘taking care of an animal’ looks like. This is not a standard achievable by many. Suffering and death will come... Continue Reading →
5 Commonly held beliefs in veterinary science that don’t do us any good – Part 1.
Photo courtesy of Michael Weinhardt Photography: So Many Other Things. At work, as in life, what we think largely determines how we feel, and how we feel becomes how we act and interact. Through our actions and interactions we put out a certain energy into the world that those around us will absorb and radiate... Continue Reading →
It’s ok to be a bit hard on yourself, but…
I watched the frustration grow on her face as she struggled to lift the ovary far enough out of the abdomen to get a clamp behind it. We were all sweating in the sticky tropical heat, but she was sweating more. It was her first spay, and it wasn’t going smoothly. Eventually, despite a few... Continue Reading →
The dreaded client complaint
Regardless of how well you conduct yourself and how thorough you are in your work, it's inevitable that you’ll occasionally be on the receiving end of a client complaint. This will always suck. When someone criticises you it is very natural to feel a strong negative emotional response. The emotional control centres of your brain interpret criticism... Continue Reading →
Technology: Tool or Distraction?
Earlier this year, I went to Indonesia with my family. On arrival in the airport on Lombok, I turned my phone on and received the reassuring message from my provider to tell me that I could use my phone as per usual for an extra 5 bucks per day. And then, as our taxi drove out... Continue Reading →
When it hits the fan: dealing with mistakes part 2
In a previous post, we looked at how to think about making mistakes, and how to not let the fear of mistakes stop us from extending ourselves. But what do we do when what we fear has happened? When you’ve done something, or didn’t do something, and the outcome for your patient has not been... Continue Reading →