REFLECTIONS ON TEN YEARS OF BEING A VETERINARIAN

My wife Heather and our son Jonathan James(J.J.)
My wife Heather and our son Jonathan James(J.J.)

May 26th marked 10 years of working as a veterinarian and when milestones come along whether they be anniversaries, reunions, birthdays, etc., it is only natural to stop and reflect.  Here are a few lessons I have learned:

BALANCE   

In the last ten years,  I have lived in one apartment and two homes, have changed vehicles five times, have gotten a dog, three horses, gotten married and became a father. Although work has been an important part of my life, it is crucial to reflect on all aspects of life and not let one part of your life overpower the others. Find time to do the things you enjoy with the people who bring you joy.

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

When faced with a challenge, it is important to realize when you need help. Over-promising can lead to disaster in the medical field and I have learned when to let clients know when their best option may be to seek a specialist. It can also lead to problems in your personal life if you don’t say “no” at times.

PUSH PAST YOUR LIMITS

There’s a difference between doing something new that is unsafe(unsupervised heart surgery when you’ve never done that) versus something that might be unfamiliar. Everything that vets do was at once done for the first time whether it be giving shots, suturing wounds, spays, etc. You cannot let the fear of bad outcomes keep you from doing something. Since being a veterinarian I have spayed, neutered, declawed, fixed fractures, done C-sections, removed diseased eyes, kidneys, spleens, removed bladder stones, tumors and foreign objects, placed feeding tubes, IV and urinary catheters, tapped fluids from chest and abdominal cavities and done CPR on cats, dogs, fish and rats. At one time, all of them made me feel uncomfortable but pushing past without being reckless has made me a better veterinarian.

ENJOY THE HIGHS, REFLECT ON THE LOWS

This job as most is not all sunshine and bunny rabbits.  But, if you let bad outcomes or mean people dominate your thoughts, you won’t enjoy anything you do. Instead, focus on your weaknesses and aim to make them your strengths and focus on the good things and in this career, there are many!!

LAUGH

Don’t forget to have fun and laugh, especially at yourself. I think it’s the only reason my office keeps me around.

LOVE THE ONES YOU’RE WITH

It doesn’t matter with whom I work, because everyone brings their own style and personality. Some are good at keeping me on task, others are hilarious, some are fast and detail-oriented. Without them, I couldn’t function anywhere near my potential. Find something positive in everyone and remember even in those difficult people, you never know what they might be going through.

Here’s to ten more!! Thanks for reading…

 

Dr.H

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