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The more minds you can put on a mystery the better, I have always thought. And I’ve always been blessed to work with other health-care professionals who feel the same way. Even as I’ve tapped them for their thoughts, they’ve asked me for mine.
Before the days of the Internet, I lived on the phone. A lot of that was phone tag: I would call a colleague, and then I’d be seeing a patient when he called back, and then he would be seeing a patient when I called again. While I’m still not shy about calling, e-mail and texting sure make it easier to get help from a top specialist who’s usually not just a colleague but a friend as well. There are other resources as well, including veterinary-only communities for discussing cases, issues and trends. Because I often write for trade publications, I tap the editorial staffs at those as well.
My search for the latest and best thinking isn’t always limited to my profession, either. I’ve worked with and written books with physicians, and I’ve kept them in my network as well. It works both ways: As a member of Core Team Oz, I’ve helped Dr. Oz with information on care for his own pets, and I’ve done the same for many of the ABC-TV journalists I’ve worked with over the years.
While my network may be bigger than many others because of my years in practice and my work as “America’s Veterinarian,” asking for help isn’t unusual, and it isn’t at all bad. In fact, while many people may think “I don’t know” is the end of a discussion, the truth is that it’s just the beginning.
There’s an answer out there, and a good veterinarian won’t stop until it’s found.
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