2001-Thu Mar 22 19:45:43 EDT 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
If you’re like most people, you’ll start contemplating your resolutions for next year right about now. I certainly relish this annual opportunity to turn the page and start anew — psychologically, anyway.
In fact, I’ve warmed to the concept of resolutions so well that I now list them by category, which is how I arrived at my “professional category” list below. I detail the kind of things that veterinarians like me — if we’re honest with ourselves — deem most in need of improvement.
So, in the interest of offering you as much personal insight into the real world of veterinary medicine, here’s how I plan to improve myself as a vet in 2013:
It’s inevitable. The journals and papers in my must-read stack seem to proliferate by some form of asexual reproduction — keeping up with trends in veterinary medicine, while in the throes of a long workday, is simply not easy.
As a pet owner, you definitely want your vet to be keeping up with her science, which is why I spend about one Sunday a month catching up, which can be mind-numbing. So let it be resolved that I will no longer allow them to sit idly — multiplying gleefully — for more than a week.
Although I’m a very frequent conference attendee, I tend to spend all of my lecture time soaking in discussions on shelter management, politics, informatics and client communication-based information, which means that I dedicate only about one or two hours to hard science lectures.
So this year, I resolve to spend more time going to lectures on the stuff that pet owners should care about most: my fundamental veterinary skills.
Have you ever heard of The Checklist Manifesto? It’s a book written by Dr. Atul Gawande, one of my heroes in the world of medical writing. He urges us all to adopt an approach to practice that incorporates checklists into everything we do. The goal of the lowly checklist: Minimize stupid mistakes and enhance efficiency.
Although many physicians and veterinarians persist in their reluctance to practice what many simplistically interpret as “cookie-cutter medicine,” I believe in the power of the checklist to improve my skills and minimize errors. As such, I resolve to incorporate more checklists into what I do on a daily basis.
It’s my most serious sin as a veterinarian. If I’m not extra careful, I’ll fall readily into a pattern of lethargic callbacks. And failing to call my clients back in a timely fashion is not something that I’m proud of. I’ve gotten way better at this in recent years, but when I get behind, attention to telephone detail goes first. This year, I pledge to continue on my path of telephonic improvement.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.