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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Advice To Wannabe Vets, Part 5

#5: Study allergies closely.
Another issue that comes up on a daily basis is that of allergies. This can be a complicated topic, and rarely has a straight-forward diagnosis or treatment. It's also very frustrating for a vet and a client to deal with, since the goal is treatment, not cure. I have seen way too many vets who rely on steroids as the only treatment, or who ignore allergies as a cause of chronic skin and ear problems. If you can remember how to handle an atopic dog or cat, you will be a better vet and will provide your clients with much better treatment.

#6: Remember that any mistakes you make have already been made by someone else.
It's hard to consider, but doctors aren't perfect. At some point in their career every single doctor has misdiagnosed something, completely missed a finding, chose the wrong medication, or slipped during a surgery. Hopefully this happens only rarely, but it will definitely happen. Your career will go on, and you will be okay. Whatever stupid mistake you make, someone has done it before you and gone on to be just fine. That's not to say that it's okay to make mistakes. Just realize that it's going to happen, and learn how to move past it. And never make the same mistake twice.

#7: There is more than one way to do the same thing correctly.
As a student and then a new doctor you will have many people telling you that a certain thing is the way that you should do something. Don't ignore that, but also be open to learning other things. I know of at least a half-dozen different ways to tape in a catheter, and all of them work just fine. Learn all of the methods that you can, then figure out which one works best for you. The best method is the one that you do best. There are very few things in medicine that MUST be done only one certain way.