March Madness is synonymous with college basketball and with it getting underway I couldn’t be more excited to spend some quality time in front of the T.V. Unfortunately heartworm disease and calving season don’t seem to want to let that happen. March is an exciting, and extremely busy time in the veterinary world- or so my two years in practice have lead me to believe. Last year at this time I was constantly ready to head out for calvings and lambings and this year it seems that life in small animal practice is no less hectic at this time of year. As the practice owner I work for put it, these next 3 months are what keep us in business for the other nine.
Through the jam packed days I find myself being continually thankful for every sort of leadership and communication lesson I have gotten in life. It is not easy to take a 15 minute appointment and convey to the average pet owner the importance of heart worm prevention, the ins and outs of heart worm disease, different product options, zoonotic potential of intestinal parasites, a physical exam, discussion of findings, suggestions for improvements, flea and tick prevention- oh and take a thorough history and let them talk without interrupting! It serves as a vivid reminder that just by becoming a veterinarian we are all leaders in every single appointment or farm visit and that our pet owners or herd managers rely on us to know how to use those skills and help them do the best for their animals. I realize that leadership is not something that the vast majority of people aspire to, but as veterinarians I think we have it in our job description so taking every opportunity to refine those skills might just be wise!