Future Leaders: So much to learn!

As a 2010 vet school graduate, I have been working as a veterinarian for a little over a year and a half at this point. You most certainly could say that I am still learning how to be a good doctor and experiencing ‘firsts’ nearly every single day. A couple of things that I have learned thus far: rectal prolapses come in all shapes and sizes, backorders severely alter the way you practice, and the promises I made my husband about having more time together once school was over were not exactly accurate.
Aside from the never ending list of things I have learned, I have also been fortunate to become involved in organized veterinary medicine through the Future Leaders program and discover some valuable skills that are applicable in vet med and the rest of life! Like most very recent graduates, I was apprehensive of the commitment of getting involved for fear that I would not have the energy or that my employer would not understand having other demands on my time. It has been challenging getting time away from work, but strangely enough I have come away from most of our meetings feeling even more recharged and energized. Aside from the in person meetings, the time commitment has been minimal, with most of the time coming in clumps when it works for me.
The impact of the program has become apparent during my recent transition between jobs. I started at a new private practice a couple of weeks ago. Being the new doctor in a practice where the other doctors have all been there at least 5-10 years there was an immediate expectation of leadership amongst the staff in the clinic. They were used to working with doctors that knew how to manage the flow of the day and delegate when necessary. By being able to refine my leadership skills and receive assessments about them from previous coworkers (one of the most insightful experiences in the program) I felt much better prepared to jump right in. I’m not sure about you, but these were skills that were definitely buried beneath the dust of medical facts and techniques during school. Getting involved has certainly helped me put a shine back on them and made me a more valuable member of my hospital team, family and community!

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