Confidence, one of the most important attributes a new associate needs to have while at the beginning of a successful career. The catch 22 is that confidence comes with experience. It is incredible the amount of information that is jammed into a veterinary student’s brain over the coarse of four years. Once in clinics the student is able to begin to apply the information, however they always have fellow students, residents and clinicians to be right there with a helping hand. It is easy to do a PDA surgery if you have a clinician over your shoulder telling you “to cut there, not that. Yes that is the right vessel, or maybe you could try it this way.” Once out of school the umbilical cord has been cut and many new associates can feel isolated. When making a diagnosis of HOD or doing a splenectomy for the first time it can be very difficult for a new associate to proceed not having the support system she is used to. When lives are at stake it can compound the anxiety that many new associates deal with, a great deal of confidence would go a long ways towards combating that.
Confidence is also a huge asset in the exam room. A doctor that can thoroughly explain the reason behind doing an abdominal ultrasound or can walk a client through a complicated surgery is more likely to have an owner that is accepting of the recommendations. A doctor that projects confidence is going to have an easier time building trust which goes a long ways towards repeat visits, accepting estimates and recommendations. A new doctor that has to avoid the question, excuse themselves to go look something up in a book, or even say the honest but dreaded words of “I don’t know” is going to have a client that is questioning the whole process. Not that most of us out of veterinary school did those very same things; it is just a question of how diplomatic one was when faced with these situations. It is a matter of how a new associate projects herself when discussing a subject she may not be too familiar with. It is having handy references on hand in the doctor’s office, a coat pocket or just looking something up ahead of time and being prepped. Certainly there are wondering online references that are available at the click of a mouse.
Ultimately I believe the best way for a new veterinarian to gain confidence is to have a great mentor, and one that is relatively close. But where does one find such a mentor? We will approach that subject at a later time.
josephknechtdvm, 3 years ago | Flag
The root problem is that veterinary
academia is a failure as a teaching and learning institutio n. The PEW Report and the current NAVMEC process 20 yrs after the Pew study come to the same conclusion . Unfortunat ely, no academic, no state board, no AVMA hack on the COE will ever admit it or more importantl y implement the changes recommende d. Go to navmec.org and read the comments and the powerpoint presentati on delivered by Peter Eyre, the former dean, who has been one of the very few leaders who have realized that what veterinari ans do and how they do it must undergo a substantia l transforma tion that has been discussed now for over twenty years. Plus, his jokes about changing lightbulbs in the veterinary field are very amusing.
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