Hi everyone, and welcome to the Know Your Vet blog! My effort here stems from a conversation I had several years ago with my brother, Thomas, after picking out his Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Sully. Thomas had just left the vet’s office. While this is not word-for-word, our conversation went something like this: “Hey bro, that’s always been my vet until the joining the military, I just had a strange experience. I left the vet here in (insert large military town), and I don’t think I really understood what was going on.” Now Thomas is not dumb. In fact, he’s quite intelligent. He happens to be a Lieutenant Commander and Department Head in the Navy. One doesn’t achieve this without at least some level of intelligence. “T” as we call him, just really didn’t seem to be picking up what this vet was putting down. He gave no real indication that he did not like the guy, just that they weren’t a “fit.” He asked me what he should do. My answer was simple…find a vet you can know. I realize this might be overly simplistic, but I continue to feel this way today. It has slapped me in the face year over year and across all demographics. People, the folks we serve as veterinarians, want to know their pet’s doctor. The best folks are willing to look around. And it goes both ways too! Many of us vets want that real relationship with you that can only come through knowing you, knowing your pet, and knowing what life is like in your world.
Now Thomas and his family are inherently transient, making getting to know his vet a moving target. And my profession is changing…a lot…and it’s concerning. Corporate consolidation, shift work only, and shortages across all positions make it tough or even inauthentic to try to get to know you. But we exist!!! And that’s where this blog comes in. I am truly grateful to be able to do a job so many people are interested in learning about. I mean, my wife jokes all the time she doesn’t have to speak at social gatherings because once people find out I’m a veterinarian the conversations just flow. So that’s cool. And I’m truly grateful. I think this stuff is cool, and I am eager to share it with you. My experiences span blue-collar walk-in work, white-collar high-touch clinics, the Army Veterinary Corps, big pharma, and even life as a mercenary relief veterinarian. My hope is that by putting this stuff out, it’ll give you a head start in knowing your vet. We will talk about joys, heartache, wins, and missteps. The stuff that makes you want to quit and the people and pups that keep you pressing on. Yes, there will be some stuff about how awesome my practice Aberlea is, but I’ll make it tasteful. I’ll even promise to touch on some of the sacred cows of the industry. But you’ll know a little bit more when you get to know your vet.