Sunday, July 27, 2014

Just vet stuff.

So if any of you are wondering what real life is like after vet school, here's my breakdown so far.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. A common problem many new grads have is communicating with owners. It's intimidating telling someone you want their money, no matter how justified the reason is. Due to having been a tech for a number of years prior to vet school, and just my own shameless personality, I have zero problem talking to owners. Even difficult owners aren't really a big issue for me. My biggest hurdle right now is time managment.

Speaking of time management, here's the deal. You go from a teaching hospital with every drug known to man, the latest diagnostic tools like ultrasound, a CT, an MRI, the latest nutroceutical therapeutics like cold laser and hydrotherapy, to a tiny clinic with a limited pharmacy and if you're lucky digital radiology. Maybe not, if you're doing an internship or you happen to work at a really awesome clinic. But for most of you, it's going to take you forever to discharge your first few dozen or so appointments because you have to decide what you want to do (which you won't have your protocols down in your head yet for skin, eyes, cough, etc) then decide what you CAN do with what you have to work with, then okay it with the owner which will usually modify it further due to cost. It's gonna take awhile.

Also, my first few spays have taken me an hour. No one's there to hold your instruments for you, or follow your suture line by keeping your tag out of your way. I'm primarily spaying 4 lb chihuahuas and whatever-poo puppies, which by the time I've placed my clamps gives me no space to work in. Also, I freaking hate those needle drivers with the scissors in the handle. I've cut my suture line unintentionally THREE times! And then had to start over. Not to mention, the scissors are so far down the handle that it's next to impossible to clip your tags short enough without craning your neck so far you're practically resting your cheek on the patient. So. Much. HATE.

Other than that, things have been fairly decent. I'm an okay doctor, I can generally keep up with appointments with a good tech team keeping me on track. I'm frustrated sometimes that I'm not accomplishing things as quickly as the other doctors, which I recognize is silly and I need to stop being so hard on myself. I get frustrated when I don't have access to drugs I want and my boss won't buy them, or when techs who are used to the way the other doctors do things get a little passive aggressive with me when I want to do things another way. Just micro-struggles that you'll all deal with once you're out in practice.

So that's it. That's the reality of a new grad in practice. It's not very glamorous, but it isn't hellish, either. It's a lot like having a job, oddly enough. ;)