So every once in a while, something happens during veterinary school that really makes you feel like you’re ready to practice medicine. These things almost never happen when a client is standing there asking you questions. But sometimes you get lucky.
I had a Holstein for a patient a few months ago and, although the situation was a bit touch and go for awhile, she ended up alright after a few tough days and nights. I knew next to nothing about her particular ailment, and so I spent more time than usual getting ready for rounds.
I held my own in rounds and got some great insight from the faculty clinicians. It helped that one of the faculty was an author on the only recent paper about this disease process. I felt like I had a pretty good handle on the case. Then the owner dropped by to visit what I learned was a very valuable dairy cow.
The owner was a young woman dressed in a dairy judging shirt. In two minutes of conversation, she used more colloquial cattle terms than I could recite and I decided she’d likely forgotten more about cows than I will ever know. She said she had some questions about the case, and my faculty clinician was in a meeting. This didn’t bode well.
She started peppering me with questions. I reflexively felt panic, but after a second or two (maybe longer, I could’ve blacked out) I realized I did know the answers. We had spoken about this very issue in rounds that morning, and I was able to give her a thorough and correct answer. Her eyebrows went up in apparent surprise at my knowledge; my surprise was much greater.
On it went. Every question she asked had been discussed in rounds and so I’d reviewed it just hours before. I actually knew what I was talking about. My shock was profound. After a few minutes of this exchange, the young woman thanked me and went to leave. I told her that the clinician would be down shortly, but she declined, saying I’d answered all her questions. Again with the surprise.
For all those moments of tripping and almost falling, I was lucky enough to have a client interaction that went genuinely well. Have you ever had an interaction go well? I’d love to hear about it.