Just yesterday I sat down for my first internship interview and was asked an important question: What motivates me?
The question was not a difficult one, but it took me a moment to pinpoint the one thing that really makes this career worthwhile. It certainly isn’t the money or career status. It isn’t necessarily the title either. Instead, it’s the gratification I receive from my client’s and my relationship with my patients.
While on my internal medicine rotation, I had two patients that remained hospitalized long-term. I was primarily responsible for their care and communicating with their owners. With each update I would give their owners, they would express how grateful they were for the care I provided to their pets. Thankful, that someone cared deeply for their best friend.
Often times it feels like our efforts go overlooked during fourth-year. I have found that most of our feedback is based on our skills and knowledge. We aren’t given a pat on the back for our dedication to our patients by our mentors. We don’t get shown appreciation for the long hours spent at the hospital. What we do get is appreciation from our clients.
Clients acknowledge the hard work we put in to care for their pets. They appreciate us answering their questions and serving as liaisons between the faculty and themselves. They witness the love we give to their best friends and for these things, they are forever grateful.
So if you ask what motivates me, it isn’t power or gifts. It’s the gratitude that comes from every appreciative client. The acknowledgement of my hard work and dedication to their beloved pets.