Becoming a veterinarian is about more than becoming a veterinary medical doctor; it’s about becoming a professional. In addition to diagnosing and treating patients, veterinarians must interact with the clients and owners in a way that fosters communication. Client communication is an often overlooked but crucial part of veterinary medicine.
Have you ever walked into a doctor’s office or veterinary exam room with your pet and noticed that you are extremely comfortable? It may be the way the doctor listens without interruption or sits causally attentive or even their body language as they stand openly or sit without objects such as a table or computer between you and them. These skills may go unnoticed most of the time but the body language that these doctors express shapes who they are and how they are perceived as professionals.
One of my favorite TED Talk videos is by Amy Cuddy. In it, she talks about how body language affects many aspects of your life. As I prepared for my first client communication simulations, I embraced the lessons of the video and how it affects client interactions as well as my everyday life. Practicing good body language can change you slowly as a person, and as someone who is learning to become a professional, it is definitely a skill I must actively work on. As I begin to tackle some more difficult parts of our curriculum I continue to remind myself, when life gives you lemons, power-pose your way through it!