My classmates and I recently realized that we are halfway through our clinical rotations. Time certainly does fly when you are busy and having a good time at it!
- Take time to talk to clients. Most of the rotations here at Cornell are incredibly busy with jam-packed appointment schedules on top of in-house procedures each day. While it is tempting and economical to just cruise through the day like you are at an assembly line, these are people’s pets. People need to know that you are caring for their animals and are actually interested in their needs.
- Be accountable to yourself and your knowledge base. Once you are on clinics, that means you will soon be a doctor, with a license, that works on other people’s animals. This is no little feat. That means that we have to truly be responsible for our knowledge base in terms of what we know, what we are capable of, and what we should refer when we cannot treat something. Knowing your strengths and admitting your weaknesses is not an inherent skill for everyone, but it is essential in this line of work.
- Take time to work and take time to not work. When you are in the clinic, put every fiber of your being towards working and completing tasks. Pay attention as much as you can and retain as much info as your brain will allow. Once you are done with your clinic work, it is time to put that down and do something outside of the clinic. Whatever that may be is up to you, but I can tell you that my classmates that have the hardest time balancing work and life do not have an outlet outside of work. So whatever you have to do, be it running, socializing, or dancing, do it well and make it a healthy habit.
- Don’t be afraid to disagree. You are going to be a clinician soon, so you should have opinions of your own that are based off of scientific facts. You will soon find that many vets have different opinions and preferences, and none of them are particularly wrong. The point is that you will encounter vets that would do things differently than you would do when you are out in practice. Trust me that arguments will happen! This is a part of life, and it is nothing to be avoided. Embrace these arguments, have them, and learn from them. You may even learn something new and change your ways.