For our “Doctoring” course, we participate in simulated client labs in which we role play the role of a client for other students in small groups of six first-year students, with a veterinarian acting as adviser and moderator. These exercises help us to improve our communication and professionalism skills. Following our role playing, we give each other constructive advice about “what went well” and ways we could make our next client interaction experiences “even better yet.”
I was incredibly nervous to embark on this new challenge and conduct a patient history in front of my classmates and our faculty advisers. I was so worried I would forget my name or say something ridiculous. It is hard for me to leave my comfort zone, especially when I am surrounded by my peers.
Before I entered the room to begin my role playing experience as the veterinarian, I stood in the hallway and took three deep breaths. With each inhale, I took in a breath of confidence, and each exhale took anxiety away with it.
When I walked in, I tried to exude as much confidence as I could muster and I made it through the history-taking experience with beneficial pointers to make my next attempt even better. I know that it is through practice and self- and peer-evaluation that I can improve, and I am very fortunate to receive the opportunity to enhance my communication skills in addition to clinical knowledge.