Veterinarians As Educators
There is no more important role of your veterinarian than that of educator.
Yes, we can fix things, and yes, when there is an emergency we have to remember our ABCs: Airway, Breathing, Cardiopulmonary.
After the dust settles and the feathers are no longer flying, it is crucial that we sit down with clients and explain to them what we’ve done, why we did it, and how to keep from having to do it again.
Sometimes education is more mundane, however.
Take the example of a meeting I had this morning. A nice lady called me because she had heard of an
act of generosity associated with our clinic and wanted to switch her dog’s care to us. I became concerned when I asked, “What heartworm preventive is she on?” and her answer was, “Isn’t that the same as the flea medicine?”
We called the other doctor’s office and had the records faxed to us. It turns out that the poor dog was never on a heartworm preventive and there is no record that they ever talked to her about heartworm disease or tested the little dog for heartworms.
Therefore, today, our starting point was not with Leah, the dog, but with her owner. Leah had never had vaccinations, either, so our educational process was very much like a first-time, brand new pet owner, letting Leah’s mom know everything Leah needs for good health.
Today is literally the first day of the rest of Leah’s life. We hope to be able to make it a good, long, happy and healthy life.
We can do that only with Leah’s owner’s help. And she can do her part only if she knows what her part is.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.