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Monday, November 21, 2016

7 Vet Med Lessons From the Magical Creatures of Harry Potter.

With magic on my mind, I wanted to share lessons that apply to veterinary medicine that I learned from seven of the magical creatures Harry Potter encountered. Even those who aren’t as Potter-crazed as me can still benefit from these tips. 1. Hippogriffs – Some individuals take extra effort to gain their trust. Hippogriffs are half-horse, half-eagle creatures known for attacking when they are insulted. However, if their trust is gained, they will be fiercely loyal and protective. In veterinary medicine, our clients, patients, and co-workers can all be hippogriffs. Some people, and animals, require a gentle approach to win them over. For example, recently I saw a client who was not my biggest fan. Finally, during a stressful appointment, she snapped and let me have it. After allowing her to speak her mind, I calmly explained how I shared her frustration and also shared her desire to figure out how to manage her dog’s condition. By the end of the conversation, she actually apologized for her outburst and told me I had won her over by how I handled the entire situation. In explaining the issues without becoming confrontational or insulting her pride, I turned a client who intimidated me into a loyal hippogriff. 2. Blast-Ended Skrewts – Use caution when handling some creatures. Harry PotterBlast-ended skrewts are basically a designer breed that is created when two other magical creatures are cross-bred. They are noted as creatures that can burn, sting, and bite all at once. Okay, so maybe none of us work with any patients who can breathe fire and burn us, but we all have encountered animals who are dangerous to handle. The key to handling any creature, from blast-ended skrewts to tooth-fronted dogs, is to understand how best to approach them based on past experiences. If something works, record it and repeat it next time. If something doesn’t work, then make sure to write it down so that a different approach can be taken in the future. Don’t be a hero and ignore warnings from previous visits. Try not to make the same mistakes twice with your blast-ended skrewt patients. 3. Nifflers – Don’t let your search for riches become destructive. Harry PotterNifflers are rodent-like creatures that are gentle by nature but are attracted to anything sparkly and have even been known to destroy entire homes in their search for shiny objects. Unlike nifflers, most of us are not motivated by riches. If that is your sole motivation, you definitely chose the wrong profession! But like nifflers, sometimes finances can stress us out. Even if we aren’t in it for the money, we still work in a business with economic pressures: from achieving production bonuses to increasing ticket averages, or even making your student loan payments. Try not to let those financial pressures create tunnel vision. Focus on practicing medicine that makes you proud without damaging your emotional wellness. Appreciate the sparkle you come across without destroying your life as you attempt to obtain it. Don’t become a niffler. continue

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