What do you love most about being a veterinarian?

I really love educating. It is one of the main reasons I became a veterinarian. Working with clients or animal caregivers, they usually want to do the best – they need more tools and education. It can be exhausting for me because I am not a true extrovert, but I also really love connecting with people through education. I really try hard to come home in the evenings to spend time with my partner and dog to recharge. My dog knows I need this and herds me to the door for our evening walk.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a veterinarian?

Leaving things at the door is really hard. I have focused on this, but it is still difficult. I went on a retreat recently, organized by fellow WVLDI board member Gary Marshall, camping and hiking in Olympic National Park. My partner came with me, and we were able to really recharge and connect with other veterinarians in an environment completely removed from our day-to-day life. One specific thing I brought back that another participant described is the huddle approach. At my practice, we have been using a morning huddle to make sure we are all on the same page about the day and touch base on any anticipated challenges. The evening huddle is to connect about what happened and ensure we have finished up the evening tasks as efficiently as possible. I ask three questions: What worked well? What do we still need to work on? What do we need to leave at the door? Trying to set an example and practice this as a group helps protect everyone’s mental health.

This is a four-part series on Dr. Rebecca Steers!