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Departure Notes

quest

Rekindling the Love of Work

Departure Notes

Meaningful and memorable moments often outshine the end of a long, exhaustive pursuit. So, what are you striving for exactly?

Yesterday, I saw a client who informed me that she wouldn’t follow any of my nutrition advice because of “You know, dog food kickbacks.” Fortunately, she said, she had found the perfect dog food by sending a swab of her dog’s saliva to a company on the internet. Also yesterday: I treated a cat who […]

relationship

Our Complicated Relationships

Departure Notes

When compromise is impossible, splitting up is sometimes the best option for conflicted and downtrodden veterinary professionals.

I encountered a veterinarian who wanted to sacrifice herself to our profession and a technician who wanted to rebel against it. The veterinarian — we’ll call her Jane — is a full-time doctor, married to a spouse who travels more than 50% of the time, and the mother of a 6-month-old daughter. Her daughter’s child […]

goals

The Upside of Letting Go

Departure Notes

Trust yourself to adjust your career goals.

“How did I get here?” the veterinarian asked me. His shoulders slumped as though his white coat had lead in the pockets. “I don’t like my job, I don’t like where I live, I don’t like where I’m going, and I haven’t enjoyed where I’ve been.” Our profession is seeing an epidemic of self-inflicted anxiety […]

warmth

Feel the Warmth

Departure Notes

Try not to fixate on hardship and negativity. So much good is happening all around you.

It’s sleeting nonstop outside and I’m beginning to worry that someone might slip if the clinic parking lot ices over. Meanwhile, the woman in Exam Room 4 has rosy cheeks, a steaming cup of Starbucks and a thick knit turtleneck sweater. I smell cinnamon as she blows on the latte both to cool the drink […]

year

Grading on a Curve

Departure Notes

Whatever you do, just don’t compare 2020 to other years.

If 2020 was a patient, I suspect most of us would have elected humane euthanasia sometime around May. That would have been after the wildfires in Australia, the U.S. drone strike on an Iranian general, the impeachment and acquittal of Donald Trump, the death of Kobe Bryant, the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, a […]

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