Dr. PIERRE B. BLAND
From time to time, I am asked why i don’t write more about animals and less about people. From my viewpoint, I thought I was presenting a pretty balanced mix since the two are so closely intertwined.
Frankly, the animal aspect of my job is pretty straight forward: define the problem, develop a plan of action, and then adjust to the unexpected nuances of the problem. Just as fulfilling a challenge and pleasure is working with the clients. In the performance of job, I have been fortunate to develop a unique and loyal clientele and dare I say, “followers.” I cringe as I use that term, remembering when only cult leaders had followers, but I digress.
I have several clients who take it upon themselves to check in with me weekly, even when their pets are not in need of my services. They want to know how I am and how business is going. One is even kind enough to drop off baked goods every so often.. When I do see these clients with their pets, we spend a good part of the visit talking matters other than their pets. I make sure to plan additional time during the appointment just for that. Many of my house call clients are house- bound with caretakers. In fact most of my housebound clients were acquired through word of mouth via their care takers. Never doubt the power of networking. In addition to veterinary services, my visits break the monotony of the day for both the client and the caretakers. A nice glass of cold water or ice tea is always better with good conversation and laughs. It is rewarding to do good work for both the pets and their people too. Another faction of people came into my life truly as a pleasant accident.
I post a link to my weekly column on my practice’s FaceBook page, though I never was and nor am now a fan of social media. I do realize it is a necessary evil of business today. If I don’t toot my own horn from time to time, who will? I just don’t see myself as being that interesting in respect to where I go, what I eat, and particularly what I do. By the response I have received from my post, I realize once again just how wrong I can be. . The level of interest the general public has in my professional and sometimes personal trials and tribulations is astounding.
While providing current friends and clients an insight in to me and my world, the social media posts have also reconnected me with long lost friends, new friends, and even my 6th grade math teacher. Boy, she was surprised I actually developed some math skills and made something of myself. Just goes to show you- hope springs eternal. Thanks for keeping the faith Mrs. B who is now Mrs. H
Being a veterinarian is much more than just being an animal doctor. I realize my good fortune to work in the profession of my childhood dreams and the effect it has on people is obvious and not so obvious ways. Despite my initial trepidations, my appreciation for their interest, criticisms, and support of those who “follow” me in the real and virtual world of social media constantly amazes me. Aside from their interest in making me a better veterinarian, it makes me a better person.