Everything you need to know as a veterinarian you learned in kindergarten

July 18, 2018
Bree Montana, DVM

Well, not literally. But much like elementary school, as veterinarians we aren't faced with anything we can't handle, just situations and cases we haven't studied yet.

Make a playdate with yourself: When work is wearing me down, I recharge by making sure I'm playing enough. Nature is my muse, so I'll get out and hike with my huskies or do some easy work at the barn with the ponies. I find that I'm short-tempered and less able to see the sunshine in a situation when I haven't been playing enough. (All images courtesy of Dr. Bree Montana)I wish that my future self would have taught me how moving through a veterinary career is not that different from moving through elementary school. We aren't faced with anything we can't handle, just situations and cases we haven't studied yet. It would have been such a gift to have understood that every new case was simply an opportunity for learning and growth, as opposed to my new-graduate self-fear that the new case would be an opportunity to show what I didn't yet know!

I ride large, high energy warmbloods, and when something spooky happens (assassin-plastic bag, anyone?) and my pony stops listening and starts to want to run around like a baby dinosaur, things go much better, much faster when I maintain a calm and relaxed posture. I find when I am calm, the situation becomes calmer. This works beautifully with hairy emergencies in the hospital. Strike a pose

When something bad is hitting the fan, I breathe and stand in a balanced, powerful pose. This signals to my body that all is well and allows me to access my brain.

My best efficiency tip

I commute an hour to my barn, four days a week. I like to listen to entertainment podcasts in the morning (the Moth is my favorite!), and on the way home I will mix in some CE listening. If I'm feeling fried from my way-too-full schedule, I'll give myself a brain vacation and listen to something fun, both ways, for a few days until I'm revved up for more learning.

My next mountain

Every year I set a new goal for myself-some I achieve and build on and others help me realize that not everything is in my wheelhouse! Right now I'm learning podcasting. I'm excited about finding a new way of reaching out to our colleagues so our community may be more connected.

If you can imagine it, you can do it

It may take a few (or 10) years of real deep-down hard work, but with a strong will and a badass work ethic anything is possible in this profession.


You. Can. Do. This!

At Fetch dvm360 conference, we're the support system you need. With every conference this year, we intend to nurture your mind (meaning quality CE for days) while also encouraging you to take stock of your physical and emotional health. Register now.