Exclusive interview: You've got the power!
As the exclusive veterinary media partner for Dr. Marty Becker's Big Bus Tour, dvm360 scored this interview about pets, the profession, and the power he sees veterinarians wielding.
dvm360: Dr. Becker, you're a hotshot TV personality with a brand new best selling book. Thank you for making the time to talk with us. Here's the first question: How'd you get so smart?
Dr. Becker: Truth is, lots of veterinarians could stand at the podium today, and if they knew where to look, they could teach everything I can teach. After all, veterinary practice itself is a great teacher. Veterinary medicine is 250 years old this year. That's 250 years of interacting with animals and with the people who depend on them for work or food or who love them as companions and fellow travelers in this adventure of life.
I don't think anyone—except maybe the rare small town family doctor—has witnessed the range of emotion and connection—from birth to death—that veterinarians have.
dvm360: Why did you become a veterinarian?
I got into veterinary medicine for one reason: I loved animals. That means I also loved the people who are companions to them. I loved what animals can do for a family, for a life, for a community. I loved the way animals connect us to something beyond us as humans. To help cut through the thickets of complexity and bring us back to basics. To reconnect us to the natural world that is less hectic and more healing.
I love that today we can use lasers post surgery to make the incision site look like something that was done on Star Trek. Or, injecting a pet's own stem cells to heal hips and knees that responded to no other form of treatment in the past, so that older dogs who had increasingly become shackled by stiffness and pain can go on brisk walks and jump up on the couch again.
dvm360: What do you think is the biggest threat that veterinarians face today?
I think today's biggest threat is from a source that has brought us all kinds of good stuff: The Internet. We can buy books in seconds; download songs we listened to as teenagers in seconds; find out how to fix the doorbell on our houses in seconds… all through the wonders of the Internet.
But, our clients can also go to the Internet and buy pet food or fill prescriptions in seconds. That's not so bad if the right protocols are being followed. But—and here it gets darn dangerous—they can also get a diagnosis and, even worse, a treatment plan.
I don't have to tell you how dangerous this is for pets. You already know how tough it is to correctly diagnose disease in animals who are lying on your exam table, with X-rays up on the viewer, and blood work in the analyzer.
dvm360: What's the one piece of advice you'd give your colleagues?
You're the thinker, you're the knower, you're the healer, you're the teacher. And you have “the power.”
It's just that sometimes you might not know it. You lose the light. You get numb to the joy that's right in front of you. You lose the connection. You're like a cell phone in a dead zone. My advice is to stay connected to your unshakable passion and—most importantly—your compassion for your patients and clients.
Don't miss it!
As part of his 30-stop national tour, Dr. Becker is parking the bus at CVC in D.C. on Friday, May 6. And he's going to share strategies for connecting to your power and safeguarding pets and the profession's role in caring for them at a very special session at CVC D.C. on Friday, May 6. Register for the conference today to attend this inspiring event.