Introverts vs. extroverts in veterinary practice


Some veterinarians and managers are happy to chat with clients-others wish pets could bring themselves to the clinic. How does your personality play into your performance? Check out the responses to our survey.

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Stay true to your personality

Don’t try to change who you are, says Dr. Shawn Finch of Gentle DoctorAnimal Hospital in Omaha, Neb. She says it’s better to celebrate your strengths and try to excel at what you’re naturally good at. In fact, Dr. Finch—a self-professed introvert—stopped trying to improve her weaknesses years ago. She says there are most likely people on your veterinary team who already have the skill you’re struggling with down pat. So go ahead and let them do it, she says.

For example, Dr. Finch has really learned to appreciate frontline staff and everything they do at the beginning and end of each appointment.

“By the time I see clients, our receptionists and technicians have already said hello and asked exactly what’s going on with their pet,” Dr. Finch says. “Then, I can have an intimate, one-on-one conversation with the clients and examine, diagnose and treat their pet—all things I do better than small talk and initial greetings.”

Likewise, when the client is ready to go home, the technician reviews everything Dr. Finch has covered during the appointment (e.g., parasite checks, the importance of the vaccines, future health care, weight checks), and then the receptionist confirms the plan.

“If I had to do that much detailed explanation with a client every hour, I’d be so wiped out,” Dr. Finch says. “I work with a mix of introverts and extroverts. Those who love talking at length with clients have the people time they need—and are so good at—and those of us who need more downtime can have that, too. Either way we know clients and patients are receiving great care.”

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