Letter to dvm360: Big game protest is a very big deal

October 2, 2017

Veterinary technician should not have harassed leasehold tenant, reader saysher termination was appropriate.

In the ethical scenario “Big game, big protest” by Dr. Marc Rosenberg, Dr. Link was well within his rights to terminate his technician's employment, as was reaffirmed by the state board. I can relate to Dr. Link in that I too operate a clinic in a shopping center. There are occasional issues with fellow tenants that are usually resolved with a conversation. If the issue is not resolved, we involve the shopping center management.

The point is that all tenants have to strive for the greater good of all the businesses there to drive traffic flow. Dr. Link was more patient in allowing this to go on than I ever would be. His failure to stop it early led to the outcome of termination, as harassment of fellow tenants is not acceptable. I personally did not like a massage business that moved in next to me, but turning the other cheek (no pun intended) ultimately netted me a few interesting clients. Our common ground was a love of pets.

Dr. Rosenberg's response indicates a lack of appreciation for who Dr. Link was dealing with. A valued team member does not do things to compromise the practice, engage a client with conversation irrelevant to the visit, harass others or ultimately report the doctor to a state board for subjective actions. The technician represents a mindset that does not allow for discussion or compromise. Dr. Rosenberg's suggestions are naïve. What makes him think contributing to an anti-big-game-hunting charity or providing relevant educational information would satisfy the technician?

Our calling as veterinarians is to promote animal health and well-being. There are many ways to achieve this without forcing our opinion on others. The workplace is certainly not the appropriate venue for this, as it detracts from our primary goal of taking care of our patients. Dr. Link's decision to fire his technician is not an indication of inflexibility; rather, his willingness to let her actions go on too long reflects passive management.

Oh, and for the record, I am not and never will be a trophy hunter. I share Dr. Rosenberg's hope of balance!

Name withheld on request