I'm a new associate at a small-animal practice. Some of the team members seem resentful of me. What can I do to earn their trust?
Q. I'm a new associate at a small-animal practice. Some of the team members seem resentful of me. What can I do to earn their trust?
"As a recent graduate, you're coming into practice with plenty of new knowledge," says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. W. Andrew Rollo, an associate at Gibraltar Veterinary Hospital in Gibraltar, Mich. "This can be overwhelming to team members who have been working at a hospital for 10 or 20 years. Change can be scary, and you embody change. It's important to bring new ideas into the practice, but meld them with the experience of tenured team members."
Dr. Rollo says the best way to become a part of the team is to listen—your new team has a lot to offer you. "An assistant may have been right about that vomiting dog with Addison's disease despite a normal sodium-to-potassium ratio," he says. "Maybe she saw a similar case four years ago. But you're the doctor and the decision to run an ACTH stimulation test is ultimately up to you."
If you listen to your team members, Dr. Rollo says, you're certifying the importance of their contributions. "Just remember that you're a team," he says. "There's no point in throwing the football if you don't have any receivers to catch it."