PROfile: Fifteen years’ worth of dilemmas

dvm360dvm360 May 2024
Volume 55
Issue 5
Pages: 16

Marc Rosenberg, VMD, takes a deep dive into the creation of his column, The Dilemma, on its milestone anniversary

Marc Rosenberg, VMD

Photo courtesy of Marc Rosenberg, VMD

Columnist Marc Rosenberg, VMD, at home in New Jersey.

The first dilemma Marc Rosenberg, VMD, set out to solve was how to get his new column idea into the dvm360 periodical. At the time, he was not new to the media scene. He hosted a PBS pet care show in the 1980s, People, Pets & Doctor Marc, and a weekly radio show, Speaking About Pets, that aired in Philadelphia for 8 years.

Rosenberg, who was a veterinarian for over 50 years, reached out to dvm360 16 years ago with a proposal for a column in which he would discuss issues that veterinary clinics could face on any given day and how he would respond to them. After he waited patiently for a year to hear back from the dvm360 team at the time, his proposal was approved.

“I spoke with colleagues and we always got together and everyone would say, ‘I had this client, you wouldn’t believe it,’ or ‘I’m having this issue with one of my coworkers.’ And you talk about these things, and I thought veterinarians probably would enjoy hearing about these dilemmas because that’s what they were and that’s what I titled it,” he explained.

Since then, Rosenberg has shared his thoughts on real-life issues he has heard about from colleagues to help others within the veterinary profession maneuver situations they face, no matter how big or small. He changes names and locations and tweaks scenarios a little bit to ensure the privacy of those discussed, but the overall themes remain intact. He has covered topics including handling the COVID-19 pandemic, political discussions at work, gender isolation, firing clients, and so many more.

Each dilemma crafted by Rosenberg has more than 1 solution, so there is rarely only 1 answer, and it is interesting for him to see the input of everyone in the clinic on the issues he presents. Rosenberg’s column has created a community that he has cherished and fostered a relationship with since the beginning. Although the pet owners and pets who enter veterinary clinics have been the same since he began his career, the ideology of the veterinarian and the staff at the clinic has changed, inspiring a few columns of The Dilemma.

“When I started half a century ago, the profession was almost dynamically the opposite. We always were caring for pets and we always were interacting with pet owners, but some of the topics I’m starting to address are the changing demographics within the profession, the changing values that society has conferred upon the profession, the changing status that the profession has within the community at large,” he explained.

“I can tell you, 50 years ago when somebody met me and I was Dr Rosenberg, they said, ‘Hey, what kind of doctor are you?’ ‘I’m a veterinarian,’ [I’d respond,] and they said, ‘Oh.’ And now someone says, ‘Hey, what kind of doctor are you?’ ‘I’m a veterinarian.’ ‘Oh, really? Wow, it’s very hard to get into veterinary school. You must be so bright.’ That’s exactly the opposite from when I went to veterinary school,” he said.

Rosenberg will continue to write his column and give back to the veterinary community through advice on the easiest and toughest topics within the veterinary clinic. He loves to sit with other professionals to discuss what is happening in their clinics or present a lecture on dilemmas to see how different attendees respond to each. Through The Dilemma, Rosenberg lets professionals know their issues are seen and heard and reminds them that they are not alone in what they are facing in their clinic. He encourages readers to always keep their professional hats on when they are at work and they will never get in trouble.

When Rosenberg is not writing his column, he spends his retirement working on his “best super senior jump shot” for his basketball league. Although he does get injured, much like those in the dilemmas he shares with the veterinary community, he gets back up and tries again until he succeeds. The May installment of The Dilemma can be found on page 62 and previous installments are available on

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