Star Wars wisdom for veterinary practices


You dont need the Force to move veterinary clients. Consider this sage advice from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Those of you in my generation grew up on Star Wars. It was the first movie I saw in a theater, and I was very young. My older sisters took me, and I felt very grown up. For me, the franchise is nostalgic. But any onlooker can see that there is wisdom in the stars. Here are a few timeless quotes that can apply to veterinary practice. 

“Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

This wisdom is true of anything. If you want something, give it your entire mind. Patients thrive when they have your full focus. Treatment plans fall together like pieces of a puzzle. Clients need to feel that you are listening to them-and really hearing them-with all your attention. So whether you're firing up a light saber or firing up your team, use the Force and it will become your reality. 


“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

No matter what, outcomes will go one way or another. If you give your best, the animal will recover or it will die, but there should be no halfway. Have the strength and daring to give your best. It speaks to veterinarians and veterinary team members alike. If you choose a task, do your best. If you can't do your best, let someone else tackle it. Maybe non-geeks would say, “Go big or go home.”

“In my experience there is no such thing as luck.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

We control our own destiny, even in practice. If there's no such thing as luck, then we aren't powerless in the face of obstacles, waiting immobilized for the planets to align. Although Obi-Wan's insight can't be refuted, it's very clear that he has never placed an IV catheter or unblocked a tomcat, because we all know there is a component of luck.

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” – Darth Vader

I know a lot of veterinarians. And quite frankly, I do find your lack of faith disturbing. We are a special group of empathetic and intelligent creatures. We're typically a humble lot, and we have bought into the hype of “greedy animal hater” press. I know if it's on the Internet it must be true, right? But know in your heart that such vets are few and far between. Have faith in yourself and our profession. We will prevail.

“It is not my fault.” –Lando Calrissian

Be very cautious of this one, friends, because “It's a trap!” (Admiral Akbar). 

Even if something isn't technically your fault, take responsibility for it enough to make a plan to prevent its recurrence. We all know that the plight of animal overpopulation is lack of responsibility, as is so much in this world. If everyone would be accountable for our own tasks, actions and the things depending on us-and maybe a little more-the veterinary hospital would be a very different place. In fact, the whole planet would be different and better. 

Take these insights and make a difference in your world and May the Force Be With You, young Padawans.


Kathryn Primm, DVM, owns and practices at Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee, and is the author of Tennessee Tails: Pets and Their People.

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