What M.A.S.H. taught me about being a veterinarian

January 24, 2018
Richard Gerhold, DVM, MS, PhD

Richard Gerhold, DVM, MS, PhD

These are the lessons I learned from the TV show M.A.S.H. that help me at work and at home.

Dr. Gerhold performs a necropsy on a bear. All pictures courtesy of Dr. Richard GerholdMy guilty pleasure TV show is M.A.S.H., and I think it has a lot to teach us about being great veterinarians. Take Alan Alda, for example. He gives excellent lectures on how scientists should communicate with the general public. His focus on training medical professionals and scientists to communicate in a clear and engaging way led to the founding of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. Here are a few other lessons we can take from M.A.S.H.


Dr. Gerhold gets out in front of the camera for a news interview. Triage your life

The one thing I wish someone had taught me in vet school: How to budget and wisely invest and figure out how to pay off loans as efficiently as possible.

I'm always looking for efficiencies, and that's why I check email on my phone while my baby daughter is sleeping in my arms. I've finally found a way to make email a pleasant experience!

Enjoy learning

I love finding out new information when doing research and learning what other researchers are finding. It's also very rewarding watching grad students excel and become experts in their research projects.

Similarly, I very much enjoy watching veterinary students become excited about learning parasitology or wild disease information during class.

You. Can. Do. This!

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Love what you do outside of medicine

A favorite tip from fly fishing: Patience and being aware of your environment are very important in catching a fish.

What I could still learn: How to tie fly-fishing flies. I want to learn how to tie flies so I can learn to imitate the insects fish are eating and experience catching fish with a fly I tied myself.