Rekindle your passion for practice
Dr. Marty Becker says it's time to do a little soul-searching.
Jan 01, 2010
A lot of you know me for my sunny disposition. I'm the Chicken Soup guy, always seeing the cup as half full. As you might imagine, I still see the glass as half full, and, in fact, for veterinarians in 2010 and beyond, I see the cup brimming over.
But I think we've arrived at a point in the evolution of our profession where we need to do a little soul-searching. We need to do exams on ourselves just like we recommend for our clients' pets.
Now, I don't necessarily think we need a revolution in veterinary medicine. By all measures we're doing pretty well. According to a BusinessWeek cover story in 2008, consumers spend 25 percent more money on pets—their food, grooming, and veterinary care—than on movies, music, and video games combined. Fifty-three billion dollars, or more than what's spent on candy and toys combined—that's how large this market is.
Let me guess. You didn't get into this profession so you could retrieve financial information from your practice management database and compare your hospital to others in areas such as fees, revenue, and expenses. You didn't get into this profession because you had a desire to work unmanageable hours, manage a bunch of people, make hiring and firing decisions that affect lives, or design the perfect hospital.
After all, if your primary concern was financial success, you'd have used your superior brain power and the drive that got you into this profession to fill cavities as a dentist, remove wrinkles as a plastic surgeon, or analyze algorithms for Google. And you'd be on vacation in the Greek isles right now instead of reading this article.
You got into this profession because you wanted to care for animals. It was a seed that was planted in most of you before the age of 10 and has caused some of you to never miss a day of work because of illness. Why? Because that passionate drive to help animals can eclipse almost every other aspect of your life.