Many of you have been clamoring for more public education about veterinary medicine. Well, the American Veterinary Medical
Association (AVMA) has recently released a new video game for kids of all ages that could encourage interest in veterinary
medicine as a career as well as educate clients about some common conditions and treatments.
The gameplay of AVMA Animal Hospital will be familiar to anyone who's toyed with the genre of restaurant or business games in which you greet, seat and satisfy
clients as quickly as possible or face their wrath. In this case, if you don't carry the pet to the back, find an empty treatment
table and diagnose and treat a number of pets before the clock runs out, your "game" is over.
It's fun and educational, but some of you business-minded individuals out there might wonder: As the clients and pets pile
up with higher and higher levels, where are the new team members? You get better at diagnosing pets with common ailments faster,
so you can churn and burn … but you don't get any new hands on deck. Your fantastic animal hospital remains a two-woman (or
one-man-and-one-woman) show—just you and your trusty receptionist.
The next version of this game needs some serious power-ups. At level 10, you could bring in an LVT, who can handle the majority
of the treatment options on the veterinarian's list while the doctor moves on to another diagnosis. At level 20, you could
bring on a certified veterinary practice manager (CVPM) to turn around the clients who has a bad experience, and who, without
the CVPM's intervention, is likely march home to post a nasty one-star review on Yelp.
I hope this game inspires young people to consider the thrill of diagnosing and treating a new generation of pets. I hope
the next version of this game gives a more nuanced look at the real world of veterinary medicine—there are more avenues in
the treatment room of your local veterinary practice than veterinary school. It takes a village to heal a pet, right?
Brendan Howard, Editor