Thursday, January 10, 2013

"It is your job to be kind." Notes from Communications Seminar, by Dr. Dana Lewis

Veterinarians: Dana Lewis, Kate Crumley, & Jack Shuler
(not pictured Dr. Richard Kirkman).
Monday, December 3rd, I returned to my alma mater, North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine as a guest speaker on a panel of four vets for the communication class that the students participate in. I was very honored to be invited, as the other panelists were the director for AAHA and also small animal hospital owner (Heartwood Animal Hospital), Dr. Kate Crumley, as well as Dr. Jack Shuler of Chapel Hill Equine Associates and Dr. Richard Kirkman, an equine and bovine practioner from Siler City, all seriously admired and well-known doctors from central NC.

There were 28 students, the majority of which were 3rd year and then a smattering of 1st and 2nd years, plus several professors, technicians, and the grief counselor at the CVM. They had brainstormed up a mess of questions for us to tackle and only 2 hours to try to cover them; they asked about delivering bad news to a client, discussing fees, what interview tips we had for their future positions, and also when they need to hire employees, what tips we had for what we look for in support staff. The time flew by and I had to leave a few minutes early to get my boys at school. There was so much left unsaid, I wish we had more time!

As I left, I thanked them for having me, and told them, “Your two most important appointments with a client are the first and last. If you blow either of those, you will never see those people again. And they will tell everybody how you don’t care. Everything you do in life involves good communication skills; whether that is talking with your spouse, kids, friends, staff, clients, or the gal who made your coffee at Starbucks this morning. It even includes the guy you will accidentally cut off on the way home who will fly you the bird. It’s your job to be kind.”

Read more or contact Dr. Dana:
Dana Lewis, DVM
Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice
Raleigh, North Carolina  |

Dr. Dana assists families with Pet Hospice and Euthanasia in the Raleigh North Carolina area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the greater Triangle, as well as Wake, Durham, Orange, and Chatham counties.

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