Mentoring someone is an honor.

To teach and help develop someone in our field should not be taken lightly.

Remember being the new grad and trying to find your way in the profession. Having someone to turn to for cases, for advice, for leadership. Maybe not everyone had a great mentor, but this is something we as a profession can fix.

As a student in clinics, I was eager, excited, and loved learning about anything. I had great professors and classmates who I worked well with. Everyone except one resident. 

The one person who was supposed to help the students, who was supposed to be a leader, who was supposed to not only be learning but teaching. I thought they were holding me back. 

I was dreading this rotation.

I can’t say, unfortunately, but getting stuck in a four-hour surgery overnight changed my outlook and my direction.

First, no one wants to be a four-hour surgery overnight, but no one wants to be in it with someone who talks down to them. It was a miserable four hours, but it gave me growth. This surgery did not enhance my medical skills and definitely did not teach me how to perform it. 

During these four hours, I watched this resident struggle with this surgery and while I couldn’t offer tips to get through it I did offer whatever I could to help. If they wanted something I just did it. I was told more than one time I was doing something wrong and I just said sorry, what can I do better. No response…

This surgery left me frustrated and miserable. I didn’t understand what I gained from it. There was no medical knowledge that I gained and of course no surgical experience. I was a glorified technician during this surgery, that was all. So what was the purpose? 

This taught me more than I ever thought it would, what I didn’t want to be as a doctor. 

I don’t want people to think they cannot come to me, to think I will not or don’t want to help them. I want to help our profession develop and the way to do that is to help other people in the profession. I love explaining what I am doing so someone else can gain knowledge. This is what these four hours taught me. 

Development in anyone can make our profession better. I have personally experienced it. I have watched doctors with no confidence develop it, I have seen doctors perform things and diagnose diseases that they wouldn’t previously. This helps our profession grown. 

Developing doctors or mentoring people can be frustrating, tough to juggle and time-consuming but the benefits on both ends can be so rewarding. 

Imagine if everyone took the time to mentor someone, took the time to make sure they had all the right resources. If veterinarians stopped throwing others under the bus and we all worked together. 

We could accomplish so much. Everyone talks about how clients aren’t supporting us, how clients talk down to us, so why do we do it to ourselves. The first step is coming together and helping each other. Growing in this field and helping others grow. 

To mentor, another is an honor and by helping someone else in turn you are actually helping more animals. 

Comment below and let us know how your mentors supported you or what you feel they could have done better!

Leave a comment