I’m not sure many of you know this but I have officially embarked on a journey into uncharted waters. Let me explain…
Last weekend I spent 4 days in the beautiful city of Greenville, SC at the Uncharted Veterinary Conference. Now, if any of you have attended a professional conference before, you know that conferences are not only a great way to learn but also a great way to feel re-invigorated about your career. This was true for this conference. But it was also SO MUCH MORE. It has had such a strong effect on me that I felt compelled to get a little personal and share this with all of you.
Let me tell you a very short story: There once was a spunky little girl named Charlotte who dreamed about taking care of animals and no one being the boss of her. So yes- as a child my dream was to be a veterinarian and own my own practice. So, therefore – I am literally living my dream right now!
What we don’t realize as children is that adulthood is NEVER what it’s cracked up to be…. And life is not nearly as great as you thought it would be when no one is telling you what to do anymore. Many people (veterinary professionals) will tell you that is also true for veterinary medicine. Because veterinary medicine is HARD. The medicine is hard. It’s hard to not be able to communicate (with words) with your patients. It’s hard to counsel people through difficult decisions- whether about their pet or their finances or what flea and tick prevention is best for them. It’s hard to be everything your patients and clients need you to be and everything your family needs you to be and everything you need you to be. Basically- it’s just hard. Admitting we’re struggling is also hard- especially when we’re technically living our dream.
But here’s the thing with me and “hard” things, I’m a little like Jimmy Dugan (aka Tom Hanks) when he’s passionately explaining to Dottie Hinsen (aka Geena Davis) in “A League of Their Own” to what makes the game of baseball so great: I believe that the HARD is what makes it GREAT.
I tend to gravitate towards the hard. I don’t mean that I like to make my life more difficult but I do like challenges. And I do like overcoming challenges. It’s so invigorating! It’s exciting! It’s the opposite of boring and monotonous… and who wants that kind of life anyway? Not me! And not the 150 or so other veterinarians and veterinary professionals that came together at the Uncharted Veterinary Conference together. You see- we all quickly bonded because we all have a little Jimmy Dugan in us (minus the tobacco spitting) and know we can make something GREAT of the HARD within veterinary medicine. And we can do it together.
Compassionate Veterinary Care was born out of the “hard” and that’s what makes it great. It’s not always easy to practice the best medicine. It’s not always easy to make sure your patients and your clients know how much you care. It’s not always easy to make your practice a fun and enjoyable, albeit often stressful, work environment for your employees. It often means you’re heading down an unmarked trail, uncharted waters… which is why you need a tribe, a crew, that helps you forge your way.
I found this tribe at the Uncharted Veterinary Conference. I have this crew working by my side every day. They are helping me with the HARD stuff to make Compassionate Veterinary Care as GREAT as it can ever be.
Thank you for being on this voyage with me. For believing in us, especially as we navigate through these uncharted waters. I promise you that the journey will be worth it.
~Dr. Charlotte Lucas