Want to hear something crazy? During a recent weekend I sat in a hotel conference room and listened to speakers talk about skin issues in our pets for 15 hours. Fifteen hours! Nothing but skin, for real. I’m sure to you sounds quite boring, just as listening to 15 hours of real estate law would make me want to bang my head against a wall because I am not a real estate agent. It’s just gotta’ be done. The nine cans of Coke I pour into my gullet during the talks helps.
The State of South Carolina’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation requires many of the states professionals (lawyers, doctors, dentist, real estate agents…) to attend continuing education meetings to keep up with changes in their industries and to keep licenses in legal order. The hoops we jump through can be fraught with boredom.
In Veterinary Medicine, the LLR requires each licensed Veterinarian sits through 30 hours every two years. That means, for example, the five Vets at the Animal Medical Center of Mt Pleasant log at least 150 hours every two years!! That’s over six straight days of blah, blah, blah. Mind numbing. That doesn’t even include the scattering of luncheons in our own meeting rooms with other doctors that represent food companies, pharmaceuticals and emerging technologies (like our K-Laser). But here is the point.
In today’s high tech world of self diagnosis with the likes of Dr. Google and other internet gurus, there is still no better source for medical information for your pet than your own Veterinarian. You’re often getting tidbits of advice from the other sources based on anecdotal or non-scientific data. I am additionally amazed at the numbers of pet owner’s that follow, and share with us, the grooming, nutritional or medical advice they get from of the clerks at the boutique and big box pet stores. Theses are folks with good intention, who are merely spitting back (verbatim) whatever corporate line the salesman for the product overwhelmed them with in the first place.
Of course the argument is that we Veterinarian’s are doing the same… to make money? Make a living, yes. Get rich, get real. Believe me, if money were a motivating factor for any of us to get into a profession many of us would be cultivating pot in a field somewhere in Colorado. Our advice is based on an oath that says we put the interest of the animal above all else, not the bottom line.
So back to the point; need advice, want to talk about what’s best for your dog or cat? Talk to your Veterinarian, he or she is living proof that old dogs do learn new tricks. We learn them one hour at a time, in dank conference rooms with a cup of coffee or a can of coke.
We are as current as the next great website, we just can’t be accessed on your smart phone while you’re waiting for the light to change. (Well actually we can be accessed on your phone, just wait until you’re home.)