In the first episode of the Joyful DVM podcast in 2024, Dr. Cari Wise addresses the issue of client shaming by veterinary professionals on social media. She emphasizes that blaming clients for the stress of the veterinary profession is not productive.
The habit of client shaming, particularly in relation to euthanasia, is discussed.
Dr. Wise expresses concern about a specific post that shamed clients for not staying with their pets during euthanasia. She argues that it is not the place of veterinary professionals to judge clients’ choices and that staying or not staying during euthanasia does not reflect the level of care a client has for their pet.
She reminds us of the importance of helping people as well as animals and urges veterinary professionals to be mindful of the impact of their words and actions on social media, and to consider the impact of their words on building (and breaking) trust with clients.
Dr. Wise encourages self-reflection and understanding of one’s own motives when expressing opinions.
- Blaming clients for stress in the veterinary profession is not productive.
- Staying or not staying with a pet during euthanasia does not reflect the level to which a client cares for their animal.
- Judgmental posts hinder the ability to help animals by creating doubt and mistrust in the minds of pet owners.
- Individual choices and opinions are powerful, but forcing them onto others is not productive.
- Self-reflection and understanding of one’s own motives when expressing opinions is encouraged.
- Respect for the choices of others and recognizing that there are many factors that play into decisions about euthanasia is important.
- Judgment only fosters mistrust, and it is crucial to think before posting harsh opinions on social media.
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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos. Hi there. I'm Dr. Cari Wise, veterinarian, certified life coach and certified quantum human design specialist. If you are a veterinary professional looking to uplevel your life and your career or maybe looking to go in an entirely new direction, then what I talk about here on the joyful DVM podcast is absolutely for you. Let's get started. Hello my friends. Welcome to another reflection Friday.
Here we are. It is January 5th, 2024. So today as we jump into this, I’m thinking about a Christmas present that I got from my son and daughter-in-Law. And it was the most perfect gift. I received a, a bird feeder that has a camera on it. Now, many of y’all know that I am a little bit or a lot a bit obsessed with birds.
So the older I get, the more I’m just fascinated by their existence overall, which is quite funny from a veterinary perspective because I don’t see birds, I don’t treat birds, I never have, I don’t really have any interest in that aspect of it. My aspect and interest in birds has to do with more wild birds, songbirds, raptors, all of that in a natural type setting.
And over the years as I have really become more and more interested in birds and really been paying attention to them, what I have noticed is how much they are a grounding force for me in a very otherwise chaotic world. And this brings to me the question that I have for you today. What grounds you? What grounds you? So this gift that I received that was a camera,
a bird feeder with a camera on it has been just a delight as since I set it up. I mean a hundred or not hundreds. I’ve had hundreds of videos so far around 80 to a hundred every single day. I have been feeding the birds. So little disclaimer, I have been feeding birds around our house for years. So I do have a wide variety of different birds that come and this week,
having that set up as I’ve gone through the week and had some chaotic moments. You know, first week back in veterinary clinics, after being away for the holidays for a couple of weeks, there’s always this opportunity for chaos. There’s opportunity for busyness, there’s opportunity for frustration and stress, and just the like energetic shift of being back in an environment that you hadn’t been in for a while.
And this week, because I had set this camera up and I had it to do pop-up notifications, when I would have a second, I would notice on my phone, oh hey look, there’s another video, there’s another bird. There’s a another thing to shift my focus to. And that’s the key of this grounding activity. What grounds you? What pulls you back into what is real?
What gets you out of your physical mind so that you don’t get caught up in a cycle of anxiety and frustration and even dread? What is real? What reminds you that you are actually part of this huge universe with a very significant purpose? It’s important for all of us to remember this, especially when we work in professional careers that are high-paced, high stress and veterinary medicine.
It is very easy as veterinary professionals to lose track of who we are, to forget that we matter outside of the clinic. And then to try to create our self-worth through our achievements within the clinic. Which as you know from me talking before, and if you’ve been in my Vet Life Academy program, the more that we chase external validation, the more we are going to be let down.
Because external validation, specifically through veterinary channels, is impossible. We are never gonna control patient outcomes or client behaviors. And so having something that grounds you in the truth of who you are, that you are infinitely worthy and valuable simply because you exist, that you are actually a very intentional part of this universe, of this world that we live in, that of earth,
that we are all connected to the energy of nature. Whatever you need to remind you, that you matter, that you are more than just whatever job you hold or title you’ve given yourself. I think it is important for each and every one of us to have a real idea of what those anchors are. For me, over the years, I have just learned that it is birds.
That when I shift my focus to what birds are doing around me. So it’s for me, I’m gonna give you a very tactical way that I do this. When I’m driving to work, of course my eyes are on the road, but my eyes are always scanning for wildlife, always. And I’m always looking, I’m looking at at wires, electrical wires,
are there hawks sitting up there? Might there be cardinals there? Are there birds hopping along the side of the road in the gravel? And of course I notice other things too. I notice squirrels, I notice rabbits, I notice deer. I watch, I’m always excited to see a cat. I don’t, I, you know, I love cats.
Like cats are a huge animal for me. So I’m always excited to see one of those. Hopefully I don’t wanna see any of them, any animal smashed on the road. Unfortunately, I live in a rural area. We see a fair amount of that as well. My point being that just that practice and it is a practice, it wasn’t something that was,
it wasn’t something that I just did. You know, I think probably something I just did before my mind had other things to worry about. So before I was a veterinary professional, sure, I was always looking around seeing what I could see out the window whenever I was driving or was a passenger. But as life became more complicated, as I became more of an adult,
I had more responsibilities. I had more pressures. My, my experience of the world became very small because it was trapped within the mental processes of my brain. I was always thinking about work, thinking about cases, thinking about people, thinking about my to-do list. And when we live in that small area of the brain, we miss the entire human experience.
So what can you have as your anchor to pull you back into the entire experience for you to realize your life is so much bigger than just the one place that your brain wants to focus? How can you intentionally shift that focus to remind yourself of that? And what’s beautiful about that is as you start to recognize what your own anchors are, they become these little signals.
They become these messengers from the universe, if you will, that will show up at times when you really need a shift or you really need some clarity. That’s not accidental, that’s not coincidence. It’s all very intentional. But if we don’t create the opening to notice, we never will. The physical mind robs us from so much of the physical, of the actual human experience because our focus becomes so small.
So over the last week, like I said, since I got this beautiful gift and I’ve had this up and I’ve had all these videos, it’s been super fun to capture all of these different birds. Actually on camera and on video, I have felt a lot more anchored. I have felt a lot more grounded. And that has been a beautiful gift because I definitely had developed a new pattern,
which is part of the reason I wanted to go back into clinical practice to see what the new patterns were, to see what it was like. But I developed a new pattern of on clinic days, I pretty much only focused on clinic thinking. And on other days I focused on other thinking, right? So where my attention was, was very compartmentalized.
And I recognized this pattern before I had my break, but hadn’t quite developed a strategy on how to navigate that because I knew that was not gonna be useful long term. I knew that it, it was creating an imbalance in my focus and in my attention and my wellbeing that I didn’t enjoy. And I know many, many of you have that same thing,
that you’re only living your life on the days you don’t have to work. But if you’re working five or six days a week, that doesn’t leave you, leave you any time to live your life. The key or the goal here is to learn how to live your life every day. Even the days that you are in your job and having your anchors that pull you back to what actually matters in the world that reconnects you to your purpose,
to your existence as a human being that brings you back into the being part of you. Remember, we’re not human doings. Having those anchors, those signals make a big difference. So this morning as I was doing some journaling and just having a little bit of quiet time, because I don’t work at the clinic on Fridays, drinking some coffee, I,
I had a little catch outta the corner of my eye. And many of you know the stories of the Bluebirds. There’s many podcast episodes out there where I’ve talked about the journey with the bluebirds here at our farm. And so what I saw was on, on my deck in the bird, the Bluebird house, there were four Bluebird that had come by to visit and they were checking out the house.
Now I totally love the bluebirds and this year we, we, me and the Bluebird, we had quite, quite a productive season, if you will. They were able to nest and hatch two different groups of five Bluebird. That’s a lot. So 10, I knew 10 young had survived all the way through hatching and fledgling here. And a couple of weeks ago,
they actually all came back. It was the craziest thing. I heard all this noise outside. It was, it was just right before Christmas. I heard all of this like bird noise outside. And I walked over and I opened up the door a little bit. And there the blue boards were everywhere. There was, I think all of them were back ’cause I couldn’t even count them fast enough.
And I got up to over 10. So I do believe every one of them was back with probably the parents. And this is kind of their habit. They usually come back in the fall, they’re always around, but they come back to the deck usually in the fall, in the winter. And so they were all there. They’d brought a bunch of also cedar wax wing birds,
which were pretty cool to look at. Any of this. I kind of digress. My point is that they were there again today, and I do not think that is an accident at all, because as I was sitting there having some time to just be, then there they were. And such a beautiful reminder of what an anchor they are for me.
And how when I, because this week I had prioritized paying attention again to what was going on around not only like instantly, like the active things that needed my attention right now, the urgent, if you will, but also what else was happening around me, paying attention, even just to those periodically looking at the phone to see those videos of the birds at home.
That was a very grounding activity and I love the synchronicities there. So my friends, my point of this and this reflection Friday is to encourage each and every one of you to identify what is a grounding item or thing for you or activity for you. What is it that you can identify as your anchor? Something that when it becomes part of your conscious awareness,
it’s a little bit of a reminder to get out of their physical mind, to step away from the stress and the anxiety and the frustrations, and to just be for a moment and to realize that who you be is so much more important than who you, what you do, what we do, how we what the actions that we take, especially when they come from pressure or from frustration or stress,
definitely cloud the experience that we are here to have as humans. And they also make veterinary medicine as a career much more difficult. The career was never supposed to be the thing that that fills you up. It doesn’t. It isn’t your identity. It is part of what you are here to do. It is part of what you’re here, how you’re here to contribute.
And for each and every one of us, the extent of time that we spend in this profession is individual. There is no right or wrong with that. Some of us, it’s a very short time. Some of us, it’s a lifetime journey in veterinary medicine. Both are exactly right, right? Depends on the individual. But if you are trying to create a sense of self-worth of accomplishment,
of success, of confidence, of acceptance through your job and you keep working harder and harder and harder and not achieving that goal, I want you to just consider maybe, maybe it’s time to allow your focus to shift a little bit, be all in when you’re there a hundred percent. But don’t forget that the time you spend at work is still just part of your entire journey.
And it weaves in and out. It’s not an all or nothing, a black or white. You don’t just live your days, your lives on the days off. Find those anchors that bring you back into the reality of your entire existence, the importance of you in this lifetime, the intentionality around your purpose. And if you’re like, Kerry, I don’t know what my purpose is,
it’s because you’re trying to figure it out with your brain. Don’t figure it out. Feel it out. Give yourself that, that downtime. And as you identify those anchors that pull you back into the truth of being an infinitely worthy being in this lifetime, simply because you exist, then those anchors will serve to remind you of that over and over and over again.
And you’ll be surprised at how the things that get us all stressed out and anxious and worried, how those really lose the ability and impact to do that. Because we are not just our jobs, we are not just that label. We are that job. And that label is just one tiny little piece of who you are overall. All right, my friends,
that’s gonna wrap it up for this reflection Friday. I would love to know what your anchor items are. So if you wanna share those, definitely do so and I will see you next time. Bye.