The best veterinarians in the industry know that it isn’t just their degree that makes them qualified to treat their patients. There are certain qualities and skills that turn a good vet into an outstanding veterinary professional. Here are a few that I think are especially important.
In a veterinary setting, there are actually two patients: the pet and their owner. The best veterinarians are compassionate to the needs and wants of both parties. This compassion leads to a great experience and the foundation for a trustworthy relationship.
Quick Decision-Making Skills
Not all veterinary situations are emergencies, but every vet has seen their fair share. These situations require a professional to make informed decisions very quickly to ensure the best outcome for their patients.
Ability to Communicate Well
Similar to any medical field, the world of veterinary care is filled with complex terms. It is the veterinarian’s job to bridge the gap for pet owners. This means facilitating open two-way communication. The vet should have a clear understanding of everything the animal’s owner is saying, and be able to explain the animal’s situation in a way that makes sense to a person with no medical experience. This is especially important for pets who require treatment to continue at home.
Any licensed veterinarian has undoubtedly gone through hours of schooling and hands-on experience to earn their title. This gives them the knowledge base to treat a variety of animals because they can identify behavior, anatomy and ailments, allowing them to formulate the best diagnosis and treatment plan. However, there are veterinarians who specialize in exotic animals or particular diseases. Anyone with unique cases like this should ensure they’re seeing a veterinarian with a related skill set.
An animal’s owner will likely come to the vet with a list of signs and symptoms for a sick animal, but it’s the veterinarian’s job to analyze the situation and take note of symptoms the owner may have missed. This is also true for routine check-ups, when problems can be caught early before symptoms become more noticeable.
A Love for Animals
It’s not uncommon for veterinarians to say they like animals more than they like people. By watching a vet interact with a pet, you can tell that they have a respect for the animal and a dedication to their well being.
Many veterinarians own their own business, which requires a certain level of skill, including financial, marketing, management, etc. However, this is of lesser importance than the other skills I listed because a vet can hire or team up with someone to handle the business side of things.
Finding a good veterinarian for your pet is like finding a good doctor for yourself. You should feel comfortable, trusting that your veterinarian is capable of providing the best possible care.