Mastering hard conversations
While there is no denying that vets are talented and passionate individuals, sometimes it’s a struggle to have “the hard” conversations with pet owners.
Talking about euthanasia, treatment compliance or communicating complex medical information in a way that builds trust and empathy is a skill that many experienced vets find challenging.
Dr Claire Stevens is a vet with 10+ years of experience, author of Dr Claire’s Love Your Dog and owner of Global Vet Solutions. Here, she shares more about her program The Perfect Consult and why it’s so important to learn the art of communication as a vet:
“I’ve worked as a vet in practices for over ten years (and as an owner). It gave me a lot of perspective and insight into veterinary medicine.
“As vet’s we tend to be attracted to talking about clinical topics and are less comfortable with thinking about the business side of things or leadership skills.
“Pet owners don’t judge a vet on their clinical competence – they assume it and assume all vets are equally competent. What they are judging is how nice they are, how connected they feel to the vet or how trustworthy they are. This skill is not really something that a lot of experienced vets were taught in university and so it’s a real mind shift that needs to occur.
“When you need to explain something like complex medical information, the need for euthanasia or a treatment program it can be tricky to have those hard conversations.
“The Perfect Consult helps to bridge this gap by teaching skills like how to communicate effectively, how to bond with clients and grow your vet practice. The course also counts towards 15 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.
“My goal is to help other vets overcome common hurdles like dealing with cost restraints, explaining the importance of diagnostics, managing aggressive or demanding clients or ensuring compliance.”
“The program is a 15 hour online course, delivered in a variety of formats from recorded webinars and video series as well over 100 pages of detailed written notes to help you on your journey.
“There are some great activities to practice these skills included in the course, as well as the option at the end to video a consult process which can then be submitted for feedback.
“It’s so important to practice these skills. The experience we’re giving our clients and the way we are communicating is ultimately what builds long lasting relationships with pets and pet owners and enables us to build a sustainable business,” says Dr Stevens.
Learn more about The Perfect Consult here.