Written by Michael W. Miller, DVM
There I sat in the hospital room as my exhausted wife and newborn son slept. Instead of sleeping, I was busy reading the instruction manual for the car seat. Yep, I was that first-time dad. I tried not to be. My wife was not due for another two weeks. In fact, I had planned to pack my bag for the hospital and figure out the car seat as soon as we got home from her doctor’s appointment that day. I didn’t know that her appointment would end with us getting sent straight to hospital. Our son arrived early, and I was not prepared.
I was like Harry and Ron at Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Chaos broke out, and I was not ready. My wife on the other hand was Hermione. Her bag had been packed for weeks. Her preparedness saved me, just like Hermione saved Harry and Ron. I got so lucky I married a Hermione.
At your veterinary practice, are you prepared like Hermione? Or, do you rely on a Hermione to save you?
In order to succeed in veterinary medicine, we probably need to be more like Hermione. We should be prepared, but also think on our feet to react in the moment.
Hermione was usually the most prepared member of the main trio. She studied in the library, practiced spells, and packed her bag with supplies she thought they would need. By being prepared, she allowed them to overcome obstacles.
Harry and Ron were also prepared… sometimes. They studied for tests (reluctantly) and practiced spells as part of the DA. They also utilized help from friends and mentors. Sometimes this was in preparation, such as Harry’s preparation for the Triwizard Tournament events. However sometimes when they weren’t prepared, the help they asked for saved them.
How nice would it be for a phoenix to swoop down and save you at work if you just asked for help?! Well, maybe you can just call on a colleague and give them a chance to be your phoenix. Just because you are unprepared, doesn’t mean you have to fail. Even when Harry was unprepared, he could save himself by asking for help. So, if you’re not prepared like Hermione, then be like Harry. Utilize the resources you have, including helpful people, and think on your feet to come up with a solution.
Now back to using Hermione as our ideal example (because who doesn’t want to be like Hermione!) We can be like Hermione and strive to both be prepared and also adapt when we are unprepared. For example, when the trio infiltrated the ministry to retrieve the locket horcrux, they spent lots of time preparing but still had to adapt when complications arose. They actively decided to go ahead despite not being 100% prepared. As Harry told Hermione, “When have we ever been prepared before?”
As young professionals, this approach to veterinary medicine can be terrifying. You study and study and study, and then suddenly you have to face a sick patient. Sometimes your preparation makes this easy – like when a young doctor diagnoses the polyuric cat with hyperthyroidism and discusses the treatment options. Such a win! (This was my first case ever after I graduated vet school.)
However sometimes the preparation only takes you so far. Your studies told you what to do when an anesthetized patient starts to have complications, but you may have to think on your feet to customize your approach because each case is an individual. As a brand new doctor, I witnessed a young puppy crash as she was waking up after I spayed her. I knew what I should do, but I was discombobulated in this new hospital. In that moment, I did not do what Hermione would have done. Luckily, I called my mentor to help me and he swooped in to save the puppy’s life. I was not prepared, so I relied on the help, more like a move from Harry and Ron. In the end, the puppy lived, and I learned a lesson so that I could be prepared in the future.
When you are faced with veterinary problems, ask yourself ‘What Would Hermione Granger Do?’ She would try to be as prepared as possible, but she would also be willing to seek help when she finds herself unprepared. Both allow us to discover the magic in veterinary medicine. When you are prepared and conquer a problem – magical! When you are unprepared and still conquer a problem by asking for help – also magical! Remember, Hermione was amazing, and that came from both being prepared and also asking for help. To be truly as magical as Hermione, you need to do both.