Written by Dr. Kristin Joudrey
Being a vet has come with no regrets. I love my job! I was one of those kids that at the age of 6, declared that I was going to be a vet and I haven’t looked back since. Of course, a child’s view of the profession and reality tend to be two different matters. Since becoming a vet, I have learned so much, most of it having actually nothing to do with veterinary medicine. The hardest part about my job is not my ability to diagnose or to be a good surgeon (although even the most senior vet will probably admit that this will always be a work in progress!). For me, one of the most challenging aspects of my job is when finances become an obstacle between me and my ability to help a patient.
As of late, there have been so many blogs and articles written on the business aspect of veterinary medicine. Like any business, we rely on the income generated to pay for things like heat, electricity, property rental, medical supplies, and the list continues. Unfortunately, we, as veterinarians, are constantly at the mercy of the dollar. I have seen countless cases when an owner has come in and immediately declares a monetary amount, to the cent, that he or she can afford to solve their pet’s problem. Too often in these cases, we resort to treating for the most likely diagnosis or performing only a partial test when the full test may have given an answer. Sadly, sometimes we have to end a patient’s life, perhaps even prematurely. I always strive to maintain a balance between doing what’s best for my patient and making it accessible for the individual client. However, like any teeter totter, one side often outweighs the other.
Here in Ontario, we are fortunate because clinics have the opportunity to draw funds from an organization called The Farley Foundation. The Farley Foundation is a registered charity that assists people in need by subsidizing the cost of necessary (non-elective) veterinary care for their pets. However, funding is often limited and a clinic is often only able to help support one or two patients at a time. This is where I come into play and I hope that all of you readers will consider helping me to take action. Over the past few years, I have really gotten into long distance running. To say ‘I love it’ would be a stretch but I seem to take some sick pleasure in seeing the ability of my body and the obstacles it can overcome when I put my mind to it. My husband also says I am really competitive! Nonetheless, I have the honour of competing in this year’s Boston Marathon on April 21st and I am using my training as a motivation for my peers and friends to donate to this worthy cause.
To donate, you can go to the following link: https://www.farleyfoundation.org/.
Click on the big green “Create or Donate to a Giving Page” button and Search by name “Kristin Joudrey”. It will then take you to my page “Dr Jo’s Run for Farley”. Giving is simple and easy and it is also a great motivator for me to get out for my early Sunday morning long runs. Thanks guys for letting me plug the Farley Foundation. I really appreciate it and I am sure the animals we help save will appreciate it even more.