850. A Day in the Life: What's It Really Like to Be a Veterinarian
John Robb, DVM
“When I’ve had a tough case, and the dog or cat or lizard or whatever I’m treating is really in a life-threatening type situation, and I’m able to apply my skills, pull that pet through, and then when that pet’s coming up to the front to meet the client to go home…you know, that’s IT, right there. That moment where you see the people and the emotions and the tears, and knowing that I was able to be a part of that, you know? That’s it.”
Dr. John Robb is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Connecticut. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis in 1981 and his DVM from that same institution in 1985. Dr. Robb started the Protect The Pets movement in 2006 to bring morals back into veterinary medicine. This has helped clients by establishing pet safe hospitals and veterinarians by giving them the opportunity to live their oath. He currently owns and operates a small animal veterinary hospital in Newtown, Ct called Dr. Robb’s Protect The Pets – 98 South Main Street, Newtown, Ct. He practices the new standard of titering first before routinely over vaccinating pets who already have immunity. He plans on putting Protect The Pets Hospitals all over the world.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“When I finally decided I wanted to be a veterinarian I met with the pre-vet counselor. He looked at my grades and recent academic history and told me that I should consider other options because only one in one thousand applicants were accepted to veterinary school and my chances were slim to none. While I was studying for an agriculture degree at U.C. Davis, where the state veterinary school is located, I started asking the veterinary students how they got in with the competition being so intense. While many were super smart and accomplished, many others were simply persistent. They worked hard, kept applying and got more experience. I realized if I really wanted it bad enough I could make it. My aha moment was realizing who I was at my core and being willing to tackle any obstacle to get accepted. And so I did, I got in.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
1. From a very young age I loved animals—snakes, lizards, opossums, raccoons—my room was full of them. I just had an affinity for observing their nature and habits. I had no clue then that I would become a veterinarian one day, but my heart was always open to animals.
2. I had a superb mentor, Dr. Bruce Max Feldman, who dedicated himself to making sure the pets and the clients came first. Sometimes it is difficult because there are many pressures to put the bottom line above the quality of care. He never compromised and I don’t either.
3. In veterinary school you have to take in a vast amount of knowledge over a wide range of subjects in a very short time. It is frankly brutal, and the pressure is immense. If you want it, you must be highly disciplined and have the desire to put in the hours, the energy and the time.
4. This is a demanding profession because you are dealing with life and death constantly. Often it is hard for me to turn my mind off and get to bed at night without reviewing the day’s cases: what could I have done better? What should I do next? That’s why it is vital for each professional to find their own balance—something that feeds your spirit.
Connecting With John Robb, DVM
Twitter: John Robb@JohnRobb17
Office: Dr. Robb’s Protect The Pets, 98 South Main Street, Newtown, Ct
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