Practice in the Real World- Visitors from Planet XX

A satirical interplanetary discussion on how to repopulate the profession
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Dec 01, 2004

I have been made to observe the following video clips in order for Baldy to better understand our approach on planet Earth.

(Baldy turns video machine on.)

Video clip 1, March 1991 Janice Bennett waits patiently for Dr. Barnes in the small exam room. Billy the rabbit sits patiently on the table. His little pink nose moved rhythmically up and down as he makes an occasional measured 180-degree turn on the stainless-steel surface. Billy makes no real effort to jump from the table but investigates the edges from time to time. Sitting patiently with Janice is Julie, who is petting Slink, her female ferret. Julie is 10 years old and loves animals. In the corner, oblivious to the surroundings is James, her younger brother. James is manipulating a small portable Nintendo game and makes no attempt to interact with anyone.

Dr. Jim Barnes makes a brief appearance, walks to the back and returns with his stethoscope. After some preliminary conversations and a determination of ear mites for Billy, Julie places Slink on the table. She is barely able to hold him as he slinks and moves in repeated figure-eights as if swimming in some of unseen liquid medium.

"Julie is going to be a veterinarian," she almost shouted as Dr. Barnes nodded in approval.

"She has wanted to be a vet since we got Billy and loves animals so much."

Dr. Barnes spends a few minutes talking about his hospital and the coursework involved. Janice and Julie make a weak effort to listen, but they are engrossed in the antics of their two pets. From the corner comes a muted and tinny melody from the Nintendo game. James cracks his first smile.

Video clip 2, May 1997 Dr. Barnes arrives at the Bennett home at 10 a.m. At first, it appears that no one is around. He parks and opens the door to his F-150 and grabs a small medicine case and a few odds and ends. As he looks up, he sees Julie and Janice striding from the barn. They have called him out to look at Stanley, an old Shetland pony they acquired from the next county some years ago. Now taller than her mother, Julie is an accomplished English rider and calls another vet out for her two riding horses.

In a small stall Dr. Barnes looks at the old pony. Stanley is having another bout with founder and with treatment will survive once again his own gastronomical indiscretions. His little hooves have all the ridges to prove it.

After Stanley's treatment and final instructions, Julie starts to give him a rub down.

At this point Janice steps up and asks, "Dr. Barnes, Julie has been accepted to Hanover College and will be taking all the animal coursework she can find. Will you give her a recommendation to vet school?"

Dr. Barnes is quick to respond to being cornered.

"Certainly, but will Julie come to the practice and work for me in the kennel and as an assistant first? She really needs some work time with a veterinarian in order to get in the state university."

"She is so busy. I'll ask her but her show schedule and school schedule won't allow it. She will be glad to know you will give her a recommendation however."

Dr. Barnes stands silently. Just then, James walks up playing his new Game Boy. He ambles on by and never said a word.

Video clip 3, Jan. 2000 at Hanover College It is a Friday evening and Julie sits halfway back with her buddy Angela in the classroom at Hanover Hall. This is the first meeting of the pre-vet club for the second semester, and a small bearded man strides to the lectern. He begins a PowerPoint presentation concerning the current environmental evils of the world, including the exploitation of animals. The bearded man makes a convincing argument, and his lecture falls on mostly sympathetic ears. There is a lot of nodding in the audience.