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Guest Blog: Clinique Veterinaire, Bonjour!

I am a small animal veterinarian working at a small animal veterinary hospital. I am trained to care for small animals, aka cats and dogs. Pretty straight forward. However, over the years I have had my fair share of requests very far from small animal medicine. The first one happened years ago, when I was practicing as a solo vet in a small rural town in the East of France. Back in France, where I was born, I could pick up the phone without saying my name and play receptionist. Here in the US, my French accent gives me away after half a second, and here goes the free medical advice for clients all too happy to get a direct line to the doctor! Back in France then, I picked up the phone. "Clinique Veterinaire, Bonjour." "Hello, I would like to cancel Sophie's appointment today because she is having her period." "Oh, ok," I said a little surprised, while trying to locate Sophie on the appointment book. Keep in mind that in rural France it is fairly common to have pets not spayed or neutered. I offered to reschedule even though I could not find any Sophie on the book for today. "And what were we seeing your pet for today?" The client took a second to breathe and shouted, "My pet? What do you mean my pet? That is not a way to talk about your patients! What kind of clinic is this? Sophie was scheduled for her Pap smear of course!" I was not sure how to respond... "Well, I am sorry Madam, we are a clinic, a vet clinic (Clinique Veterinaire)." I found out later that the local OBGYN office had a number pretty similar to ours. I wonder if they ever had calls from our confused clients. I can only imagine a frantic call regarding a patient who had already given birth, in the bedroom closet nonetheless, to six healthy babies with the seventh one being stuck in the birth canal! By Medelita Guest Blogger, Julie Pearson, DVM