Recently I was perusing my Instagram looking for a great photo that would help start a conversation I wanted to have about multimodal pain management for fracture repair patients. I eventually found said photo (a gnarly humerus fracture), but it got me thinking… am I an influencer? A colleague of mine recently used the term influencer to describe themselves and there has even been some discussion as to whether or not you should put the term influencer on your resume or LinkedIn profile.
Here’s my hot-take on the subject and why you should not fret if you haven’t started an Instagram that is full of perfect lighting and cute kittens. Veterinary Instagram influencers are pretty common these days but we should be careful who we are letting influence us and pay attention to the message they are sending. When you are trying to let the world know who you are, what your personal mission is, and why they should follow you here are some things to keep in mind:
The people we look up to as true influencers in this profession are the real deal. They are not pretending, they are working hard to move forward along their path, this is why we believe the message and believe in them. They are walking the walk when it comes to their values, integrity, and personal identity. As a veterinary community of “influencers” we should be magnifying our truth, not manipulating a message in order to get sponsorship from a scrub company.
For me, (a person who runs a veterinary community with almost 45,000 members around the world) the message is about elevating the standard of care as it pertains to anesthesia and pain management. And guess what? You don’t need a loyal Instagram following or the perfect Snapchat filter to be an influencer. In your clinic, whether you are a receptionist, doctor, animal care attendant, technician, etc., you have the power to be an influencer. How you approach your job and the care you give to your patients every day is the type of grassroots point of care influence we need in veterinary medicine.
Be the example you want the next generation of employees to be. If you see a co-worker struggling, offer to help. Instead of snickering when they don’t tab their tape, explain why the practice is beneficial. If you see a client struggling with a difficult decision, be empathetic, listen to all of their concerns (even the ones we find silly). If you see a pup has knocked over his water bowl and is now sitting on wet blankets, stop assuming the next person will take care of it and fix it.
One of my favorite quotes and one I truly try to live by is “Don’t just stand there and shout it; Do something about it.” I hope I have used my influence to provide a better experience for the patients I am dealing with each day. I am proud to be surrounded by a team that influences me every day.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the DrAndyRoark.com editorial team.