Behind every great super hero is an even better supporting character. Someone hiding in the shadows, never in the spotlight, an unsung hero who doesn’t gets the credit they deserve. Iron Man has Pepper Potts. Superman has Lois Lane. Batman has Alfred. Veterinarians and veterinary technicians have our front office workers – the client service representatives (CSRs), receptionists, and managers.

superhero dog in cape and mask

At many veterinary clinics, there is “the front” and “the back”. The back is where the action takes place – where surgeries are performed, procedures completed, tests done, lives saved. But the front is where the hard work takes place. Important work that we overlook and fail to acknowledge. 

Our front office workers are the real rock stars of the veterinary world. You can handle four lines at once, screening calls, taking detailed messages, triaging patients, answering questions. You know our clients by name, greeting them as they walk through the door, knowing what the client needs before even asking. You comfort our clients during the most difficult and emotional times. You serve as a punching bag for our most stressed clients who take their frustrations out on the easiest target – the person sitting at the front desk asking them to pay their bill. 

You can diffuse an angry client, console a grieving client, make a new client feel at home. You keep our patients healthy by organizing our records, reminding clients when their pets are due for vaccines, help patients get the medications and foods they need.

The front office team is the backbone of every great veterinary team. Without you, we could not function. If a veterinarian calls out, we adjust appointments. If a veterinary technician or nurse is sick, we work a little harder.  If a member or two of our front office team is gone, we crumble!

To all of the front office workers, we see you, we love you, we couldn’t do our jobs without you. But we give you so little credit. Thank you for all you do to keep us running efficiently, to allow us to take our care to the next level, for keeping us organized and sane. Thank you for being the real Super Heroes!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial team.


Jennifer Shepherd received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Colorado State University in 2000. She completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Ontario Veterinary College before entering private practice Dr. Jenn owns Cloquet Animal Hospital in Northern Minnesota where she practices full time. In her free time she enjoys writing, photography, running and spending time with her husband, three children, two dogs, and one spoiled cat. She is pictured here with her best running dog Apollo, a Portuguese Water Dog who can’t swim but loves playing in snow.