What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted in your life? (Feel free to give specific brands/models).
Any type of ear buds/headphones - I spend much of my day (and night) listening to something, whether it be music, an audiobook or a podcast and I need comfy headphones!
What is the funniest thing that has happened (to you or witnessed) in your job?
I honestly don't know if I can think of a specific incident - emergency medicine is generally full of crazy and very funny animals, people and incidents and I find the silly in most things. Most of the initial thoughts that come to mind involve what can be found in dog vomit or inappropriate and irrelevant comments over critically ill patients. Probably shouldn't repeat them.
Favourite guilty pleasure after a stressful day at work?
Iced coffee and a doughnut. Or chocolate and red wine. Whatever works.
How has a failure (or apparent failure) set you up for later success? Do you have a "favourite failure" of yours?
As a new graduate veterinarian, I worked in general practice. After ten months I burnt out badly - a combination of lack of support, ridiculously high personal standards and a poor sleep schedule (my brain doesn't like routine!). After considering leaving the profession, I decided to try working in emergency medicine for a while. I got to see all the cool cases, started working shifts and had no routine at all. This was (and still is) a job I loved, a schedule that suited me and I was surrounded by like-minded people (ie slightly weird and just-a-little-bit-crazy nerds) It reinvigorated my love of veterinary medicine.
If you have a billboard for all other medical professionals out there with any message, what would it say? (It can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
My motto for working or just getting things done at home: Just do it and get it done. I would credit Nike, but I think I was saying it to myself first!
Life in general and work in particular: Think, don't react. I don't know the original source to quote I'm afraid.
What is an unusual habit or (conventionally considered to be) absurd thing that you do/love (may or may not be related to your discipline/practice)?
Make sure you always do a 'catheter dance' with your team when you achieve something difficult.
In the last 5 years, what new belief, behaviour or habit that has most improved your life (may or may not be related to your discipline/practice)?
Life at home is more important than life at work Find something you like to do and enjoy it!
And, one of the revelations of my life has been listening to audiobooks to fall asleep. Someone reads you a story, it stops you thinking, lets you rest your brain and eyes and, if you can't sleep at least you're listening to an adventure! Meditation apps are also good for this - less adventure though.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven student? What advice should they ignore?
Advice - as in the previous question.
Ignore anyone who tells you that there is a time limit on achieving a particular goal. Your career will be long, there's no rush to be anywhere in particular.
What bad recommendations you hear in your area of expertise that you would want to correct the most?
Oh man, this one is tough. So many... Mostly I would say to keep your therapy as simple as you can and look at the whole patient. Don't just treat a symptom.
In the last 5 years, what have you become better at saying "no" to? What new realizations helped?
I don't get caught up in situations out of my control - I can't fix the world, only do my bit. And don't listen to the media - sensationalism isn't a replacement for facts.
When you feel overwhelmed or lost focus temporarily, what do you do? (What questions do you ask yourself to get back on track?)
Mostly I give myself a time out - take a day where I give myself permission to do nothing at all with no guilt and watch lots of movies.
Questions: What is actually important right now? What can I fix? What can't I control? Fix what you can and let the rest go.
What is your best or your favourite achievement in your career so far?
Career-wise, probably getting my specialist boards. I was only the second Australian to get ACVECC boarded, and the first to come back to Oz, so it was pretty special. Day to day, any time I can teach or explain something and have someone go... 'ahhhh, now I understand'. That never gets old.
Sarah graduated from the University of Melbourne and has worked in emergency and critical care referral practice since 1999, both in private and university hospitals. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and is a past President of the Anaesthesia, Emergency and Critical Care chapter of the ANZCVS. She has also completed a Masters degree in veterinary education at the University of Melbourne.
Sarah has published articles on diverse topics, including pain assessment, analgesia, toxicities, electrolyte abnormalities, transfusion medicine, cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation and veterinary education. She is currently teaching a Master’s course in emergency medicine for Massey University and has been working with the University of Melbourne on a variety of projects involving veterinary education and critical care.