9 rules for avoiding negative karma

Don't let karma complicate your practice. Institute these unofficial policies for preventing karmic payback.
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May 01, 2010

Veterinary management advice is abundant these days, thanks to websites like this one and magazines like Firstline. While these sources are filled with sound ideas and information, there's one subject I've yet to see addressed: karma.

What does karma have to do with the average veterinary clinic? Well, one thing that seems true, at least in our industry, is that there's only one kind of karma—bad—and what might appear to be good karma is really just an ability to avoid any karma.

Among our practice's policies is an unofficial one that addresses this mysterious force. It goes something like this:

1. Never speak out loud the name of a client who's a pain in the rear. If you do, without fail, said client will call for an appointment (or more likely with a million questions he or she hopes to have answered over the phone for free).

2. Never mention how large a patient's vein appears to be when you're holding off that vein for a blood draw. It doesn't matter if a Chihuahua's cephalic vein is the size of a horse's jugular and a 25-ga needle is being used, the vein will collapse after giving no more than 0.1 mL of blood.

3. Remain humble when drawing a blood sample, no matter how skilled you are (or think you are). If you don't, you give the assistant permission to mention that the vein you're about to draw from is bigger than an interstate freeway. If you wonder what happens next, see the previous rule.