How I get out (of my own head)

How I get out (of my own head)

As an introvert, here’s how I’ve learned to extrovert and cope to thrive in a career in vet med.


Dr. Matthew Brunke says he felt stress about his board exams wash away whenever he donned the inflatable dinosaur suit at Fetch dvm360 San Diego. Kids really dig it too. Image courtesy of Dr. Sarah Wooten
Sometimes I must leave my inner introvert behind. I knew this early on, but I didn’t know how important it would be in my career. Just as important as what we know, it’s who we know. Our networking skills and ability to communicate is what make good veterinarians great ones. We can’t know every aspect of medicine, and having that friend, colleague that you trust to bounce a question off, or help with a mutual patient, or help with your own pet when you’re not being objective … it all comes down to having a great team.

Find your focus

My top efficiency tip is to set deadlines. When I’m on a project, it gets my undivided attention. That starts by setting up a schedule and a plan. My time OFF a project is just as important to me as time ON it. Setting deadlines, having a structured plan and not multitasking have helped me the most. Once you have a routine and knowledge base, it’s a lot easier to improvise!

Image courtesy of Dr. BrunkeIt’s all about the patients

In my field of sports medicine and rehab I get inspired every day. It may be paraparetic dog regaining use of its legs, the law enforcement or working canine we get back to full duty after an injury, or the arthritic geriatric dog who is finally comfortable enough get up the stairs and lay in bed with its owners. My patients are my inspiration, along with the great team of people I get to work with who all make it happen.

Image Courtesy of Dr. BrunkeExercise keeps you sane

I’ve taken up running, as well as triathlons. I love getting out of the office and allowing my brain to focus on the quiet of the pool, or the scenes of the run. It helps me sleep better, learn better and be a better person. It can be 15 minutes, one mile, or a full Ironman or marathon (or more). Just get out and go.

I have also been SCUBA diving for years (a benefit of going to Ross for vet school), and I love exploring the ocean depths. I'd also like to try the adrenaline rush of skydiving. I would love to see the earth from as high above as possible, and the adrenaline rush would be a blast!

Image Courtesy of Dr. Brunke


You. Can. Do. This!

At Fetch dvm360 conference, we're the support system you need. With every conference this year, we intend to nurture your mind (meaning quality CE for days) while also encouraging you to take stock of your physical and emotional health. Register now.