I have to admit, I had high hopes for this post that showed up on eHarmony’s website. Unfortunately, the content is actually quite inaccurate and paints a very poor picture of what the reality is for our profession. Here are the 15 reasons to date a vet that are provided by eHarmony and a few thoughts I have in response to each:
1. They’re patient. Their furry patients can be stubborn and aggressive.Vets respond to chaos with patience, gentleness and a calming demeanor.
It’s true that some vets are patient. However, just like the rest of the population, there is a bell curve. We do have to work through chaos and not everyone is able to do so with tact and grace. It’s no secret that we have bad days just like the rest of the world.
2. Veterinarians are passionate about their work. They don’t choose the career for its prestige or the money, they do it because they love it.
Yes, we are passionate about our work. We didn’t end up with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt because we just thought it was a career we’d give a try. However, we still care about money, mainly because we have such a huge debt burden. Frankly, this should be more of a warning to people who are interested in dating vets – if you get married to a vet, you share the debt! (That’s a fun conversation to have over a romantic dinner!) Don’t get me wrong, a person who truly loves you and wants to be with you will not consider your educational debt to be a deal-breaker. However, it’s a huge consideration considering how many marriages end in divorce these days.
3. Veterinarians work hard. They endure countless years of tough schooling, long hours at clinics and unexpected middle-of-the-night calls.
No argument here. But any prospective partner should ask him/herself whether this is what they want to sign up for.
4. Scrubs are cute.
Maybe they are to some people. However, most of the time vets don’t wear scrubs unless they are in surgery. Small animal vets mainly dress business casual with white coats on most of the time, equine and large animal vets dress for fieldwork. Most often it is the veterinary technicians who wear scrubs. Perhaps eHarmony is confused…
5. Veterinarians have seen it all. Nothing grosses them out. Or, if it does, they persevere through it.
We see a lot of things, some horrible things. Many of us are still grossed out, but we do make it through (most of the time).
6. Date a veterinarian and you’ll be dating someone who saves lives, eases pain, and helps lives end with dignity.
Again, no argument. But this means we have a high-stress job and it’s possible that it will permeate our lives outside of the clinic.
7. Veterinarians have thick skins — literally. They endure scratches and bites in the quest to make the lives of our furry friends better.
Is it just me or is eHarmony painting a picture of veterinarians as people covered in scars and who spend lots of times getting stitches?! I believe that I am not the only person in this profession that tries very hard every day to avoid getting bitten or scratched.
8. Veterinarians have rigorous hygiene standards. (No, your date won’t smell like a barn when she arrives for dinner.)
I’m sorry, eHarmony, but have you even met a veterinarian?! We very much do come home smelling like our work! We do have rigorous hygiene standards as we must considering we work in a medical field. We wash our hands so often that any future partner should be forewarned that the skin on our hands will never be supple and soft due to our rigorous hygiene standards and our nails will never be long or polished for more than a few days as we must maintain them short and plain for surgery. Sorry to burst your bubble, eHarmony…
9. Veterinarians are smart, quick problem solvers, making life-and-death decisions on the spot and quickly assessing serious problems.
This sounds more applicable to ER and shelter veterinarians who have to triage emergency patients regularly…but one thing vets generally are is smart!
10. Veterinarians are big-hearted, often shedding tears with pet owners when animals’ lives end, and rejoicing with them when little miracles happen.
Again, not everyone has a big heart…and even those with big hearts face compassion fatigue at some point or another. It would be great if compassion fatigue wasn’t an issue that we had to face, but it’s a reality.
11. Veterinarians have the strength to do the right thing even when it’s difficult.
Not sure what exactly is being alluded to here…
12. A sense of humor. Vets are able to laugh at the messes and stresses that comes with working with animals all day.
I really wish this were true! There are a lot of people in this field that do have a great sense of humor and I love that! However, I’ve encountered far too many people who cannot laugh. We have serious jobs but we have to be able to be light-hearted and laugh if we want to maintain our sanity. Or perhaps that’s just me…
13. Veterinarians make kids smile, helping their pets recover from injuries and illnesses, and showing them how best to care for their canine pals.
This is clearly eHarmony trying to sell veterinarians as being “good with kids,” which perhaps many of us are, but that doesn’t mean that, as a general group of people, we like kids or even want kids. Please stop generalizing, eHarmony!
14. Veterinarians have impressive job descriptions. They’re anesthesiologists, radiography technicians, surgery assistants, teachers, babysitters, physical therapists, playmates, protectors, cleaners, pharmacists, and best friends to needy animals.
Wow! Radigraphy technicians, surgery assistants and babysitters? Nope, sorry! Most well-run veterinary practices have assistants or RVTs for those job descriptions. We are the surgeons, radiologists, dermatologists, pharmacologists, etc. We wear many hats and have extensive training in all aspects of the medical field, where, comparably, your human doctor, merely covers a specific area like dermatology in a single species.
15. Veterinarians know how to reassure others in stressful, difficult times. They know how to prepare people for bad news, and can console them when that bad news comes.
We definitely should be able to do this, but our soft skills are clearly one part of our training that is not focused on enough while we are in school. We’re working on improving this one though…
In the end, we must always remember, that there is a bell-curve when it comes to any population. One thing that the veterinarian bell-curve has selected for is intelligence, yet there was no curve selecting people who have patience, or love children. Don’t get me wrong, I think vets are great people…at least most of them 😉
Check out the original article: http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-veterinarian/
UPDATE: Another blog posted a response to the article which I found similar to mine but amusing nonetheless. Check it out here: http://oncekitten.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/15-reasons-why-not-to-date-a-vet-an-eharmony-rebuttal/