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Vets with physical impairments

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by RadRadTerp, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. RadRadTerp

    5+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Just wanted to ask the graduates and long-time vets if they've ever had to deal with a physical disability (temporary or long-term) and how they managed.

    Long story short, I've had a couple of knee surgeries (ACL reconstruction and arthroscopy) over the past 10 years and I think my knees got worse over the past year while finishing up my first year of school. So, I did see a doctor and get prescribed some old folk arthritis medication (joking, but the physician did say the stuff was marketed mostly to seniors), but I just realized that I'll be living with this on a worsening basis year-to-year for my whole career as a future veterinarian. And one day I'll need a knee replacement.

    My question is how hard is it to work within physical limits as a veterinarian? Have you known any vets that were restricted physically in any way, and, if so, how did they manage? Would it be weird to rock a cane like Dr. House as a practitioner?

    Thanks for any input. :)
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  3. cowgirla

    cowgirla Oklahoma 2014
    Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I spent a few years working with a vet who was in a wheelchair. Small animal only, mostly clients she had had for years (so animals she new). She saw a lot of rabbits, rodents, cats, and some dogs that the clinic knew were generally well behaved. All new clients saw a different vet because we had that option, but she probably could have handled them with the help of a a few techs.
    She always always always had a tech in the room with her, or anywhere she was. We had an electric lift table so she could adjust it whatever height she needed for her exam.
    She was still able to due surgeries, with a special "surgery" chair that we could clean off and that fit well under the lowered table. She did a lot of dentals for us.
    Obviously there were limitiations, but I feel like she practiced a pretty high quality of medicine considering her physical limitations-- she had MS so it wasn't just leg issues, but I was glad to see how accomadating the hospital was for her.

    It's not the same obviously, but I've also seen vets with broken legs, etc, still doing most of their regular work.

    I'm in almost the same boat as you, so I'm looking forward to hearing responses from others. Old knee surgeries still haunt me, and I'm probably looking at a full replacement before I hit 40. So far I havent noticed any major physical limitations in myself, (Except for jogging horses- ugh, and crouching for long periods of time), but I'm sure they lie down the road.

    ETA: You could also consider asking this question on VIN. Larger target audience
    #2 cowgirla, Aug 13, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  4. theunraveler

    theunraveler Member
    10+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    One lady in our class has osteogenesis imperfecta and osteoarthritis in her hands. Rectal palpation is a nightmare for her .... :oops:

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