A Quick Start
As an associate veterinarian with Animal Medical Clinic in Fremont, Nebraska, Dr. Jeri Lurz is in an enviable position.
First of all, Lurz has been allowed more authority in the clinic than she could find in other comparative positions she considered.
“The owner relies heavily on the staff to provide input regarding decisions to benefit and grow the practice,” Lurz said.
Some of those decisions were evident from the first day Lurz joined the clinic after spending her first year after graduation from Iowa State at a practice in Sparta, Wisconsin. She quickly realized the clinic’s online and social media presence was sorely lacking.
She decided to change that.
“I wanted to get my name out there and get more interaction from all clientele knowing a greater portion would likely be the younger generation,” Lurz said.
She created “Dr. Lurz Pet Tips” for the clinic’s website. Handouts were developed covering common questions received during a regular examination.
“The topics got people to acknowledge and use our website in a positive manner to help grow our online presence and become more personable,” Lurz said. “I also needed to get my name out there as a new associate in the practice.”
Also from day one, she brought her dog Paul into the clinic. Lurz says she actually negotiated Paul into her original contract.
“Paul had separation anxiety and he was a calming influence on me during stressful times,” she said. “He also provided comfort for many clients during the years he was at the clinic. They would actually bring him treats and stuffed ducks which were his favorite toy.”
Unfortunately Paul passed away a couple of years ago. Lurz has two new dogs – a Great Dane named Sassa and a bulldog mix named Edgar. Like Paul, she brings Sassa and Edgar into the clinic. But unlike Paul, Lurz says the two new dogs aren’t always the calming influence Paul was for people.
“Regardless, both Sassa and Edgar are a joy for people to see and interact with in a slightly different way,” Lurz said.
Other things have changed as well.
“The beautiful thing about veterinary medicine for me is the versatility it provides,” she said. “I have many areas of interest. I think staying current as well as adaptable is vital to being the best doctor possible and consequently providing the best care I can to each and every patient and client.”
So many areas interest Lurz. She is drawn to ophthalmology. She hopes to obtain certification in a variety of rehabilitation and alternative medicine options.
Then there is orthopedic surgery. Each month she sees an average of three cases of ACL tears and patellar luxation. Prior to joining Animal Medical Clinic, she had no experience in this area but worked with another clinic veterinarian to learn his surgical technique to maintain consistency with clients.
“I want to do and be the best I can while providing the best care to my patients,” Lurz said. “This can be a blessing and a curse some days as I find my perfectionist personality can be to my detriment.
“But then there are the days you feel like a superhero where you saved a pet no one thought could be saved.”