As veterinarians, we should be very proud of our profession. It is consistently voted one of the most respected and trusted health care professions. According to the 2006 Gallup survey (the last survey to include veterinarians on the questionnaire), 71% of Americans described veterinarians’ ethics as “very high” or “high.” This made veterinarians one of the most trusted professions in the country!
Veterinary medicine is also very popular with today’s youth. In a recent national study sponsored by Duracell batteries, 507 children ages 8-12 were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. By a wide margin, the number one answer was veterinarian. Almost one out of five of the children surveyed (18%) wanted to be a veterinarian. Few professions start with such strong interest from today’s youth. How many kids do you know that want to be an accountant?
Regrettably, as a profession, we aren’t working very hard to maintain our relationship with this young group of animal lovers. Last year, Ichabod Ink conducted a national survey of veterinarians. In that survey we asked “In the past year, how often did you participate in activities that taught children about the veterinary profession?”. Almost 60% of our colleagues answered less than 2 times. In fact, almost 1-out-of-5 (19%) said “Never”. When asked why they didn’t do more, the biggest reason given was “The lack of time”.
I am a veterinarian who has spent the past 12 years of my life in marketing with companies such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. I can tell you that none of the brands I represented had as much popularity and goodwill with the public as our profession. Especially with children! Big brands and the companies behind them know that if you establish a strong relationship with a today’s youth, it is easier to maintained their goodwill as they grow older. As a profession, we must do more to connect with children who aspire to become our colleagues!
So if you’re one of those veterinarians who does not have the time to reach out to children directly, please support your profession through Ichabod Ink by:
- Linking your clinics website to Ichabod Ink
- Allowing us to film you in your practice. (With one week’s investment of time, you will be able to reach thousands of children each month with your story.)
- Connecting us with veterinarians who have interesting cases
- Offering memberships to Ichabod Ink to your client’s children. A ten-dollar investment will go a long way to build your profession and strengthen your relationship with your clients
- Posting an article about Ichabod Ink in your next clinic newsletter
- Writing an article for Ichabod Ink
Funding a video shoot by Ichabod Ink
Thanks for visiting Ichabod Ink. Remember, our efforts don’t only impact children and teens. Through “Our Cause” Ichabod Ink also provides financial support to veterinary students.
Dr. Chris Carpenter