Dr Phil Hutt

Southern Animal Hospital


How is your relationship with your co-workers at the clinic?

“We work in a horizontal management structure where the vets are treated equally as a team. The relationship is based on mutual respect with good humour, and relies on lots of verbal communication.

How is your relationship with clients?

“We are a large practice, but we try to embrace family values, treating the pets as part of the clients’ family. Many of the regular clients are treated as friends of the practice.”

What are some challenges you face in communication?

“Passing cases from vet to vet requires verbal and written communication. The communication has to be over done all the time to ensure no gaps.”


What advice would you give to vets who want to improve their communication skills with co-workers and clients?

“You must want to exceed clients expectations, and you must want to work as a team. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then it simply doesn’t work. Exceeding what you think the client expects is rewarding, and where the job becomes fun both in client satisfaction and clinical results.”

What advice would you give to vets in isolation who do not get the opportunity to discuss surgery with other vets?

“Avoid isolation at all costs; otherwise, use the phone to regularly communicate and reduce the sense of isolation. Professional isolation is the worst situation for any professional, but especially vets. It leads to poor self esteem and poor clinical outcomes. Isolated practises should form buddy relationships with bigger practices and rotate staff on a regular basis.”


In your opinion, how could vets benefit from a workshop regarding  communication?

“Sharing ideas between vets who are good at communication and those learning is always useful.”

Interview by Stephanie Buelna, via Share this with your friends via Facebook or email! And follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn. Alternatively, sign up for our monthly newsletter by emailing us at [email protected]