Bootsandsaddles4mel.com - Full Article
April 24 2015
by Melinda Newton
Let’s start our topic discussion with a quick show of hands.
Raise your hand if accepting free stuff alters your perception of the company or product.
How does your answer change if the free thing is as small as a pen?
What if it is something more valuable such as a as a saddle?
What I have to say today will probably surprise you.
It sure as hell blew my mind.
When I started vet school it was the start of my university’s modified vendor program. Gone were the days of free stuff – no new backpacks, free supplies, flea products, pet food, and other medications. I also don’t receive free veterinary care through the clinic. Small vendor gifts – those valued under $5 and available to everyone in the class – are allowable, which means a plethora of pens and plastic coffee mugs get handed out.
I was bummed. One of the “perks” of being in vet school that everyone talked about was that you could basically own a dog or cat for free while you were in school and I was looking forward to it! I wasn’t naive – these were companies hoping for an “in” and early loyalty but having spent my previous career bombarded with vendors and promises (and yes, free products), I felt that I was well prepared to be a skeptical and discerning professional in the veterinary world too.
I mean really – who doesn’t realize that by giving you free stuff that company is hoping to gain some sort of elite access to your dollars or your recommendations? They wouldn’t keep doing it if it didn’t work.
I thought that with this acknowledge came a sort of immunity from the effect.
So I bitched and moaned with everyone else how stupid this new policy was.
Until in first year I overheard a conversation between some other classmates which started to change my opinion.
We were working on a project that included a diet recommendation for a imaginary client. Imagine my horror when I heard “Let’s recommend Hill’s or Purina, because they give us *free food and really support veterinary students”...
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