The staff and doctors of a veterinary practice are members of an established family, with all of the wonderful bonds that come with family- and all of the uncomfortable quirks!
You will need to find your way into this group with respect and courtesy. Although you will outrank support staff in terms of education and responsibility, you may be near the bottom of the practice’s social order. Many employees have been there for years and know the ins and outs of the clinic and clients. They can be an excellent source of help and advice. Most staff will respond favorably to simple courtesy and will appreciate recognition of their hard earned knowledge and experience via your requests for their advice and help as well as your “thanks” for a job well done. You worked hard to gain your degree, but it does not grant you instant credibility and respect. Respect must be earned by being a competent and courteous team player.
Clients, for the most part, will be respectful of your degree, but remember many long-term clients feel they have a personal relationship with more senior colleagues. They may insist on having another veterinarian see their animal, and this can be hurtful. Even more unpleasant, they may repeat everything you told them to a senior veterinarian or technician. This can make you feel they didn’t believe or understand anything you told them. Grow thicker skin and ignore this; they may be just talking to an “old friend” or want some assurance from the people they know. They don’t know you yet, but they want the best for their animal. You’re new, and they trust the old guy. Soon, they’ll be asking for you, especially if you are honest and caring in your approach.