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Creative Disruption

Turn your exam room into a classroom

A simple name change — think of it as rebranding — and a new mindset could boost client education and collaboration.

If you asked me why veterinary practices have exam rooms, I’d have to admit that before now, I hadn’t given the question much thought. We certainly need exam rooms to examine pets, but do we need to examine pets in an “exam room”? Maybe not. I’m not suggesting we get rid of exam rooms, but […]

Diversity Toolbox

The case for inclusive data collection

Asking demographic questions can enhance a practice’s knowledge base and the ability to serve clientele.

Businesses and organizations collect a huge amount of data. For example, the American Veterinary Medical Association maintains divisions that gather copious amounts of data about veterinarians and veterinary practice. At the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, I annually collect and analyze data related to student enrollment, applicant numbers, faculty and research. Why do we […]

Uncharted waters

The veterinary community saved pets and people when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the central coast of Texas on Aug. 25 and worked its way through Houston and southeast Texas, destroying homes and businesses along the way and disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and their pets. Veterinarians were heavily impacted as well, both personally and professionally. Here are stories […]

Diversity Toolbox

What is your personal narrative?

Knowing a little about each other promotes a better understanding of the world we live in and the people who inhabit it.

Diversity is often seen as a buzzword in business discussions, and these discussions do not always elicit positive reactions. Lack of clarity around definitions, diversity-enhancement goals and diversity’s relationship to veterinary practice is often at the heart of these misunderstandings. In this new column, I hope to provide concise diversity and inclusion content that drills […]

I was a bully

A veterinary professional’s journey to wellness and self-awareness.

When I was 8 years old, I was bullied so bad that I wondered, “Why me? Why do I deserve this abuse?” A few years later, I was beaten to the point that I remained on the ground as another girl repeatedly kicked my chest and abdomen. Honestly, I thought that day was my last. […]

Politics and Policy

Smartphones and pets and nurses … oh, my!

Human medicine has embraced telemedicine, and younger pet owners favor it, so the future may be closer than you think.

NEWS BULLETIN (Jan. 1, 2016): No conversations anywhere in veterinary circles about telemedicine. All right, maybe one or two among digital devotees, but that’s all. NEWS BULLETIN (Aug. 1, 2017): You can’t find a state, regional or national veterinary conference without telemedicine on the agenda. Listing each meeting would take this entire column. What happened […]

Creative Disruption

What do dentists know that we don’t?

The incidence of cavities in American mouths plummeted when fluoride was added to the U.S. water supply. Rather than surrender, the dental industry adapted and thrived.

What can we learn from other medical professions, particularly those that have experienced significant disruption? Which medical practice most resembles that of veterinary medicine? Pharmacists and optometrists are largely commodities-based and greatly corporatized. Physicians are similar to veterinarians in training but are highly regulated and driven by third-party payments. But what about dentists? Dental practices […]

Go With the Flow

Get back to the present

A wandering mind might lead to less contentment.

How many of you would like to be able to travel through time as a superpower? We can’t yet do it physically, but we are quite proficient at it mentally. We spend many of our daytime hours in a half-awake daydream state where our mind wanders away from the present moment. Instead of fully attending […]

Creative Disruption

It’s time to get creative

Too many pet owners are priced out of modern veterinary care.

The veterinary industry is thriving. Spending is up, the pet family bond is growing, pet lifespans are increasing, euthanasia is down, One Health is here, practice valuations have never been higher, we continue to attract the best and brightest to our line of work, and we are consistently among the most admired professionals. That said […]

Politics and Policy

Good things happen when you fight back

The veterinary profession scored two big victories thanks to old-fashioned lobbying and one company’s court battle.

Whatever side you’re on in politics, it’s safe to say most people believe that money rules the day. The guy with the big wallet wins, the little guy loses. With a lifetime of politics under my belt, I’ll concede these maxims often prove true. But it’s not always so, and two veterinary pharmaceutical cases prove […]

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