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Bob Lester, DVM

Column: Creative Disruption

Creative Disruption columnist Dr. Bob Lester is the chief medical officer at WellHaven Pet Health, a former practice owner and a founding member of Banfield Pet Hospital and the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine. He serves on the boards of Pet Peace of Mind, WellHaven Pet Health and the Lincoln Memorial veterinary college. He is vice president of the North American Veterinary Community.

Creative Disruption columnist Dr. Bob Lester is the chief medical officer at WellHaven Pet Health, a former practice owner and a founding member of Banfield Pet Hospital and the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine. He serves on the boards of Pet Peace of Mind, WellHaven Pet Health and the Lincoln Memorial veterinary college. He is vice president of the North American Veterinary Community.

veterinary technicians

Let’s Embrace Techs and Tech

Creative Disruption

Making full use of a veterinary nurse’s skills and competencies can help more pets get the care they need and make the practice even more successful.

I’m certain that readers will agree when I remind them that veterinary professionals are brilliant, charming, good-looking, popular and humble. Can’t forget humble. In fact, we’ve never been more popular. Don’t believe me? Just look at your appointment book. Everyone wants to spend time with you. An American Pet Products Association survey reported that 11.38 […]

GP

‘Just’ a GP

Creative Disruption

General practitioners are the heart and soul of veterinary medicine, so stop discounting their career choice.

Teddy Roosevelt once said that complaining and not offering a solution is whining. Fair warning: I’m about to whine. I recently spoke with a brilliant, young fourth-year veterinary clinical student. She is smart, driven, compassionate and eager to make a difference. (Come to think of it, all veterinary and veterinary technician students are determined to […]

digital pet health

Make Digital Client Service Stick

Keep pet owners and the veterinary team happy by continuing to digitize six key services.

The COVID-19 pandemic radically altered operations at veterinary hospitals. Some of the sudden changes will undoubtedly have long-term effects, especially when it comes to client expectations. Veterinary clients, particularly PetGen (millennials and Gen Zers, our profession’s No. 1 consumers), are looking for increased levels of digital service. The WellHaven Pet Health family of practices has […]

consolidators

Mercenaries and Missionaries

Creative Disruption

Consolidators who push profits first leave veterinary teams feeling neglected, leading to less-than-optimal pet care and reduced profits.

Consolidation, a normal part of the economy, has come to our profession. Consolidation tends to occur in any successful, fragmented, profitable, healthy industry that will benefit from investment and continued growth. Recent human health care examples include growth investments in urgent care, hospice and medical devices. I’ve had the good fortune to work in both […]

learning

Onward and Upward

Creative Disruption

Forced to adjust amid the pandemic, we proved we’re capable of radical change. We can do a lot more, from pushing for portable licensure to embracing asynchronous learning.

Our profession, an industry known for its aversion to change, has demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt, innovate and grow over the past few months. Historically, we’ve been the poster child for a belts and suspenders industry, one that’s exceedingly cautious, but in the face of crisis, we’ve learned much that will help us to […]

veterinary education

The post-COVID learner

Change is coming to traditional veterinary education. Colleges long isolated from each other would do well to share resources, expand online teaching, embrace distributive clinical training and even rethink admissions requirements. 

Published nearly a year ago, our article “What Vet School Could Look Like” — read it at bit.ly/VetSchool — speculated on the veterinary learner of tomorrow. While at the time we were encouraged by the early green shoots of change in veterinary higher education, our expectations were low, frankly, given the glacial rate of change in […]

veterinary nurses

Two out of three is bad

Creative Disruption

We have technology and wellness care down pat. So then, why are we so slow to empower veterinary nurses? They are capable of so much more. Doctors, it’s your move.

Meat Loaf the singer released his “Bat Out of Hell” signature album, the music of my youth, in 1977. (I know I’m old.) On the album was the power ballad “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” a great song and a sentiment I typically share. In the case of the pandemic, however, two out of […]

A long-term answer

Creative Disruption

Under a subscription wellness plan, pets and their owners return time and again. Ongoing preventive care is great for the patient, good for compliance and a net gain for practices and their teams.

Secret formulas have been credited with the success of many well-known companies. Think Coca-Cola, KFC, Google with its algorithm and maybe Krusty Krab with its SpongeBob SquarePants Krabby Patty. What otherwise would have been pedestrian brands with limited potential instead became household names. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could mix up a secret formula […]

commitment culture

What the corporates get wrong

Creative Disruption

Successful, happy practice is more about commitment than compliance.

Consolidation, a normal occurrence in successful, fragmented, healthy, profitable industries, has come to our profession. I would argue that the positives outweigh the negatives. That said, most corporates don’t get one critical issue. The dominant consolidators in our profession come from the manufacturing sector, specifically the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. In CPG, efficient, repeatable, […]

preventive care

Do we really want to postpone preventive care?

In these pandemic days, wellness visits might not be a priority, but the risks to animal health aren’t going away.

Like all of us, I’m following with great interest the changing landscape of COVID-19 and am especially appreciative of our associations’ continuously updating the profession and providing expert guidance. However, I’m troubled by the recommendation that we postpone preventive care. I’m struck by our profession’s long-term discounting of the value of wellness care. With tens […]

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