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Bob Lester, DVM

Column: Creative Disruption

Dr. Bob Lester is a former practice owner and a founding member of Banfield Pet Hospitals and the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine. He serves on the NAVC board of directors.

Dr. Bob Lester is a former practice owner and a founding member of Banfield Pet Hospitals and the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine. He serves on the NAVC board of directors.

time

We can’t afford to wait

Creative Disruption

Virtual care and reinvention of the veterinary nurse will take our profession to the next level. The taxi and recording industries were asleep at the wheel at crucial moments in history. Look where it got them.

Consumers will get what they want, when they want it and where they want it at a value they deem appropriate, and with little regard for who provides it. For example, consumers desired a taxi service that was more convenient, tech-forward, clean and at a good value. Frustration with the taxi industry was rampant. Similarly, […]

learning

Always be learning

Creative Disruption

The path to enlightenment is paved with lecture halls and PowerPoint presentations. Or we can try something different. In the end, we need to be engaged, excited and current.

The continuing education myth is the fallacy that attending CE events keeps veterinary professionals current with contemporary standards of practice. Remember when your professor told you that half of everything you learn today will be obsolete in five years? Man, was she right! Lifelong learners, that’s what we all aspire to be. In fact, we […]

vet school

A shared journey

The evolution of veterinary education and successful practice requires open-mindedness and a willingness to change. Universities, employers and students all have key roles to play.

The cries from longtime practitioners and from the lectern at last summer’s AVMA House of Delegates meeting cast light on a startling accusation: New and recent veterinary school graduates lack practice readiness. The fingers are being pointed at academia and the students themselves. But, we ask, is that fair? We believe that U.S. veterinary schools […]

education

What vet school could look like

Four-year programs? No. Blockchain technology? Yes. Income sharing? Perhaps. We have a lot to learn about education and how knowledge is shared and absorbed.

How can we better prepare the veterinary student of the future, and do it more cost-effectively? Let’s get provocative and toss out 10 ideas for consideration, debate, improvement and adoption. We’re ready for the tomatoes to be launched. We don’t claim to have all the answers. 1. Hybrid Distributive Model In this model, which is […]

The future is PetGen

Creative Disruption

Make way, boomers and Gen Xers. Millennials and Generation Z are remaking how Americans view pets and veterinary care.

Every generation has its own approach to work and life. How these different groups interact with family, pets and lives are profoundly reshaping our world and professional landscape. This is particularly true of the generation I call PetGen. I define PetGen as the combination of millennials and Generation Z, or anyone under about age 38. […]

choices

Unintended consequences

Creative Disruption

You might be tracking the wrong key performance indicators. Try a few that focus on the pet, the owner and your employees.

Did you hear about Wells Fargo? For years, the company served as a role model in the banking world for exemplary customer service. Wells Fargo set a goal, or key performance indicator (KPI), to sell eight products to every customer. To accomplish this, they created the “Eight is great” motto, which incentivized employees to cross-sell […]

ocean

Come aboard!

Creative Disruption

The veterinary industry has a lot going for it, starting with the historic role pets play in everyday life. Staffing issues and the cost of care deserve attention, however.

Sailors are familiar with the phrase “fair winds and following seas.” The saying refers to ideal conditions for steering a ship. Our profession is enjoying both fair winds and a few rough seas. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about our profession’s tailwinds and headwinds. Ever the optimist, I’ll start with tailwinds, which in […]

mentoring

It was meant to be

Creative Disruption

“Mentern” relationships between baby boomers and millennials allow for the exchange of knowledge and the smooth handoff of the veterinary profession from one generation to the next.

As I and millions of fellow baby boomers begin to see more of life in the rearview mirror than out the windshield, I often find myself reflecting: Have I served my family well, did I give back to the profession I dearly love, and where the hell are my glasses? It’s become abundantly clear that […]

technology

Bricks and clicks

Creative Disruption

Veterinary medicine will be in a world of hurt if it doesn’t embrace new and better ways of serving pets and clients.

Pet owners call your practice, make an appointment, drive to your hospital and wait in the lobby. We see them once a year if we’re lucky. By some estimates, half the pets in the U.S. won’t see a veterinarian this year. We then have maybe 20 minutes to address the presenting complaint and hopefully squeeze […]

Lincoln Memorial University

The future has arrived

Call it distributive education or community-based learning. Either way, veterinary students want it and benefit from it, and so do affiliated practices.

Today’s educational consumers, especially those pursuing advanced professional degrees, are motivated to select colleges that meet their expectations and better prepare them for a career. And frankly, through access to data, technology and social media, these students are more informed in the decision-making process than ever before. You might ask, “What are those students’ expectations?” […]

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