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political divide

The Great Political Divide

Diversity Toolbox

Let’s find the middle ground in the interest of free speech and mutual respect. Clinic leaders can play a key role.

I’m sure we can agree that the last decade in the United States has been politically polarizing. Despite constant calls for unity, we have seen increased sociopolitical unrest, broken friendships, shattered familial relationships and much, much more. The data bears this out. Ahead of the November presidential election, Pew Research Center studies found that 90% […]

communications

It’s About Time

Talk the Talk

Improving your client communications will mean less wasted effort and will help build loyalty and compliance.

Many veterinary practices are dealing with staff shortages, increased caseloads, more client demands and curbside care inefficiencies. This is why it’s imperative to streamline client communications while still focusing on building trust and rapport. Combining efficiency with client engagement is the key to enhanced loyalty and compliance. Why Communications Are Inefficient Let’s look at some […]

staff conflict

Tattoos, Stress and Staff Conflict

Opening Shots

Opening Shots columnist Dr. Ernie Ward answers your questions.

Q: At least once a week, one of my friends on social media messages me to seek pet advice. Many of the conversations take considerable time. If I respond, “Go to your veterinarian,” my friend says I’m not compassionate. Am I a fake friend or is my friend asking too much? A: Real friends don’t […]

goals

The Upside of Letting Go

Departure Notes

Trust yourself to adjust your career goals.

“How did I get here?” the veterinarian asked me. His shoulders slumped as though his white coat had lead in the pockets. “I don’t like my job, I don’t like where I live, I don’t like where I’m going, and I haven’t enjoyed where I’ve been.” Our profession is seeing an epidemic of self-inflicted anxiety […]

fees

Improve Your Feel for Fees

Practice Smarter

You owe it to yourself and your practice to price veterinary services appropriately and profitably.

A recent Veterinary Hospital Managers Association survey revealed: 12% of the responding practices will not increase their fees in 2021. 16% will increase fees on non-shopped services only. 64% will increase fees on both shopped and non-shopped services. I found the results a little surprising. Your fee schedule is the lifeblood of your practice. Your […]

financial meeting

Preparing Beats Repairing

Financial Wellness

A professional adviser can help get your financial house in order, but to get started you need to know what you have.

It was only a little more than a year ago that the global pandemic changed our world dramatically. As a whole, the veterinary community responded very well and many practices flourished financially. However, everyone seems mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted, and we still have a long way to go to beat COVID-19. To help prepare […]

legislation

The Price of Success

Politics and Policy

From A to V, here’s what you can expect from legislators and regulators on policy issues involving pet health care.

My company, Animal Policy Group, employs a team of four researchers who track legislation and state board or agency actions in 50 states and the District of Columbia 365 days a year. Believe it or not, last year we monitored over 15,000 pieces of legislation affecting veterinarians or pets. Most of those bills fell to […]

renewal

It’s Time for Renewal

Go With the Flow

Try to focus less on the dilemmas in your life and more on achieving peace, joy and fulfillment.

For most of us, the warmer weather and longer days signal a time of renewed energy and enthusiasm that feels more vibrant and fuller of potential. This spring feels especially opportune coming after a prolonged somber period. Between the heaviness of the pandemic and social unrest, many of us looked forward to putting 2020 behind […]

practice owner

Ownership Is a Great Idea

Money Matters

Nothing is guaranteed, but investing in and running a veterinary hospital can be a win-win financially and for your career.

At some point in their career, all veterinarians in private practice imagine their ideal hospital — from the type and level of medicine practiced to the diagnostic equipment purchased to the experience that clients would expect. To create that ideal practice, you need to own the business. Becoming an owner is achievable regardless of how […]

residents

6 Ways to Reverse the Specialist Shortage

Innovation Station

How we train residents isn’t sustainable. Online learning and greater collaboration between universities and private practice are among the solutions.

I followed a relatively typical path to becoming a veterinary ophthalmologist. I graduated from an accredited veterinary school, matched and completed a one-year rotating internship at an academic institution, and then did a two-year private practice ophthalmology residency alongside dedicated board-certified mentors. I attended MD program lectures and rounds, spent a month here and there […]

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