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veterinary school admissions

Stuck on the Outside

Diversity Toolbox

The veterinary school admissions process mistreats Black and brown candidates. We can do a lot better.

American poet and social activist Langston Hughes asked in his iconic poem “Harlem,” “What happens to a dream deferred?” Published in 1951, the poem spoke to the fragility and combustibility of the dreams of marginalized groups — a side effect of chronic disinvestment in their communities and, by extension, their humanity. Dreams left vulnerable to […]

veterinary technicians

Technically Speaking, They’re Invaluable


Practices that harness the skills and insight of veterinary technicians reduce the fear factor in patients and their owners.

I have spent significant time over the past four years learning about and now teaching ways to recognize, treat and prevent anxious and fearful behavior in our patients. For many of us who started in veterinary medicine years ago, preserving a patient’s emotional health wasn’t taught in college. As a result, the learning curve has […]

intention and acceptance

Paying Attention to Intention

Go With the Flow

With an attitude of mindful acceptance, you know what is important in life but are at peace no matter what plays out.

There’s something magical about “The Sound of Music.” Christopher Plummer, who starred as Captain von Trapp, found the movie “awful and sentimental and gooey” during its filming, but audiences responded differently. The movie was so popular that it passed “Gone With the Wind” as the biggest box office success to that time and helped save […]

practice owner

Unpleasant Consequences

Money Matters

Your practice might not be worth what you expect if you don’t plan for its sale and leave the clinic with enough doctors.

Clients bring in their pets annually for vaccinations but decline your recommendations for preventive care, dental cleanings and lab tests. At some point, a number of those pets show up with fleas, a mouthful of painful teeth or a debilitating disease. While you want to tell the pet owners that neglect led to the problems, […]


A DVM’s Guide to Cannabinoid Supplements

Politics and Policy

Veterinarians are free to discuss the subject with clients barring any restrictions. However, be careful with therapeutic claims.

The veterinary and pet owner communities’ growing interest in cannabinoids builds upon thousands of years of cannabis cultivation and medical applications. Cannabinoids have illustrated their substantial potential to improve the health and well-being of pets and people, but the use of cannabinoid products must be done safely and effectively. To do so, a veterinarian must […]


Your ADA Responsibilities

H.R. Huddle

The Americans with Disabilities Act kicks in at 15 or more workers. Smaller practices still should do their best to accommodate employees’ needs.

Picture this: An associate veterinarian with a good attendance history called off for the third time in two weeks. When she returns to work, the doctor explains that she suffers from clinical depression to the point where she can’t always get out of bed. She also experiences panic attacks. You sympathize with her but aren’t […]

Opening Shots drop-offs

Shift Work, Medical Errors and Drop-Offs

Opening Shots

Opening Shots columnist Dr. Ernie Ward answers your questions.

Q: I have two associate veterinarians who do a good job, except they disappear when their shift is over. Even if we have patients to see or tests to run, they leave, sometimes without saying goodbye. I’m worried that they’re not truly committed to our practice. How do I tell them they need to be […]


3 Insurance Policies Every Veterinarian Should Have

Protect and Defend

The changing face of pet ownership and daily practice has generated additional health care delivery issues.

One significant consequence of the pandemic lockdown was a dramatic increase in the demand for veterinary services due to rising pet purchases and adoptions, people working from home, and pet owners spending more time with their cats and dogs. At the same time, more patients, longer clinic hours, inadequate staffing and a traditional services model […]


What You Need to Know About Recruiting

H.R. Huddle

Professional matchmakers can find a great veterinarian for your practice, but be sure to scrutinize the contract and fee structure before signing it.

Not so long ago, industry observers debated whether we had an oversupply of veterinarians or excess capacity. Over the past few years, though, the profession has undeniably suffered from a shortage of veterinarians. So, how can clinics find enough qualified professionals to serve clients and their pets? One solution is to use a recruiting agency. […]

inventory management

You Can Count on It

Getting Technical

Proper inventory management saves money by ensuring that your practice stocks precisely what it needs. Your online store can sell even more products.

Inventory management is a challenge for most veterinary practices. Drugs and supplies are typically a clinic’s second-largest expense and the most difficult costs to control. We must stock enough products on the shelves, without going overboard, to meet the needs of clients and patients. It’s a balancing act. We can’t afford to run out of […]