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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 […]

criticism

Constructive Criticism, Poor Communication and More

Opening Shots

Opening Shots columnist Dr. Ernie Ward answers your questions.

Q: I have an employee who can’t take constructive criticism. When my practice manager talks to her privately, the meetings take forever and she is full of blame for others. How can I help her understand that we’re only trying to help? A: First, make sure your communication isn’t part of the problem. Delivering constructive […]

communication

Words Matter

Talk the Talk

Learn to use better phrases so that your client communication is more positive and meaningful. 

Rather than making a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of 2020, I chose a word for the year: communication. As I reflect on my actions and the communication skills I practiced, I’m reminded of how much words matter. The right words spoken at the right time can build connections with people and positively affect […]

videoconferencing

Tunnel Vision

Diversity Toolbox

Videoconferencing has been associated with an uptick in discriminatory and marginalizing behaviors.

A colleague instant-messaged me a few months ago to ask for advice. She shared that she was trying to renegotiate hotel contracts as her organization was moving to virtual meetings due to COVID-19 restrictions. Before the pandemic, most of her day-to-day work involved emails and phone calls. Once COVID-19 struck and the world embraced or […]

health

Who Calls the Shots?

Take Charge

Veterinary practices have some leeway but must follow the law when they seek to influence employee health.

Few people would object if their employer offered them free gym memberships or voluntary access to a smoking-cessation program. Their reactions might be quite different if certain health benchmarks or controls were made mandatory. All this raises the question of when an employer can require someone to get a vaccine, for example, or stop smoking, […]

client registration

Return to Form

Socially Acceptable

When was the last time you updated your client information sheet? Put it online, and ask the right questions.

Remember those old-school client registration forms? You know, the ones on a clipboard that we gave to clients, but only until the pandemic emerged, at which point we either created digital versions or disinfected the clipboards after use? Even before curbside care became normal, our client registration forms needed an overhaul. When COVID-19 hit, many […]

busyness

How Do You Handle Busyness?

Go With the Flow

Because of our desire for success and to be productive, many of us don’t really rest.

If we received a dollar every time someone (ourselves included) answered the questions “How’s it going?” and “How are you doing?” with the response “I’m really busy,” we would be kept perpetually busy counting our riches. We’ve often been curious about that standard response and wondered why “busy” became such a knee-jerk reply. We’ve also […]

mobile practice

Set the Wheels in Motion

Legal Lingo

Operating a mobile practice exposes veterinarians to many of the same liability concerns as their walled colleagues. The right insurance policies can deliver peace of mind.

An ever-growing number of small animal veterinarians are forgoing traditional brick-and-mortar veterinary clinics in lieu of providing medical services at pet owners’ homes. Over the past year, I have assisted almost as many veterinarians with insuring their house-call practices as in the previous 20 years combined. From the pet owner’s standpoint, utilizing at-home medical care […]

activity

Find What Moves You

Go With the Flow

Whether it’s sports, painting or something else, engaging in an expansive activity will lead you to a more balanced, centered and sane life.

Some of our previous articles noted the benefits of meditation, one of the best ways of opening ourselves up to experience the fullness of who and what we are. If you’re looking to experience more flow, we suspect that meditation is one of the single most effective methods of creating that outcome. But just because […]

incentive program

Learn to Share

Practice Smarter

Veterinary teams deserve more than a paycheck. Employees need to know the financials, be thanked, and hear what they can do to improve the practice’s performance and their own.

Going into the pandemic, I expected that veterinary hospitals would be financially devastated. Clients would not bring in their pets, practices would close and employees would be let go. Well, I could not have been more wrong. Veterinary practices are doing very well financially. In fact, many are seeing increases in income like never before. […]

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