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emotional health

First Impressions


Use the latest digital technology to get new pet owners to your curb or through your door and then coming back for more.

Pet adoptions have exploded. A Rover.com survey found that 60% of first-time pet owners had never been inside an animal hospital, which suggests an overwhelming number of people lack quite a bit of information about the physical and emotional health of their puppies and kittens. While the amount of education that veterinary professionals need to […]

property insurance

It’s Personal

Protect and Defend

Make sure your business property — from medical equipment to just about everything not attached to the building — is accounted for and adequately insured.

One of the most commonly underinsured exposures I find when conducting risk-management reviews of veterinary practices involves business personal property. Not surprisingly, business personal property, along with employment practices liability and cyberliability/network security, are three of the more expensive risks from the standpoint of annual insurance premiums and deductibles. Business personal property insurance is a […]


The Inside Track

Socially Acceptable

Measure the effectiveness of your social media platforms in detail to ensure the time, money and effort were well-spent.

An essential non-medical addition to your vocabulary should be ROI, the acronym for return on investment. In the context of social media, ROI is the value your veterinary practice gets out of all the posts, videos and blogs you publish. What’s important to remember is that value isn’t just dollars and cents. Sometimes, value also […]


Bad Employees, Rude Clients and Restorative Sleep

Opening Shots

Opening Shots columnist Dr. Ernie Ward answers your questions.

Q: I’m a manager who feels stuck with a poor staff. We need to fire a couple of employees because of chronic complaints from customers and co-workers. I’ve been running help-wanted ads, but no one responds. Our morale is down, and I’m now worried I might lose some good employees. I’m stressed and don’t know […]

veterinary fees

How to Counter Fee Feedback

Practice Smarter

Your clients (and team) sometimes don’t take kindly to what you charge. A little education goes a long way.

Has a client ever said your prices are too high or remarked, “I could buy a house with what you charged me today”? How do you and your team members respond to such comments? While I believe that veterinary practices undercharge for their services, sometimes your clients’ perceptions of value is poor, so they do […]


How to Cultivate a Happier Workplace

Go With the Flow

The psychological health and safety of all employees should be as important as productivity.

Our colleague Dr. Bill Kearley tells the story of how, as a young bovine practitioner, he was introduced to the concept of production medicine while attending his first AABP conference. Production medicine involves veterinarians applying a wide array of knowledge and skills to herd management with the aim of optimizing animal health and welfare, production […]

veterinary practice model

Afloat in a Sea of Opportunity

Creative Disruption

What might your veterinary practice look like if you were just starting one or contemplating a do-over? 

Our current model of veterinary practice could be viewed as a great wooden ship. It’s carried us admirably over many years through seas fair and foul, from a profession dedicated to transportation (horse doctors) to one devoted to protein (farm animals) to one dedicated mainly to companionship. Our ship is comfortable and familiar, and it […]


How We See Ourselves Matters

Discharge Notes

While we should not delude ourselves about our challenges, we should shape our conditioned thoughts carefully and hold them in our minds, ready to guide us.

I recently observed a few of my Facebook friends updating their profile pictures with an image and the line “Check on Your Vet People” across the bottom. Above those words was a veterinary caduceus alongside the silhouettes of a despondent woman and a concerned dog. I spotted this trend around the same time I noticed […]

telehealth service

Good News Travels Fast

Innovation Station

Publicize your telehealth service often and in a variety of ways. Client testimonials carry a lot of weight.

As a veterinarian who helps practices integrate telehealth into their daily workflows, I understand what works and what doesn’t. When I ask clinic owners about the challenges they faced in starting a telehealth program, I often get the same answer: “I wish I had started marketing it months before I started providing it.” Paying for […]

midlevel degree

Steering a Middle Course

Politics and Policy

Lincoln Memorial’s pilot program for midlevel professionals is a crucial response to chronic shortages of veterinarians and technicians.

Two major challenges confront U.S. veterinary medicine in the face of unprecedented demand for pet health care. The first is the acute shortage of veterinarians. The second is the acute turnover issues involving credentialed veterinary technicians/nurses, who are chronically underpaid by practices and have few pet-related alternatives. Both challenges have a single solution: Follow human […]