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orthopedic patient

The Orthopedic Patient

Fearless

A calm and cooperative animal is essential to the accurate diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal issues. Don’t rule out sedation.

Cortisol is a well-intentioned, very powerful hormone. It is a normal part of the physiological stress response when the body perceives something fearful or threatening. It initially acts as a strong anti-inflammatory and temporarily reduces the pain response when the body experiences an acutely painful episode. In veterinary patients with chronic pain, the cortisol release […]

smarter not harder

Less Is More

Practice Smarter

Fine-tune how your hospital is run so that you don’t have to work so hard.

A great catchphrase is: “Practice smarter, not harder.” But what does it mean exactly? Here’s what veterinarians and practices can do to bring the concept to life. Leverage Your Team Leveraging has to do with the number of full-time support staff you have compared with the number of full-time doctors. The “normal” practice has a […]

consolidator

Know When to Walk Away

Money Matters

If you’re an independent practice owner, don’t rush into a sale to a consolidator. Here’s what to watch for. 

Remember when veterinary practice buyers were scarce and hospital owners were concerned about finding one — or they expected the pool of buyers to be small? Then along came the consolidators, who used outside money to cherry-pick the best of the best practices. Today, as the inventory shrinks, the competition to buy practices has intensified. […]

competition

Fair and Square

Legal Lingo

Veterinarians should have a basic understanding of the rules of competition. You don’t want to run afoul of antitrust laws.

Federal antitrust laws are discussed when transactions between corporate titans are in the news, such as the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. Such laws, however, are the foundation of modern American capitalism and a subject that veterinary businesses need to understand, at least in principle. In a truly free market — one with no regulations […]

shortages

Shortages and Excesses

Politics and Policy

We have too few veterinary professionals (and dogs) and too much student debt. There is a way out.

COVID carried on a curious relationship with the veterinary industry throughout 2020 and early 2021. Much has been written about the industry’s financial strength and gains during this period, hopefully putting to rest chronic fears that pet health care is a fragile sector and susceptible to sudden downturns. The toll on human lives is a […]

trainer

Bond With a Pet Trainer

Fearless

An outside expert can meticulously answer many of the questions your clients pose and prepare pets to be willing participants in veterinary care.

Clients have asked me almost every conceivable pet behavior question over the past 20 years, including some that I never envisioned. And while at the beginning of my career I was always willing to spend lots of extra time with clients during an appointment, I soon found that to be exhausting, unsustainable and, later as […]

practice manager

Crunch Time

Take Charge

A practice manager shouldn’t be an absent employee’s automatic replacement. Cross-train team members and empower them to look after each other.

As the young manager of a small veterinary practice, I regularly spent part of my workweek covering shifts for vacationing or sick veterinary technicians and client service representatives. As the animal hospital grew alongside my confidence and status, I pitched in only occasionally as a courtesy and not under compulsion or out of desperation. When […]

investing

Build a Financial Foundation

Financial Wellness

You should work with the present and future in mind. Setting aside 10% of your earnings now will pay off big-time decades from now.

A crude definition of financial life planning is bringing the future to the present while you still have time to act. More formally, it’s the process of organizing your financial goals into something workable so that you can live in financial security in the style you desire. Financial life planning involves the proper handling of […]

safety

Better Safe Than Sorry

Getting Technical

Workplace violence is nearly impossible to predict, but having a safety plan in place is in everyone’s best interest.

We owe it to everybody on the veterinary team to take all reasonable precautions to prevent a violent or dangerous workplace situation, whether the circumstance involves a potentially volatile client or an upset employee. Here are the most common threats you might face on the job and the steps you can take to de-escalate them. […]

warmth

Feel the Warmth

Discharge Notes

Try not to fixate on hardship and negativity. So much good is happening all around you.

It’s sleeting nonstop outside and I’m beginning to worry that someone might slip if the clinic parking lot ices over. Meanwhile, the woman in Exam Room 4 has rosy cheeks, a steaming cup of Starbucks and a thick knit turtleneck sweater. I smell cinnamon as she blows on the latte both to cool the drink […]

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