Community

The future is PetGen

Creative Disruption

Make way, boomers and Gen Xers. Millennials and Generation Z are remaking how Americans view pets and veterinary care.

Every generation has its own approach to work and life. How these different groups interact with family, pets and lives are profoundly reshaping our world and professional landscape. This is particularly true of the generation I call PetGen. I define PetGen as the combination of millennials and Generation Z, or anyone under about age 38. […]

suicide prevention

Save a life

A “four eyes” approach to drug security and a well-publicized employee assistance program are two crucial steps your practice can take today to help prevent suicide.

Suicide in veterinary medicine is too big of a problem to ignore. At this point, almost all of us have stories of practice owners across town, technicians on weekend shifts and veterinarians we went to school with ending their lives. That’s a lot of loss to accept in any profession, much less one known for […]

Step outside your comfort zone

Diversity Toolbox

Starting conversations about diversity and inclusion isn’t easy, but the payoff is well worth the time and effort.

Talking about diversity and inclusion is hard; it is uncomfortable sharing your innermost thoughts about how you see difference, what it means for you (or not) in day-to-day interactions, and how you think that might affect the way individuals move through the world. Talking about diversity sparks strong emotional responses around how we view fairness, […]

declawing

Looming battles

Politics and Policy

New York lawmakers approved the first statewide declaw ban and, along with New Jersey, is looking at imposing rules on groomers. Who’s next?

2019 is a watershed year for politics and the pet care industry. Issues that drew scant attention for decades have caught the public eye or, better yet, the eager eyes of politicians wanting to tap into the surge of interest in pets. New York and New Jersey are prime battlegrounds for the issues of declawing […]

How to survive in an uncertain world

Financial Wellness

If you don’t control your money, your money will control you and you will be unable to achieve peace and contentment.

Any given day we are bombarded with news that can terrify. Turmoil with North Korea and Iran, trade wars with China, Russia increasing its nuclear arsenal, to name a few recent headlines. One or all can impact our economy and world security. In addition, political battles between Democrats and Republicans continue to escalate and talk […]

student loan debt

Driven to despair

Are you struggling to pay off your school loans? An income-driven repayment plan can be a path to financial freedom for student borrowers — and possibly to loan forgiveness.

Your choice to become a veterinarian likely came at great cost. Veterinary students who graduated in 2017 with outstanding school loans owed an average of $166,714, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Compare that with a veterinarian’s median 2018 salary of $93,830 and your debt-to-income ratio is probably high. You might have trouble keeping […]

choices

Unintended consequences

Creative Disruption

You might be tracking the wrong key performance indicators. Try a few that focus on the pet, the owner and your employees.

Did you hear about Wells Fargo? For years, the company served as a role model in the banking world for exemplary customer service. Wells Fargo set a goal, or key performance indicator (KPI), to sell eight products to every customer. To accomplish this, they created the “Eight is great” motto, which incentivized employees to cross-sell […]

timeout

You’re not a babysitter

Practice Smarter

Practice managers are hired to manage. Often, the best approach is to direct team members to make decisions and resolve conflicts on their own.

Recently, while consulting at a veterinary practice, I saw the manager being constantly interrupted by team members. Many times, a line of people formed at the door. One team member was requesting a day off, another was asking for authorization to dispense heartworm medication, another was upset about how a co-worker had treated her, and […]

goldfish

Oh, how things have changed

Politics and Policy

The veterinary world looks a whole lot different than it did 15 years ago. That’s a very good thing.

When I first worked on veterinary and animal welfare issues, back in 2004, two things were clear: I’d move on to other venues when the microchipping coalition wrapped up and we abandoned the silly notion that microchips and scanners for identifying lost pets should use proprietary technologies. No chance of me becoming what my kids […]

diversity

Appearances can be deceiving

Diversity Toolbox

A professional look means different things to different people. Does your clinic’s policy reflect core values and a commitment to diversity?

Many years ago, my office initiated a dress code review. During our working group meetings, my male colleagues bemoaned how women could wear sleeveless shirts and sandals during the summer, while men were limited to sleeved shirts, neck ties and hot, confining loafers and Oxford shoes. Conversations quickly devolved into a gendered discussion about equity […]

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