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political divide

The Great Political Divide

Diversity Toolbox

Let’s find the middle ground in the interest of free speech and mutual respect. Clinic leaders can play a key role.

I’m sure we can agree that the last decade in the United States has been politically polarizing. Despite constant calls for unity, we have seen increased sociopolitical unrest, broken friendships, shattered familial relationships and much, much more. The data bears this out. Ahead of the November presidential election, Pew Research Center studies found that 90% […]

staff conflict

Tattoos, Stress and Staff Conflict

Opening Shots

Opening Shots columnist Dr. Ernie Ward answers your questions.

Q: At least once a week, one of my friends on social media messages me to seek pet advice. Many of the conversations take considerable time. If I respond, “Go to your veterinarian,” my friend says I’m not compassionate. Am I a fake friend or is my friend asking too much? A: Real friends don’t […]

goals

The Upside of Letting Go

Departure Notes

Trust yourself to adjust your career goals.

“How did I get here?” the veterinarian asked me. His shoulders slumped as though his white coat had lead in the pockets. “I don’t like my job, I don’t like where I live, I don’t like where I’m going, and I haven’t enjoyed where I’ve been.” Our profession is seeing an epidemic of self-inflicted anxiety […]

financial meeting

Preparing Beats Repairing

Financial Wellness

A professional adviser can help get your financial house in order, but to get started you need to know what you have.

It was only a little more than a year ago that the global pandemic changed our world dramatically. As a whole, the veterinary community responded very well and many practices flourished financially. However, everyone seems mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted, and we still have a long way to go to beat COVID-19. To help prepare […]

renewal

It’s Time for Renewal

Go With the Flow

Try to focus less on the dilemmas in your life and more on achieving peace, joy and fulfillment.

For most of us, the warmer weather and longer days signal a time of renewed energy and enthusiasm that feels more vibrant and fuller of potential. This spring feels especially opportune coming after a prolonged somber period. Between the heaviness of the pandemic and social unrest, many of us looked forward to putting 2020 behind […]

Oregon State students

Creating Virtual Virtuosos

At Oregon State, veterinary students display flexibility and a determination to succeed in a Zoom-dominated learning environment.

The text from my daughter Brooke early in her second year of veterinary school read, “Do you think Sundance had a splenic hemangiosarcoma?” The smile on my face when I got the text could have lit up the world during a blackout. Sundance was a golden retriever we had to euthanize because of a large […]

Instagram

Platform Diving

Socially Acceptable

Purge your practice of social media outlets that aren’t worth the effort. Facebook and Instagram might be all you need.

When time and staff are in short supply, putting energy into social media — particularly multiple platforms — can be hard. As social media evolves, you will find more opportunities to drive business to your practice along with more opportunities to waste precious time. First, let’s review the landscape. Ignoring business registries like Google Business, […]

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 […]

best effort

Stop Doing Your Best

Pacing yourself and allocating your energy wisely will help you to achieve what is truly important.

How often have you heard the line, “Just do your best.” How often do you tell it to yourself? A psychiatrist for 25 years, I specialize in treating stress-related conditions. Many of my patients work in veterinary or human medicine. Many of them are burnt out or suicidal. One significant reason is their drive to […]

warmth

Feel the Warmth

Departure 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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