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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 […]

Six Growing Issues

The veterinary world is getting more complicated. It’s time to embrace change for the good of the profession, clients and patients.

If you’ve been around long enough, you’ll remember these two reports: Pew Research Center’s “Future Directions for Veterinary Medicine” (1989) and KPMG’s “The Current and Future Market for Veterinarians and Veterinary Medical Services in the U.S.” (1999). Both reports helped explain what was going on in the veterinary profession then and, more importantly, what the […]

Opening Shots team pay

Staff Strife, Instagram Envy and More

Opening Shots

Opening Shots columnist Dr. Ernie Ward answers your questions.

Q: My best technician of 10 years is loved by our clients but hated by our staff. She’s patient and kind with pets but condescending and rude to other team members. I don’t want to fire her, but the situation is destroying my team. What do I do? A: Unlike Bigfoot and the Loch Ness […]


Odd Couples

Working alongside a spouse isn’t always wedded bliss, especially when one is a veterinarian and the other an administrator.

Dr. Jill and her husband, Jack, launched Happy Critters Animal Clinic right after getting married. Because money was in short supply, Jack filled in as manager. What was supposed to be a short-term part-time solution became a long-term full-time job. A decade later, Jack and Dr. Jill are not doing well as a couple and […]

Marina Animal Clinic

Tulsa Tough

Marina Animal Clinic is a high-volume, no-appointment-necessary urban hospital that attracts a broad range of clients and many sad cases. The practice manager’s steady hand keeps the staff focused.

A friend of mine once observed, “Marina’s like a MASH unit for vets, isn’t it?” There’s truth in that. A typical day might, and recently did, go like this: Two women on a road trip across Oklahoma watch in horror as a 75-pound pit bull mix is tossed off a highway overpass. They gather him […]


Less Ringing, More Appointments

Socially Acceptable

Facebook, Google, Instagram and even business review platforms can streamline the booking process and free up your staff.

Your clinic’s phone rings again. Email notifications pop up. The Messenger tab flashes. You haven’t checked your app dashboard yet. Everybody wants an appointment. You throw back coffee, take a deep breath and respond to clients by flipping back and forth on the appointment calendar, offering time slots and sending confirmations. Client A responds to […]


Grading on a Curve

Departure Notes

Whatever you do, just don’t compare 2020 to other years.

If 2020 was a patient, I suspect most of us would have elected humane euthanasia sometime around May. That would have been after the wildfires in Australia, the U.S. drone strike on an Iranian general, the impeachment and acquittal of Donald Trump, the death of Kobe Bryant, the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, a […]


Colorblindness Is Not a Cure

Diversity Toolbox

Not seeing or acknowledging race serves as an exit ramp from discussing or participating in advancing social change.

I  remember years ago in grade school when kids stood in front of classmates, especially on movie day, and blocked their view. A common retort was, “You know your parents aren’t glassmakers, right?” It was a smart-aleck way of communicating, “You are blocking my view!” Years later, I have repurposed the adolescent retort when anyone […]

behavioral finance

Manage Your Emotions

Financial Wellness

Understand why you make irrational choices with your investments and what you can do about it.

Standard financial and investment theory holds that markets and investors are completely rational. The assumption is that investors exercise self-control and adhere to a defined investment discipline when making financial decisions. Therefore, those decisions are free of human emotion at all times. Yeah, right! Behavior and Investing The influence of human emotions on financial decision-making, […]

sell veterinary practice

Sell now or later?

Financial Wellness

What likely will be the biggest financial decision of your life shouldn’t be made in haste. You can sell your practice quickly to a consolidator, hand off to an associate in 10 years or do something in between. Weigh your options and the pros and cons.

We work with successful veterinary practice owners who are contemplating the sale of their hospital. In many cases, they are considering a sale because of the significant growth in corporate consolidators who pay multiples as high as twice the historic valuations. A general feeling exists that the bubble will inevitably burst and that practice values […]