Community

Let’s get personal

Creative Disruption

Understanding when the white coat is off or on is a key to successful personal and professional growth.

Most of life — family, activities, community involvement, growth — happens when our white coats or scrubs are off. In my experience as a mentor, mentee, coach, educator, friend and sponsor, I see most organizations focusing on the white-coat-on (i.e., professional development) side of the ledger while short-changing the far more important white-coat-off side. I’ve […]

The state of the VCPR

Politics and Policy

The advent of telemedicine has brought a new focus to the veterinarian-client-patient relationship and its diverse definitions and interpretations.

Two terms rarely, if ever, were mentioned together in veterinary meetings or publications prior to January 2016: telemedicine and the VCPR. What changed in 2016 was the North American Veterinary Community’s launch of the Veterinary Innovation Council and the American Veterinary Medical Association’s national working group on telemedicine. Since then, the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) has […]

Fairness and equity for all

Diversity Toolbox

While we cannot always know every back story to every situation, approaching decision making from an equity framework can help mitigate disparities.

U.S. citizens who pledge allegiance to the flag finish with the phrase “and justice for all.” This month, let’s explore the concepts of justice and equity as they relate to diversity, inclusion and veterinary medicine. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines justice as “the quality of being just, impartial or fair.” We all aspire to be fair and […]

From tolerance to inclusion

Socially Acceptable

The practice of inclusion does not preclude the practice of tolerance. In fact, inclusion is dependent on tolerance.

Admittedly, there are many diversity buzzwords with countless connotations. People sometimes are stuck on antiquated diversity language that serves only to evoke very strong and often negative feelings. For example, when hearing the term “diversity,” some individuals immediately think of concepts like affirmative action, quotas or reverse racism. While I will not use this month’s […]

My celebrity client

What rock star and dog owner Rob Thomas taught one practitioner about veterinary medicine.

Confession: I have been a fan of Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20 since my veterinary school days. I clearly remember five-hour drives from Ithaca, N.Y., to my folks’ house, exhausted after exams and belting out MB20 tunes in my SUV. My black Labrador, Paige, had to tolerate my singing, but the music became the soundtrack […]

Opportunity knocks

Creative Disruption

Millennials spend more on veterinary care and pet services than any other generation, so what are you doing to embrace them?

For decades, baby boomers have been a dominant force in our profession both as consumers and colleagues. No longer. Millennials — hereafter referred to as PetGen (you’ll see why) — are now the primary pet-owning demographic. Thirty-five percent of U.S. pet owners are members of PetGen, which grew up with the internet and smartphones and […]

Choosing wisely

Go With the Flow

It’s important to distinguish between the Downward Spiral and Radiating Possibility.

In their national best-seller “The Art of Possibility,” authors Ben and Rosamund Zander describe two worlds that are completely different in nature: the Downward Spiral and Radiating Possibility. Because of our natural bias toward negativity, the Downward Spiral is the world that we ordinarily inhabit. Conversations (internal or external) that stem from this point of […]

Of nurses and unions

Politics and Policy

Two emerging campaigns – the Veterinary Nurse Initiative and hospital unionization – could radically change the industry.

2018 marks the year when two vastly different efforts are emerging to address the status, professionalization and health care outcomes involving veterinary staff in animal hospitals throughout the United States. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, the national organization for credentialed veterinary technicians, launched the Veterinary Nurse Initiative in Ohio and Tennessee and […]

Flow in the face of adversity

Go With the Flow

When a difficult situation arises, you can change it, remove yourself or accept it.

Difficult or unwanted situations invariably arise almost daily as busy professionals seek to balance work, family, friends and other passions. So, the question naturally arises: How should we navigate our more challenging moments? While we don’t want to pretend to be psychologists or psychiatrists, we have observed some approaches that are useful for dealing with […]

The Goldilocks concept

Creative Disruption

How can we combine what independent veterinarians yearn for with the best of the corporate world?

Independent practices — mom and pops — have been the backbone of our profession for generations. They’re our industry’s baseball and apple pie. While we all know independent owners to be passionate, engaged in the community and superb health care providers, they also are notorious for being less-than-optimal business managers. Corporate practices have sought to […]

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