Community

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 […]

PetsPAC packs a political punch

Politics and Policy

The new political action committee will lobby on behalf of veterinary professionals, industry and pet owners.

The Veterinary Innovation Council kicked off VMX 2018 with the launch of an exciting new platform serving veterinary professionals, industry and pet owners alike — one that gives them a say in legislative efforts and policymaking around the country. The mere mention of “politics” sends many scurrying for cover. But the fact is political decisions […]

Hidden talent

Diversity Toolbox

With minimal effort, you can act affirmatively to increase diversity in your applicant pool.

I attend many meetings on diversity throughout the year. Most often, the meetings focus on sociological concepts, critical race theory and cultural trends. This information is critical to understanding larger diversity issues, but sometimes it misses the mark in terms of what people really need to know on the ground about how to “do” diversity. […]

The looming dog shortage

Politics and Policy

The United States will need millions of additional dogs a year to keep pace with the growing number of households.

It is an extraordinary day when The Washington Post places a story about pets, in this case the shortage of dogs, on its front page. Well, it happened a year ago with the headline “Does America Have Enough Dogs for All the People Who Want One?” I can already hear readers guffawing: “No way The […]

Put vets before pets

Creative Disruption

An unwavering commitment to your job can leave little time to take stock of what's missing from your life.

I ran this sentiment by several colleagues: “Vets before pets.” No surprise that each person’s first impression was less than favorable. It somehow sounded bad, uncomfortable, flat-out wrong. Perhaps it is. But nevertheless, allow me to explain. Our profession is wonderful; the value we add to society is unmatched. We are truly a double-
bottom-line profession. […]

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