Put vets before pets
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. […]
When in doubt, improvise
Go With the Flow
With presence of mind, you can notice more, let go and use everything at any moment and in any context.
We imagine that many of you, like us, are fans of improvisational comedy. We can’t help but be amazed when Wayne Brady, one of the stars of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” fabricates complete song lyrics in real time using a musical genre, melody and theme that’s given to him only moments before he goes […]
The anatomy of privilege
If we are not mindful and deliberate, privilege and rankism can result in toxic work environments.
The term “privilege” has become one of the hottest buzz words in the diversity and inclusion lexicon. The word is often considered provocative in discussions due to a fairly abstract notion of who has it and why. I’d like to break down the concept of privilege and how it might be seen in and around […]
Politics and Policy
Only a lawyer could figure out a veterinarian’s reporting duties when animal abuse is suspected.
The virtue or vice of a federalist system of government — where the states retain powers to legislate — is the wide disparity in how laws affect the same category of persons or businesses. Nowhere is this truer than with each state’s approach to a veterinarian’s duties to report animal abuse by a client. Veterinary […]
The surfer’s guide to life
Go With the Flow
Every once in a while, we come across a reminder that there is another way — a middle path — that resonates with us.
If you’ve ever tried your luck at surfing, it’s easy to see how it can serve as a metaphor for our human experience. Life comes at us in waves, no matter who we are or what we are trying to accomplish. It does not ask if we’re ready, nor is it completely predictable at any […]
Turn your exam room into a classroom
A simple name change — think of it as rebranding — and a new mindset could boost client education and collaboration.
If you asked me why veterinary practices have exam rooms, I’d have to admit that before now, I hadn’t given the question much thought. We certainly need exam rooms to examine pets, but do we need to examine pets in an “exam room”? Maybe not. I’m not suggesting we get rid of exam rooms, but […]
The case for inclusive data collection
Asking demographic questions can enhance a practice’s knowledge base and the ability to serve clientele.
Businesses and organizations collect a huge amount of data. For example, the American Veterinary Medical Association maintains divisions that gather copious amounts of data about veterinarians and veterinary practice. At the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, I annually collect and analyze data related to student enrollment, applicant numbers, faculty and research. Why do we […]
The veterinary community saved pets and people when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the central coast of Texas on Aug. 25 and worked its way through Houston and southeast Texas, destroying homes and businesses along the way and disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and their pets. Veterinarians were heavily impacted as well, both personally and professionally. Here are stories […]
What is your personal narrative?
Knowing a little about each other promotes a better understanding of the world we live in and the people who inhabit it.
Diversity is often seen as a buzzword in business discussions, and these discussions do not always elicit positive reactions. Lack of clarity around definitions, diversity-enhancement goals and diversity’s relationship to veterinary practice is often at the heart of these misunderstandings. In this new column, I hope to provide concise diversity and inclusion content that drills […]
I was a bully
A veterinary professional’s journey to wellness and self-awareness.
When I was 8 years old, I was bullied so bad that I wondered, “Why me? Why do I deserve this abuse?” A few years later, I was beaten to the point that I remained on the ground as another girl repeatedly kicked my chest and abdomen. Honestly, I thought that day was my last. […]