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Politics and Policy

What does the pet health care industry want to do about acute shortages of veterinarians and nurses?

The last public debate about the number of veterinarians in America took place more than four years ago in Denver at the American Veterinary Medical Association annual meeting. I won’t forget it for two reasons. I debated three people: Drs. Paul Pion, Jim Wilson and Dennis McCurnin. A one-on-three debate is always interesting. But what […]

discrimination

Practice without prejudice

Diversity Toolbox

Discrimination in the workplace takes many forms and is destructive emotionally, mentally and physically.

I read a blog post by a Hispanic veterinarian who shared her experience of navigating racial and gender discrimination in practice. I found myself nodding along at her story and pondering all the similar stories I have heard over the years from practitioners who said clients told them their animals “didn’t like [insert group of […]

family

Life first, work second

For today’s young veterinary professionals, an excellent quality of life is a must-have. Practice owners need to embrace a new employment model if they want to hire and keep the best and brightest.

The game has changed in the world of veterinary employment, and to succeed in today’s market, practices need to play by new rules. Job applicants are looking for different things from an employer than in years past. For that reason, practices planning to hire and retain great new talent must understand two basic principles: There […]

One step at a time

Creative Disruption

The veterinary profession must and can do better with well-being. An incremental approach would get us turned around.

I am a big believer in innovation. Breakthrough ideas are inspiring, exciting and energizing. I look for opportunities to challenge the status quo; there’s always a better way to do things. That said, I try not to underestimate the power of incrementalism — one step at a time, bit by bit. While it’s not as […]

The price of harassment

Diversity Toolbox

Employers must step up and wipe out abhorrent workplace behavior in all its forms. Education and clear reporting protocols are key.

Sexual harassment has been a part of daily news for more than a year now. Mostly, but not exclusively, women are taking primarily to social media to share stories of harassment or assault happening in schools, workplaces and even on the street. The resulting #MeToo movement has toppled careers, launched legal investigations and nearly derailed […]

Duty bound

Politics and Policy

National and state officials see veterinarians as part of the solution to the opioid crisis. The industry’s role in prescribing and dispensing controlled substances is likely to come under greater scrutiny.

Requirements for veterinarians who handle opioids and other controlled substances have generated a flurry of activity in legislatures and a bevy of articles in trade media. While state VMAs regularly update practitioners about what’s expected and about state pharmacy board deadlines, I can help by laying out where things stand, or are heading, and look […]

The winds of change

Politics and Policy

As 2019 approaches, several critical matters — from the Fairness to Pet Owners Act to opioid abuse to telemedicine — remain unresolved.

It’s October, schools are back in session and politics are in full campaign mode with the off-year elections. Here are notes and updates on most of the items we’ve been following all year. 1. Fairness to Pet Owners Act This bill has hung around Congress since September 2010 and still hasn’t gained a hearing in […]

The language of medicine

Diversity Toolbox

Health care is harder to access when someone doesn’t speak English, but you can bridge the gap by becoming multilingual, hiring a diverse staff and embracing numerous resources.

A Harvest Public Media article on demographic changes in production animal medicine made the social media rounds recently. The article, available at http://bit.ly/2BS9gT1, noted how a 2015 study by Texas A&M University found that roughly half of the dairy and meat-processing workforce is composed of immigrants, many of whom speak something other than English as […]

Choose optimism

Creative Disruption

The veterinary profession is awash in change and opportunity. You should be excited to be part of this era.

I tell students every chance I get that there has never been a better time to be a veterinarian. I believe it. Dr. Google, rising competition, Amazon, consolidation, increasing complexity of running a vet biz, struggle to get cats in the door, staff turnover, accounts receivable, compliance and grumpy clients — I get it. Painting […]

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 […]

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