The veterinary industry has a lot going for it, starting with the historic role pets play in everyday life. Staffing issues and the cost of care deserve attention, however.
Sailors are familiar with the phrase “fair winds and following seas.” The saying refers to ideal conditions for steering a ship. Our profession is enjoying both fair winds and a few rough seas. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about our profession’s tailwinds and headwinds. Ever the optimist, I’ll start with tailwinds, which in […]
Confessions of a swine veterinarian
When a weird case presents, sometimes the best a surgeon can do is rely on hard-earned talent and intuition.
My professional life has been dominated by dog and cat medicine, but my heart will always belong to pigs. It seems as if every time I think pigs have slipped off my radar, one will come around. Such was the case with a throw-away pig named Rose who had an iron will to live and […]
It was meant to be
“Mentern” relationships between baby boomers and millennials allow for the exchange of knowledge and the smooth handoff of the veterinary profession from one generation to the next.
As I and millions of fellow baby boomers begin to see more of life in the rearview mirror than out the windshield, I often find myself reflecting: Have I served my family well, did I give back to the profession I dearly love, and where the hell are my glasses? It’s become abundantly clear that […]
Courtrooms and exam rooms
Politics and Policy
As legislators in three states ponder awarding non-economic damages to pet owners, the veterinary profession needs to get to the bottom of what is troubling nurses.
When we talk about threats to veterinarians and access to veterinary care, nothing is more dangerous than legislation that authorizes the recovery of non-economic damages. This troublesome idea has been around for decades, but state courts have done the heavy lifting to maintain the status quo in California, Texas, Georgia, Oregon and Vermont, to name […]
Your gift to the future
Underrepresented and low-income students are determined to earn admission to veterinary school and thrive afterward. You can help them achieve their dreams.
Last fall, young people from all over the United States applied to veterinary school. Their applications represented a significant step toward their lifelong goal of becoming a veterinarian. At the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, where I work, we survey applicants and use the data collected to recommend recruiting and admissions practices. The veterinary […]
Bricks and clicks
Veterinary medicine will be in a world of hurt if it doesn’t embrace new and better ways of serving pets and clients.
Pet owners call your practice, make an appointment, drive to your hospital and wait in the lobby. We see them once a year if we’re lucky. By some estimates, half the pets in the U.S. won’t see a veterinarian this year. We then have maybe 20 minutes to address the presenting complaint and hopefully squeeze […]
Wholeness and self-compassion
Go With the Flow
Finding peace in the present means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.
What does it mean to be fully present, both at work and at home? How does the quality of our presence impact our happiness, our relationships, our resilience and our sense of peace? These are incredibly important questions for us to be asking. That’s because, based on our experience and what we’re continually learning about […]
The future has arrived
Call it distributive education or community-based learning. Either way, veterinary students want it and benefit from it, and so do affiliated practices.
Today’s educational consumers, especially those pursuing advanced professional degrees, are motivated to select colleges that meet their expectations and better prepare them for a career. And frankly, through access to data, technology and social media, these students are more informed in the decision-making process than ever before. You might ask, “What are those students’ expectations?” […]
Let’s get to work
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 […]
Practice without prejudice
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 […]