Creative Disruption

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Turn your exam room into a classroom

Creative Disruption

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 […]

What do dentists know that we don’t?

Creative Disruption

The incidence of cavities in American mouths plummeted when fluoride was added to the U.S. water supply. Rather than surrender, the dental industry adapted and thrived.

What can we learn from other medical professions, particularly those that have experienced significant disruption? Which medical practice most resembles that of veterinary medicine? Pharmacists and optometrists are largely commodities-based and greatly corporatized. Physicians are similar to veterinarians in training but are highly regulated and driven by third-party payments. But what about dentists? Dental practices […]

It’s time to get creative

Creative Disruption

Too many pet owners are priced out of modern veterinary care.

The veterinary industry is thriving. Spending is up, the pet family bond is growing, pet lifespans are increasing, euthanasia is down, One Health is here, practice valuations have never been higher, we continue to attract the best and brightest to our line of work, and we are consistently among the most admired professionals. That said […]

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