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Blunt Dissection: The best minds in veterinary medicine, academia & business profiled so you can learn from their experience.
52 minutes | 25 days ago
Ep 47: 2020 - Messages From The Year That Got Away
Today’s show is the 2020 end of year review. Normally it is my job to interview and tease apart the life of interesting people from around the world of veterinary medicine. But in our traditional end of year review episode, I take the time to reflect on some of my favourite clips from my 2020 interviews and consolidate the wisdom. In this year, it was very poignant to reflect on how easy it was to meet our friends and families, and to a certain extent how for-granted we all took many elements of life before COVID. So our theme for this episode is finding strength in the work and words of others, because although our sense of connection has been reduced it’s the fortitude and wisdom that can be found in the words and deeds of others that might inspire the strength within to endure and come through this toughest of years. I loved listening again and want to thank my guests who were exceptional in both their talents and generosity in allowing us to peek through the window to their life. The clips I chose are a variety of insights that seemed to have relevance in today’s world and certainly gave me plenty to ponder. I hope you derive a similar pleasure. If this is your first experience of the show then consider it a tapas plate of audio joy, and as such, I invite you to dip in and let the journey take you deeper into the minds of my guests as you see fit. Feel free to explore the 46 other episodes that currently exist! All that remains is for me to wish you a wonderful festive season. Be sure to get some well-deserved rest whether with friends and family or in self-isolation. Thank you for listening and we’ll see you next year. From all of us at VetX International to you, wherever you are… Be safe. Be well. And be happy. Dr D. x
91 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep 46: Dr Caroline Murray - The Wilderness Vet
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Caroline Murray aka the Wilderness Vet. Caroline graduated from Liverpool University Vet School in 1997 and, in addition to her veterinary degree, holds a bachelor's degree in Zoology and a Master's in Conservation & Wildlife Medicine. After spending the first few years of her career working in the UK, she took the opportunity to spread her wings and taste the combination of remoteness, veterinary medicine, and conservation (that became the hallmarks of her career) with a trip to West Africa to care for orphaned primates. Wild adventures ensued, a pattern was set, and the Wilderness Vet was born. This spirit of adventure has since led her all over the globe caring for horses in the Mongol Derby - a 1000km horse race across the Mongolian Desert. Near-death experiences with injured Sled dogs in light aircraft above the frozen Alaskan tundra, as part of the Iditarod vet team. And more recently to New Zealand where she currently resides. Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is the Thrive professional skills course from VetX International. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you are probably the source of your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter THRIVE. Thrive is a RACE accredited professional skills training course where members receive training, toolkits, and mentoring support to support the development of these skills. Paul, one of the community members says joining was the best decision of his life, and went from being miserable to being energised and happy in his work. Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed their careers for the better. To learn more and enroll visit www.vetxinternational.com/thrive today. Now back to the show. There are many things to admire about Caroline. Maybe for you, it will be the opportunity her stories provide to recall or experience the thrill of travel and the excitement that exploration of this vast world offers. Or maybe it’s her spirit of fearless adventure combined with affable nature that meld together to inspire us all to take a few more risks in pursuit of our goals. Whatever, one thing is for sure, at a time of great uncertainty, Caroline reminds us all that those lucky enough to be in possession of a veterinary degree really do have the world at their fingertips and a passport to the front row of life. So enjoy this lockdown conversation with the intrepid Dr Caroline Murray.
71 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep 45: Laura Muir - The Vet Who's Going For Gold
On today’s show, I’m joined by double European record holder, gold medalist, and Olympic athlete, Laura Muir. Laura made her debut in senior athletics representing Great Britain at the 2013 World Championships and is the current British record holder over 1500m. In 2017 she had an incredible year becoming the fastest woman in the world over this distance, taking her first diamond league world title and winning two gold medals at the European Indoor Athletics Championships, breaking a 32-year old championship record along the way. So what does any of this have to do with veterinary medicine? Well not content with taking the athletics world by storm, Laura achieved many of these feats while completing her veterinary degree at the equally world-beating Glasgow University Veterinary School! In fact, Muir missed the chance of gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, opting instead to focus on passing her veterinary medicine finals. But in August that year, she was back and achieved her greatest honour to date winning gold in the 1500 metres European Championships in Berlin, the first British woman ever to win this title. And you thought it was hard to go for that early morning run twice a week! Now a quick word from today's show sponsor. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you are probably the source of your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter Thrive. Thrive is a course and support community where you will learn the professional skills needed to build a sustained and successful career. With RACE accredited webinars, workbooks, and live monthly mentoring events you have all the tools to set you up for success. Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed their careers for the better. To join visit www.vetxinternational.com today and if you use the promoted 'podcast' then you’ll receive 10% off your monthly membership fee. Now back to Laura, For many, rising to the very top of their field, ego can be a problem. In Laura’s case, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you get the sense that she is the same person today, as she was when she first went cross-country running as a child, through the frozen fields around her school in Kinross. The interview with Laura was an incredible pleasure and rare insight into the mind of someone who knows what it takes to suffer for her art. Doing a veterinary degree is hard enough, but doing so while performing at the highest level as an international athlete boggles the mind. So sit back, or maybe go for a run, and enjoy this my conversation with the record-breaking Flying Scot, Laura Muir.
73 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep 44: Dr BJ Miller - Embracing our mortality for a better shot at life
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr BJ Miller. BJ is a practising hospice and palliative medicine physician in San Fransico, an author and speaker, best known for his TED Talk, "What Really Matters at the End of Life”. He has been on the teaching faculty at UCSF School of Medicine since 2007 and sees patients and caregivers through his online palliative care service, Mettle Health. He is the subject of Netflix's Academy Award-nominated short documentary, End Game and his book for approaching the end of life, A Beginner’s Guide to the End, was co-authored with Shoshana Berger and published in 2019. He’s also a triple amputee who suffered a horrific injury resulting in the loss of both legs and his left arm when he was an undergrad at Princeton. To many, this would have been calamitous. To BJ, it became a transformative moment of deep pain he harnessed to find purpose. Now, before we get into the show, a quick word from today’s sponsor... When it comes to end of life care, most pets are still euthanised in the sterile and sometimes harsh clinical environment of the veterinary practice which, while convenient for practitioners, is not ideal for pets and can result in as many as 20% of clients never returning to the clinic again due to the psychological trauma. Enter Lap of Love, a veterinary service working in partnership with veterinarians across America to offer an incomparably compassionate end of life care experience for pets in their own homes. In one memorable example, CEO Dr Dani McVety was asked to euthanize a family pet in his beloved swimming pool…. The result was a pet passing in his favorite place, a family grieving but grateful, and a sad moment made infinitely better by an act of amazing kindness. So, if want your clients to experience a beautiful end to their pet’s life or learn more about how you can make the euthanasia experience better for your patients then visit www.lapoflove.com. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll end up doing house calls in swimming pools too! …back to the show. This interview ranks as a huge personal highlight, and it could be so for all manner of reasons. BJs inspirational story of overcoming incredible adversity. His dedication to a career; making a massive difference. Or his utterly genuine and radiant personality. But in my case, it’s because of a single line he shared in his interview with Tim Ferriss. One that shaped my view of patient and client care forever…. to learn more, listen on. In the interview, we cover a great many topics, but in particular death, mortality and by unbreakable association, life itself. While some of the topics were confronting, it was both a comfort and pleasure to have BJ as my guide. I hope you enjoy this uplifting conversation with the wonderful BJ Miller as he illuminates some of the darker places we fear to tread. BJ's Book: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/A-Beginners-Guide-to-the-End/BJ-Miller/9781501157219 BJs Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/bj_miller_what_really_matters_at_the_end_of_life BJs Endwell Project: https://endwellproject.org/
92 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep 43: Debt & Money - The Elephant in the Room of Veterinary Medicine
On today’s show I’m joined by not one, but two awesome guests as we take on the towering elephant in the room of veterinary medicine - MONEY! More specifically, DEBT! To dissect this huge issue we have a two for one deal where I’m joined by vets and financial experts Dr. Meredith Jones and Dr. Phil Zeltzman. Meredith is an ER doctor from Virginia, host of the Debt Free Vets Facebook group, and was able to pay off her entire student debt in less than five years post-graduation. She now uses the knowledge she acquired in the process, plus the huge amount of financial training she has undertaken since to help other vets follow the same path. Phil is a multi-time business owner, investor and board certified traveling surgeon, supporting clinics in his home state offer advanced surgical care without the need for referral. He is also a published author with two books available on Amazon and happens to be one of the best storytellers in the business. Now, rather wonderfully both of these amazing people have teamed up and are on a mission to teach vets how to escape from the burden of the amassed student debt they carry and have created the Veterinary Financial Summit which will hold its inaugural event in September 2020. Check is out at https://vetfinancialsummit.com/ --------------- Today's episode is sponsored by the VetX:Thrive community. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have mixed news. The bad news is you are probably the source of your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter VetX:Thrive - a RACE accredited, non-clinical skills course/community where members receive training, toolkits, and mentoring support to support the development of these skills. Paul, one of the community members says joining was the best decision of his life and went from being miserable to be energized and happy in his work. Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed their careers for the better. To learn more and find out if the class is a good fit for you visit www.vetxinternational.com/thrive today. ----------------- Debt is one of the biggest causes of stress and it’s hard to imagine how the added pressure this has placed onto the shoulders of the next generation of vets is helping anyone to cope. Which is why I was so happy to make this interview happen. Phil and Meredith both have great career stories yet different perspectives to share on the issue. If money is on your mind, you are going to get huge value from this episode. So, I invite you to put your feet up and invest some time and enjoy this my oceanically-distanced conversation with the exceptional Drs Meredith Jones and Phil Zeltzman.
68 minutes | 6 months ago
Ep 42: Dr Melinda Merck and the World of Veterinary Forensics
On today’s show, we go on a dive into the dark side of humanity as I am joined by veterinary forensics expert, Dr Melinda Merck. Dr Merck is the owner of Veterinary Forensics Consulting in Austin, which supports law enforcement by tackling crime scene investigation as well as the examination of live and deceased victims. She helps with large scale operations including exhumations of burial sites and examination of skeletal animal remains. She frequently testifies as a veterinary forensic expert for animal cruelty cases around the country including the high profile and successful conviction of NFL player Michael Vick. The fearless Dr. Merck, a Michigan State University veterinary graduate, also trains veterinarians, attorneys, and police officers around the world on the use of veterinary forensics in the investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases, and the important link between this and domestic violence. She serves on the WSAVA Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee, is the Past President of the Board of Directors for North American Veterinary Community, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Plus, my favourite to last she is a member of the International Association of Blood Stain Analysts - if you’re thinking Dexter right now, I suspect you are not alone! In addition to her incredible list of accolades, Dr Merck is the author of “Veterinary Forensics: Animal Cruelty Investigation, the co-author of “Veterinary Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty: A Guide for Veterinarians and Law Enforcement,”. Now, just before we jump into the episode, I just wanted to drop a quick word from today's show sponsor which is my brand new VetX:Leaders training group. If you are a manager in, or owner of, a vet practice and people are your biggest challenge then VetX:Leaders was designed for you. The program is a complete personnel management system where you will learn how to create vision & strategy, hire effectively, and lead your team so you create a positive culture that brings results. This is a unique deep dive into the world of high performance and I will be your personal mentor throughout. There is a four-module training course supported by with weekly live coaching sessions and toolkits to ensure you bring your plans to life and take back control of your practice. To learn more and apply to join, then head to vetxinternational.com/leaders. Now back to the show... This interview ranks as one of my favourite interviews on so many levels. If you are not drooling with excitement at what is in store in this episode then I recommend you immediately check your pulse. So sit back and enjoy this conversation with the brilliant Dr Melinda Merck and the fascinating, but quite creepy, world of veterinary forensics.
77 minutes | 7 months ago
Ep 41: Dr Lisa Radosta - Being Unbreakable (and much more besides)
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Lisa Radosta. Dr Radosta graduated in 2000 from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. After completing an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Coral Springs Animal Hospital, she worked as a primary care veterinarian for 2 1/2 years. She then completed a 3-year residency in Behavioral Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. During her residency, she was awarded the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists Resident research award two years in a row. Dr Radosta is contributing author for chapters of many well-known textbooks including The Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat; Blackwell’s Five Minute Veterinary Consult and Small Animal Pediatrics. She has published research articles in Journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science, The Veterinary Journal and the Journal of Veterinary Behavior and written review articles for Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Compendium, Clinician’s Brief and AAHA Newstat. Plus she is the section editor for Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. Dr Radosta also serves on the Fear Free Advisory Board and the AAHA Behavior Management Task Force. Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is the VetX:Thrive community. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you are probably the source of your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter VetX:Thrive. VetX is a RACE accredited, non-clinical skills training course/community where members receive training, toolkits and mentoring support to support the development of these skills. Paul, one of the community members says joining was the best decision of his life and went from being miserable to being energised and happy in his work. Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed they careers for the better. To learn more and find out if the class is a good fit for you visit www.drdavenicol.com/vetxthrive today. And is yuou use the promocode podcast when you sign up you'll get a further 10% off your monthly membership. Now back to the show, I thoroughly enjoyed this interview and we dived deep into many subjects including from how Dr Radosta developed an unbreakable attitude and considers herself a rule-breaker, to busting wide open a few of her favourite behaviour myths with much to ponder and learn in between. So without further ado, I give you this my conversation with the unbreakable, Dr Lisa Radosta.
107 minutes | 8 months ago
Ep 40: Dr Sara Pizano & Her Mission to Transform Shelter Medicine
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Sara Pizano. Sara is a Cornell Graduate and leading light in shelter medicine who has brought about enormous positive change to shelters across America. After university, she completed an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York in 1995 and was subsequently hired by North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, New York where her shelter medicine adventure began. In 1998 Sarah was recruited as director of the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale and in 2005 she was appointed the Director of Miami-Dade Animal Services in Miami, Florida. During her tenure, she attracted hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding, nearly tripled the adoption rate and pretty much rewrote the Animal Services County Code! In 2013 she joined 'Target Zero' as program director and was instrumental in creating and developing a new model to transform high euthanasia public shelters. In the course of her work, she visited and mentored multiple shelters around the country resulting in a drop of nearly 50,000 animal euthanasias in just 18 of those shelters alone. In an effort to offer a wider scope of services to help shelters of all types and sizes she created Team Shelter USA in 2017, where her goal is for all animal welfare organizations to have access to her life saving practices. Dr. Pizano is the author of The Best Practice Playbook for Animal Shelters and leads the assessment and mentorship program at Maddie’s Shelter Medicine, University of Florida. She has received multiple awards and is a board member of the Companion Animal Advisory Council and the Humane Society of the United States. Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is the VetX:Thrive. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you are probably the source of your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter VetX:THRIVE. VetX is a RACE accredited non-clinical skills training course where members receive training, toolkits and mentoring support to support development of these skills. Paul, one of the community members says joining was the best decision of his life and went from being miserable to being energised and happy in his work. Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed their careers for the better. To learn more and find out if the class is a good fit for you visit www.drdavenicol.com/vetxthrive today. Now back to the show, In a sector of veterinary medicine which can seem bleak, Dr Pizano’s work offers not just a glimmer of hope, but a well-lit path to a future where animals that can find homes, do find homes. I was engrossed and I learned so much about the incredible and often unsung work Sara and all the heroes in shelter medicine undertake each day. I hope you also enjoy this eye-opening conversation with the inspirational Dr Sara Pizano.
88 minutes | 9 months ago
Ep 39: Dr Saye Clement - The Veterinary Virtuoso
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Saye Clement. Saye graduated from Ontario Veterinary College, Guelph in 1993. During her career she has worked in emergency medicine and since 2003 has been a co-owner of Carling Animal Hospital in Ottawa, where, on top of her clinical caseload, she leads the team and manages the hospital standards of care in her hospital. Away from her practice, Saye is extremely active within the veterinary community serving on multiple advisory boards including the Lecture Advisory Board of the Uncharted Veterinary Conference, and the Owners Advisory Council for Vet Alliance. She has more recently begun lecturing on the subjects of team empowerment, culture and the art of communication. While all of these things are fine accomplishments on their own, they are not why I was so interested to have Saye as my guest. What I haven't told you is that she is a keen musician and board member of a small chamber orchestra in Ottowa called ‘The 13 Strings’. And it was as I watched her giving a talk titled “why I only hire artists” that my suspicions were aroused that Saye not only holds within her two seemingly opposed personas - the scientist and the artist - but she has found a way to blend both to become something better. In my dealings with her over the years, I’ve seen many examples of how the awareness of the practice and precision required to be an accomplished musician has been applied with equal care to the building of her career and practice - with great results to show, her practice is a stand out for many reasons. Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is VetX:Thrive. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have mixed news. The bad news is you are probably the source your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter VetX:Thrive. VetX is a non-clinical skills training course where members receive training, toolkits and mentoring support to support development of these skills. Paul, one of the community members says joining was “the best decision of my life” and went from being miserable to being energised and happy in his work. Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed their careers for the better. To learn more and get a 10% off your subscription visit www.vetxthrive.com and use the promocode ‘podcast’ in the checkout. Now back to the show, This show was a favourite for me, I’ve known Saye for many years. She is quiet and humble but extremely effective at getting important things done. As I have gotten to know her, it becomes clear just how much more there is to come. I hope you have as much fun listening to this episode and my conversation with the quietly extraordinary, Dr Saye Clement.
43 minutes | 10 months ago
Ep 38: Dr Temple Grandin
My guest today is a genuine global superstar in the world of animal health, Dr Temple Grandin. The word ‘legend’ is often overused, but when you’re talking about one of the most respected animal behaviourists in the world – and the most famous person with autism – the word feels pretty accurate. Labelled unfairly as mentally 'retarded' because she didn’t talk until she was three and a half years old, Dr Grandin rose to become a prominent author, speaker and consultant on autism, animal behaviour and livestock handling equipment. She is also a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. But her journey to the top was not easy as she was teased and bullied in high school and workplace for being the “weird, nerd girl”. It was thanks to her science teacher Mr Carlock, who recognised her potential, that she became a scientist and went on to design the revolutionary livestock facilities that are now used by half the cattle production units in the United States. Dr Grandin’s unique talent is her ability to think and see like an animal, because she sees in pictures, rather than words. The late Oliver Sacks, physician, best-selling author, and professor of neurology, described her first book, Emergence: Labeled Autistic, as “unprecedented, because there had never before been an inside narrative of autism”. Dr Grandin went on to write in excess of 15 other books, has a TED talk with over five million views and is the subject of an Emmy-winning movie made about her life. Now, just before we jump into the episode, I just wanted to drop a quick word from today's show sponsor which is the VetX:Thrive community. If you are a young vet looking to find your feet in vet med, grow your confidence, avoid burnout and beat you inner imposter, then VetX:Thrive is for you. As a community member you’ll have access to RACE accredited training modules, monthly meetings with experienced mentors, incredible toolkits and a supportive online community to help you thrive in your career. Membership of VetX:Thrive is available for just $25/month and if you use the promocode ‘podcast' then you will receive a further 10% discount. Head to www.vetxthrive.com to redeem this offer and take control of your career. Now, back to the show. It was both an honour to sit with Dr Grandin, and find out more about the way her incredible brain works. What seems so obvious to her has revolutionised the way we handle livestock. It’s arguable that her insight has improved the lives of more animals than just about anyone else on the planet. Though this is a shorter episode than others, it is packed with insight that I know you will enjoy and find valuable. So, sit back and enjoy this, my conversation with the esteemed Dr Temple Grandin.
72 minutes | a year ago
Ep 37: Dr Karen Felsted - The Veterinary Economist
On today’s show, I’m joined by one of the most respected thought leaders on the planet when it comes to veterinary economics, Dr Karen Felsted. Karen graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in marketing and spent 12 years in accounting and business management, six of those with Ernst & Young. She then made a radical career change to studying Veterinary Medicine at Texas A & M University graduating in 1996. Returning to Dallas, she practiced both small animal and emergency medicine on a full-time basis while maintaining a veterinary accounting and consulting practice. In 1999 she joined Owen E. McCafferty, CPA, Inc., a national public accounting firm specializing in tax, accounting, and practice management services for veterinarians. During this time she also received her Certified Veterinary Practice Manager designation. In June of 2001, Karen opened her own accounting firm and also joined the prestigious Brakke Consulting group. In 2008 she joined the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues as CEO and spent over three years there before returning to business consulting. Karen is currently a member of the Veterinary Economics’ Editorial Advisory Board and in 2011, she received the Western Veterinary Conference Practice Management Speaker of the Year award and in 2014, the VetPartners Distinguished Life Member Award. But before you get utterly intimidated by her glittering professional roll call a quick word from today’s show sponsor… Your employees are the backbone of your practice, and if they’re injured on the job, it’s vital to get them back on their feet as soon as possible. And with the average claim costing practices nearly $4000, having workers’ compensation coverage is a must. One Midwest small animal clinic team member was handling a stressed dog during an x-ray. The dog bit the employee in the arm and later became infected, requiring surgery and a hospital stay. Without the proper insurance coverage, this would have been a disaster, but thanks to the practices workers’ comp policy through AVMA PLIT, the $190,000 injury was completely covered. The most effective way to reduce accidents and avoid claims is to have effective safety protocols. Our friends at AVMA PLIT offer a free digital safety manual now available to Blunt Dissection listeners. Download yours today at www.avmaplit.com/drdave. Now back to the show… Karen was on my very first list of guests to interview when I began the podcast because she is one of the speakers I have learned the most from and I can think of few others who have their finger firmly over the pulse of veterinary business. So, it was a real honour to welcome her to the show. I hope you enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with the multi-talented, articulate and economically brilliant, Dr Karen Felsted.
81 minutes | a year ago
Ep 36: Dr Betsy Charles - Leadership & living in the tension between the good and the bad
On today’s show, which was performed and recorded in front of a live audience at Fetch Kansas City 2019, I am joined by an incredible woman, who is genuinely making a difference in veterinary medicine, Dr Betsy Charles. Betsy is the executive director of the Veterinary Leadership Institute (VLI), which allows her to combine her passion for veterinary medicine, leadership development, teaching, and communication. After graduating from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003 and completing an internship with an equine referral hospital, Betsy joined a performance horse practice as an associate vet. She went on to become the Imaging Centre Director and also developed the practice’s extern program. In 2009 she completed a master’s degree in Organisational Leadership, where her thesis dealt with the implementation of change efforts within organisations, specifically veterinary practice. She is also an adjunct professor at Washington State University and a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners Leadership Development Committee and Student Programs Task Force. Now before we get into the interview instead of a sponsor, I’d like to dedicate this episode to all of those brave souls fighting to save animal and human lives in Australia as the worst bush fires in recent memory rage. And in particular highlight, the plight of many of our veterinary friends whose business and livelihoods are under threat as the have either lost their client base or are expending precious resources helping to care for injured wildlife. And let’s not forget the horror of having to see and deal with so many injured or dead animals. This fire is not like the rest and our friends down under need our help, so if you want to specifically help your colleagues then please go to www.ava.com.au/donate and give what you can to the benevolent fund. Thank you. Now back to the show… Besty is passionate, honest and authentic which really comes across in this podcast. We cover an incredible range of important topics from the “bullying culture” of education in medicine to why fear of failure is crippling the industry. But most movingly she shares her story of love with her husband Drake, an incredible figure of light, who she lost to ALS (Motor Neurone Disease) in January 2019. For many reasons, this podcast will move you. To call it one of my favourites would be crass, the subject matter is heavy and I’ll warn you in advance, you are going to need tissues. But if you need proof that even during the darkest of nights, there shines the light of hope. Then this episode is for your soul. So sit back and prepare for this, my conversation with the brave, inspiring, smart and funny Dr Betsy Charles. (The audio recording we received was sadly not up to our normal standard, so we've done everything we could in post-production to improve it. While it's not bad, it's not quite where we normally shoot for. But trust me, it's still well worth sticking with it. Betsy shares some incredible things.)
75 minutes | a year ago
Ep 35: Falling Back In Love - With Our Profession & Ourselves
Today’s show is the 2019 end of year review. Normally it is my job to interview and tease apart the life of interesting people from around the world of veterinary medicine. But in the now traditional end of year review episode, I take the time to reflect on some of my favourite clips from my 2019 interviews and consolidate the wisdom. This year a strand that really stood out was how many people have overcome their battles to find some kind of equilibrium between their work-self and their personal self. Balance seems to be a crucial part of maintaining a happy mind and soul - not an easy task in the crazy world of veterinary care! It would be unwise to say that any single pathway might work for you, but it is clear that there are lots of options that we can all play with as we strive to find a place of stability that allows us to truly love both our work, and ourselves. In this episode take the time to digest the nuggets and reflect on how pertinent the individual wisdom might be to you. I certainly found as I listened back to my guests, new nuggets and thoughts blossoming in my mind. I hope you derive similar wisdom and enjoy my framing. All that remains is for me to wish you a wonderful holiday season. Be sure to get some well-deserved rest with friends and family. Reflect on what has gone before and take time to make a SMART plan for 2020. Until next year, from all of us at VetX International. Be safe. Be well. And be happy. Enjoy the show. Dr D.x
89 minutes | a year ago
Ep 34: Dr Sheilah Robertson - A Great Scot in America
On today’s show I’m delighted to welcome back (back extremely popular demand) anaesthesia, feline and end of Life care guru Dr Sheliah Robertson for our very first ever “round two” interview. Sheilah is one of the insanely qualified, brilliant yet humble people in veterinary medicine so, if you missed round one then your homework is to go back to Episode 16 and catch up! Sheilah grew up in Scotland and graduated from Glasgow University which sort of means we are twins. And her career in veterinary medicine spans more than three decades and encompasses numerous roles and qualifications acquiring four diplomas and one PhD while teaching at schools in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. She has held many prestigious positions including work with AVMA, she's a two-time member of the American Animal Hospital Association and American Association of Feline Practitioners Pain Management Taskforce. And has served as the president of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia. That’s saying nothing of the massive list of publications she has written or contributed to. All of which means she’s out of sight at the good end of the dunning-kruger effect curve. In 2017, Sheilah joined Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice as the Senior Medical Director and helps the team deliver the best end of life care experience possible. Now, just before we jump into the episode, I just wanted to drop a quick word from today's show sponsor which is the VetX:Thrive community. If you are a young vet looking to find your feet in veterinary medicine, grow your confidence, avoid burnout and beat you inner imposter, then VetX:Thrive is for you. As a community member you’ll have access to 12 online core training modules, monthly coaching with experienced mentors and incredible toolkits to help you thrive in your career. Access to the community is available for just $25/month and if you use the promocode ‘podcast' then you will receive a further 10% discount. Head to vetxinternational.com/thrive to take advantage of this offer and take control of your career. Now, back to the show, I learned so much from my first conversation wit Sheliah that a round two was always on the cards and judging my how well the first episide was received, you felt the same way too. So it gives me huge pleasure to bring you this, my second conversation with the fantastic Dr Sheliah Robertson. In this episode we get into a lot more detail on Sheliah’s bckstory, including her Scottish history and how she fought and won against cancer not just once, but twice. We also get into some detail on some Scottish mythology, how the faculty at Glasgow University pranked the world and as you might expect from one of the best veterinary anaesthesiologists on the planet, some outstansing advice to help you improve your patient care. This is a very eclectic and wide-ranging conversation which I hope you enjoy for the content, and if not that, then the double dose of Scottish accents and folklore.
78 minutes | a year ago
Ep 33: Bill Schroeder - Marines, Marketing & Caring Like Crazy
On today’s show I’m joined by former US Marine turned marketing guru Bill Schroeder. Bill has a fascinating career path and attended Western Illinois University where he gained his degree in Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering in 1991. Following graduation, he enlisted in the US Marine Corp. After surviving the legendary Marine Corp boot camp training at the USMC Depot in San Diego, he went on to serve as a helicopter mechanic, plane captain, and then as a reservist, training NCO and section leader. Following his years of service, Bill started his first business and spent time working in field surveillance and private investigations. But in 1998 he and his wife Katie decided to move in a new direction and began what would turn out to be the start of a two-decade (and counting) love affair with veterinary medicine by founding Intouch Practice Communications Inc., which has grown phenomenally since inception and has helped thousands of veterinarians and dentists step successfully into the digital age. Bill has completed the Veterinary Management Institute’s Practice Management Program at Purdue University's Krannert School of Management graduating in 2010. He has returned to help teach the Marketing Segment to VMI students ever since. Now, just before we jump into the episode, I just wanted to drop a quick word from today's show sponsor which is the VetX:Leaders community. If you are a manager, owner or a team leader in a vet practice and people are your biggest problem then VetX:Leaders is designed for you. As a member, you will learn how to build a high performing team based on three vital areas. Recruitment of the right people, daily management of those people and leadership skills. This is a unique deep dive into the world of high performance, and I will be your personal mentor throughout. There will be teaching, mentoring and access to all of the templates and frameworks I have used to run successful veterinary hospitals around the world over the past decade. So, if this sort of training would improve your practice performance then go to www.vetxleaders.com to learn more. Now back to the show… Bill’s passion for helping his veterinary colleagues succeed is incredible and his ability to see a glass half full make him a great person to listen to and spend time with. These traits coupled to his mischievous sense of humour, storytelling gifts and infectious laugh make him a joy on the ear. So, without further ado, sit back and enjoy this conversation with one of my favourite humans, Mr Bill Schroeder.
82 minutes | a year ago
BD 32: Dr Steve Noonan - The Pursuit Of A Positive Life & Helping Others
On today’s show, I am joined by Dr Steve Noonan. Steve graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1983 and by 1986 (at the tender age of 27) he owned three veterinary clinics. Though business grew fast, life got tough and with interest rates exceeding 20% per annum Steve very quickly learned how little he knew about business. Thus began an almost 30-year practice management learning odyssey which culminated in the formation of a 12 hospital partnership and the directorship of an ultramodern 15,000 square foot hospital. He also started the Metro Halifax Emergency Hospital, one of the first emergency clinics in Canada. More recently, Steve has explored new areas and has dramatically diversified his attention which is now split between part-time clinical work (which he still loves), coaching and mentoring his younger peers and building an entirely new venture, Lochland Botanicals, a herb farm and wellness retreat near Toronto, serving up remedies, teas, flowers, yoga, mindfulness classes and some of the best photos on Instagram! Now, speaking of wellness I just wanted to drop a quick word from today's show sponsor which is the VetX:Thrive community. If you are a young vet looking to find your feet in veterinary medicine, grow your confidence, avoid burnout and beat your inner imposter, then VetX:Thrive is for you. As a community member, you’ll receive 12 success-skill training modules, access to experienced mentors and incredible toolkits to help you thrive in your career. Access to the community is available for just $25/month and if you use the promocode ‘podcast' then you will receive a further 10% discount. Head to www.vetxthrive.com to take advantage of this offer and take control of your career. Back to the show, Steve has felt both the highs and lows that life in practice can offer and he bears the scars on the outside and within. But from the moment I met him, one thing struck me more than anything else. Steve, has a heart the size of a house and wants to do good. His calm and steady demeanour is reflective of his thoughtful inner-self. And if you are looking for someone who has worked hard to become the best version of themselves. Or someone to pick you up when you are feeling down. Or help you find a path when you are lost. Then you’d do a lot worse than have this guy on speed dial. Today's episode was a long time in the making and I loved every second creating it. I hope you enjoy it too. So without further ado, I offer you this conversation with my friend, colleague and mentor, Dr Steve Noonan.
86 minutes | a year ago
Ep 31: Dr Robert M Miller - Equine Veterinarian, Cartoonist, Legend
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Robert M Miller. Dr Miller is an equine behaviourist, veterinarian, and author. He was born in New York on March 4, 1927, and raised in Tucson, Arizona. After serving in the infantry in World War II, he attended and graduated from the veterinary school at Colorado State University in 1956. He established the Conejo Valley Veterinary Clinic in Thousand Oaks, California in 1959 and was the pioneer of the larger multi-doctor practice - a rarity at the time. Thirty-one years later, he retired as a renowned veterinarian and expert in ethology and began a speaking career. Dr Miller has visited every continent giving lectures to colleges, conventions for animal groups, horse organizations, breed associations and other clients. He has published many books on horsemanship, but what you might not know is that his list of credits also includes seven books of comedic cartoons. His acute sense of humour and love of drawing spilling out onto the pages of magazines and books as fast as the insights came to his quick-witted and creative mind. To date, Dr Miller has published a staggering total of over 20 books. On top of this he has authored 50 scientific papers and hundreds of magazine articles for both veterinary journals and equine publications and has served on the editorial staff of Veterinary Medicine, for which he is best known for his long-running “Mind Over Miller” column, as well as Modern Veterinary Practice, Veterinary Forum, and Western Horseman magazines. Dr Miller has received multiple professional awards for his achievements in both veterinary medicine and equine behavior. In 2004, Miller was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Western States Horse Expo, and is a recipient of the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award in 1995. Plus numerous other accolades. Now, before I get into this episode, I wanted to let you guys know that we have brand new, limited-edition Blunt Dissection Podcast T-shirts available. If you would like to show your appreciation and support the work I do in creating these podcasts then jump across to my website www.drdavenicol.com/shop and you’ll find pictures of the merch there. Every T-shirt purchaser gets a free podcast laptop sticker too! And of course, my enormous gratitude. The t-shirts and hand-printed here in Brighton, use organic fair trade cotton and environmentally safe inks. But most importantly, they make the wearer look smoking hot. Get yours while stocks last today. Now back to the show, as I listen back to this episode it struck me how much I was smiling and felt joy in my heart. Partly this is due to a level of nostalgia from the insight into a time and world veterinary medicine is in danger of forgetting, it’s also because Dr Miller is such a funny, warm and engaging person to spend time with. The insights, story telling and humour that Dr Miller shares make this one of my all time favourite episodes, and I rather suspect that by the end, you’ll feel the same way too. So sit back and enjoy this episode with a man for whom legend seems to small a word. I give you my conversation with the wonderful Dr Robert M Miller.
85 minutes | a year ago
Ep 30: Striving To Make Veterinary Regulation Compassionate And Empowering, with Lizzie Lockett
On today’s show, I super-excited to be joined by the Chief Executive of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Lizzie Lockett. Lizzie, originally from a farming background in the North of England, is an Accredited PR Practitioner with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and holds a degree in English Language and Literature from St John’s College, Oxford, a postgraduate qualification in journalism, and diplomas in the History of Art, also from Oxford. She joined the Royal College in February 2005 as Head of Communications, and later Director of Strategic Communications, she was responsible for all of the College’s communications and public affairs functions. She was also responsible for jointly managing the innovative Vet Futures – an initiative that has been instrumental in shaping the recent direction of veterinary medicine in the UK. In autumn 2014, Lizzie helped set up the Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) which aims to make a difference to the mental health and wellbeing of members of the veterinary team. Following success in these roles, she was appointed CEO in November 2017 a challenging role for which she has performed admirably, winning plaudits from many quarters for helping to steer and modernise the executive branch of this old British institution at a time when multiple wrecking balls of change sweep through the industry. Now, just before we jump into the episode, I just wanted to drop a quick word from today's show sponsor which is the VetX:Thrive community. If you are a young vet looking to find your feet in veterinary medicine, grow your confidence, avoid burnout and beat your inner imposter, then VetX:Thrive is for you. As a community member, you’ll receive 12 success-skill training modules, access to experienced mentors and incredible toolkits to help you thrive in your career. A year-long membership of the community is available for just $275 and if you use the promocode ‘podcast' then you will receive a further 10% discount. Head to www.vetxthrive.com to redeem this offer and take control of your career. Now, back to the show. For someone in such a prominent position, it was refreshing to hear that she was open, frank and, as is typical for someone hailing from the proud English county of Yorkshire, direct with her opinions and knowledge. She's smart, sharp as a knife, and most importantly clearly cares as much about the people in veterinary medicine as much as she does the animals we swore our oath to protect. This is a conversation I know you are going to enjoy. So, without further ado, I give you, my conversation with Lizzie Lockett.
82 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 29: A Life Less Ordinary with Jolle Kirpensteijn
On today’s show, I am joined by the multi-talented Jolle Kirpensteijn. Jolle graduated from the Utrecht Veterinary School in Holland and promptly moved to the US where he completed his residency training in small animal surgery and Masters degree at Kansas State University. He followed this with a fellowship in surgical oncology at the Colorado State. In ‘93, Jolle returned to Europe as a surgical-oncology and soft tissue surgeon at Utrecht University. In February of 2005, he was appointed Professor in Surgery at the University of Copenhagen and in August 2008 Professor in Soft Tissue Surgery at Utrecht University. He is a Diplomate of the American and European College of Veterinary Surgeons and received the titles of Founding Fellow in Surgical Oncology and Minimally Invasive Surgery, both from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). A former president of WSAVA, Jolle has been recognised with many awards including the prestigious BSAVA Simon Award, WSAVA President’s Award. Jolle currently works for Hill’s Pet Nutrition as the Chief Professional Veterinary Officer, where he leads all professional activities in the United States. Now, just before we jump into the episode, let me drop a quick word from today's show sponsor the VetX:Thrive community. If you are a young vet looking to find your feet in veterinary medicine, grow your confidence, avoid burnout and beat your inner imposter, then not only should you listen to Jolle, but you should also join the VetX community. As a community member, you’ll receive success-skill training modules, live mentoring session and actionable toolkits to help you thrive in your career. A year-long membership of the community is available for just $275 and if you use the promocode ‘podcast' then you will receive a further 10% discount. Head to www.vetxthrive.com to redeem this offer and take control of your career. Jolle is one of a handful of people who truly meet the criteria of being a global citizen with a career that stands out for its life experience as much as it’s academic brilliance. He is probably best (if somewhat confusingly) described as two parts surgeon, one part oncologist, two parts business-man, one part unashamed tech-geek, one part ninja-level networker and three parts fearless adventurer. If your head is spinning then relax, because being Dutch, he is also pretty chill on life. So, sit back and enjoy my conversation with the outstanding, Jolle Kirpensteijn
60 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 28: Authentic Marketing And How It Applies To Veterinarians, with Chris Brogan
On today’s show I super excited to be joined by one of my writing and business idols, Chris Brogan. Chris is one of the original group of people who, in the late nineties, decided this new-fangled-interwebs thing might just be useful and went all in. A risk that has paid off handsomely as he became known as one of the leading marketing gurus of the internet age. He is also one of the most published authors on the internet and has been described as a “content production cyborg” due to the volume and frequency of his publishing. But this description would be unfair because there is nothing robotic about the way Chris thinks or writes. His thoughtful, ground-breaking, and inspiring style have made him one of the most popular bloggers on the planet and his blog, CHRISBROGAN.COM is one of the most read in history. But his writing credits do not stop there. Chris became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author when he published “Trust Agents” and has gone on to write or co-author another seven books. With work published in Entrepreneur magazine for good measure. All of which means for the next hour or so, you are going to be listening to genuine marketing royalty dipping his toes into the world of veterinary medicine. Now, just before we jump into the episode, I just wanted to drop a quick word from today's show sponsor which is the VetX:Thrive community. If you are a young vet looking to find your feet in veterinary medicine, grow your confidence, avoid burnout and beat your inner imposter, then VetX:Thrive is for you. As a community member you’ll receive success-skill training modules, coaching from experienced mentors and practical toolkits to help you thrive in your career. A year-long membership of the community is available for only $275 and if you use the promo code ‘podcast' then you will receive a further 10% discount. Head to vetxthrive.com to redeem this offer and take control of your career. Now, back to the show. Chris may be a huge name in business but he is no ego. In fact, I’ve rarely met a warmer, more humble person. In our interview, we covered a lot of ground from marketing to mindfulness. And we dive deep into his most recent project, Dented - an exploration of the vulnerable human condition and how we might better embrace all aspect of the digital lives we all now lead. A particular highlight is a very unexpected use for ketamine. It’s a scary thing to meet your heroes, but Chris was every bit as awesome as I hoped, this is a conversation I know you are going to take a huge amount from. So, whether you are in the business of helping pet owners by marketing better, or the business of keeping yourself sane, this is a conversation you do not want to miss. I hope you enjoy my conversation with the legend that is Chris Brogan.
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