6 tips to keep learning and growing


As a veterinary practice manager, theres always something new to learn and a new mountain to climb. Use this advice to create the next learning path for you and your team.

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And the finalists are ...

Tiffany Consalvo is one of 10 finalists in the 2017 dvm360/VHMA Practice Manager of the Year contest. Click right here to read a little from all the finalists, enjoy the stories about the finalists as they slowly unfold on this page, and find out the big winner at Fetch dvm360 in San Diego in December.

I am a life-long learner, and I believe that networking with colleagues, attending continuing education event, bringing professionals to the team and learning from each other are hugely important for us to be successful. Here's a list of things that I do and we do as a hospital to promote education.

1. Attend national CE conferences regularly. Each year I attend a conference and, when I can, I attend more than one. I frequent the VHMA annual conference, VHMA exchange and Fetch dvm360 conference. I encourage my team members to attend conferences, and everyone on our team has a continuing education allowance.  

2. Build a book clubs for dreaming readers. We're all avid readers at our practice, and we have incorporated a management library into our hospital. Our Mission, Vision, Goals (MVG) team reads management books together so we can review and apply what we learn to the hospital. This has been a great way to learn from others outside of our industry.

Here are a few from our library that we love:

> Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

> Start with Why by Simon Sinek

> The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

> The Positive Dog by Jon Gordon

> The No Complaining Rule by Jon Gordon

> Situations Matter by Sam Sommers

> The E-Myth Veterinarian by Michael E. Gerber and Peter Weinstein

> Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet

> The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

> Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

3. Bring the CE to your team. We have partnered with a local dental office that shares in our same culture to attend workshops. The last was hosted by the New York Times Bestselling author of Decide, Steve McClatchy. We plan to bring more of our leadership group to the next event because of its success.

We also partnered with one of our distributors to bring 6 months of FRANK Communication training, a veterinarian-client communication workshop, to our doctors and team to improve. This intense training used video tapes, team presentations and lecture focused on improving our interactions with each other and our clients.

4. Attend local CE events too. We also attend CE events hosted by our local emergency clinic for medicine and management. The owners and I recently attended a two-day retreat hosted by a distributor that focused on product knowledge and management topics. And our leadership team joined a local practice management group.

5. Don't forget team meeting presentations. These regular events in your practice reinforce a culture of learning. 

For example, in July, we brought individual DiSC (which stands for dominance, inducement, submission and compliance) assessments to each of our team members. This four-hour training lead by DiSC certified coaches helped us better understand each other.

6. Don't forget online opportunities. Online webinars from outside of the industry have been helpful to getting our management team updated on technology. An example: Asana, which has helped us manage projects for our practice.

Happy learning!

Tiffany Consalvo is the practice manager at Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania.

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