Be the Beyoncé and innovate away

Opinion
Article
dvm360dvm360 May 2024
Volume 55
Issue 5
Pages: 10

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, chief veterinary officer at dvm360, draws inspiration from a pop music superstar turned country singer.

Beyonce

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Beyoncé accepts the Innovator Award onstage during the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, on April 01, 2024.

Beyoncé is one of the greatest artists of our time (don’t worry, Swifties—I have an article on Taylor coming up!) In case you were not aware, Beyoncé recently dropped her latest album, “Cowboy Carter.” That’s right: a country album with a twist—lots of twists. It instantly became the No. 1 country album on the Billboard charts and is Spotify’s most streamed album in 2024—a whopping 76.13 million times in 1 day—making it the first time a country album has earned that title on the platform.

Beyoncé was awarded iHeartRadio’s Innovator of the Year Award for 2024 and her acceptance speech has been touted as one of the best ever. Beyoncé spoke about what being an innovator means to her: “Innovation starts with a dream,” she said. “But then you have to execute that dream, and that road can be very bumpy. Being an innovator is seeing what everyone believes is impossible. Being an innovator often means being criticized, which often will test your mental strength. So to all the record labels, every radio station, every award show, my hope is that we’re more open to the joy and liberation that comes from enjoying art with no preconceived notions.”

In the world of veterinary medicine, there’s a prevailing sentiment to “stay in your lane.” Why? Veterinarians are often expected to stick to traditional practices and approaches, adhering strictly to established norms and protocols. However, this mentality can stifle innovation and hinder progress in the field. Just like the icon Beyoncé, who constantly pushes boundaries and challenges the status quo, veterinarians, too, can break free from these constraints and embrace innovation to better serve their patients and clients. Can you imagine how much pushback she must have received by innovating her music and moving “outside her lane” of music? We can do the same.

Beyoncé is renowned for her fearless approach to her craft, constantly reinventing herself and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the music industry. Similarly, veterinary professionals have the opportunity to break free from the constraints of conventional thinking and explore new ideas, technologies, and treatment modalities that can revolutionize the way we care for animals. Perhaps you want to change from small animal to large animal? Maybe you want to implement an entire new service and provide physical therapy to your patients? Go for it! The versatility of our profession is truly remarkable.

One area where this mentality can have a profound impact is in the realm of veterinary technology. From advanced imaging techniques to artificial intelligence, technology has the potential to transform the way we diagnose and treat diseases in animals. By embracing innovative technologies, we can provide more accurate diagnoses, improve treatment outcomes, and enhance the overall quality of care for our patients. Perhaps you have a new method of checking in and invoicing out your clients? Maybe you want to implement a new point-of-care service to better provide timely outcomes to your patients? Go for it!

Veterinarians can also push boundaries by challenging conventional treatment protocols and exploring alternative therapies. From acupuncture and herbal medicine to rehabilitation therapy and nutritional and genetic counseling, there are a plethora of holistic approaches that can complement traditional veterinary care.

Pushing boundaries in veterinary medicine is not without its challenges. It requires a willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone, take risks, and embrace failure as an opportunity for growth. It also requires a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development as new technologies and treatment modalities continue to emerge. One personal innovation idea I challenged our dvm360 team with was to provide a clinical approach to learning without any slides in the media space. Hence, the birth of Inside the Clinic, where we bring our film crew out to one of your hospitals and film your team, focusing on a therapeutic topic—dentistry, cardiology, surgery, etc. The response has been tremendous, but it did come with logistical inquiries and challenges. Just as Beyoncé had her struggles in bringing her innovation to fruition, we leaned on our team to help make this educational dream come to light.

The rewards of embracing innovation in veterinary medicine are immense. By challenging the staying-in-your-lane mentality and adopting a Beyoncé-like attitude toward pushing boundaries and embracing innovation, veterinarians can truly make a difference in the lives of animals and their owners. Here are key lessons Queen Bey can teach us in our veterinary careers:

  • “Be” fearless.
  • “Be” authentic.
  • “Be” hardworking.
  • “Be” surrounded by great people.

Thank you, Beyoncé, for showing the world that genres have no creative limits and innovation is the fuel that propels humanity forward, transforming challenges into opportunities and shaping a future limited only by our imagination.

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