Fetch dvm360 conference keynote: Are you a unicorn or a pegasus?


Veterinarians and business partners Dani McVety and Mary Gardner couldnt be more different. And yet theyre a perfect example of how wildly different personalities can work side by side in the pursuit of better care for pets.

Drs. Dani McVety and Mary Gardner are proof that opposites can attract when it comes to finding friends and business partners.Drs. Mary Gardner and Dani McVety are crazy. Crazy different, that is. And the Fetch dvm360 conference team knew they were on to something when we tapped them for this year's keynote address at the Kansas City-based conference.

Juggling all kinds of different personalities (um, hello, just think of your client base) can make the practice of veterinary medicine utterly exhausting. And with the amount of entrepreneurial work between these friends and business partners, they'd be the first to admit that.

So, when we asked what they'd like to tell the whole of the Fetch dvm360 conference attendance, Dr. Gardner immediately piped up with the idea that celebrating our collective differences can lead to better partnerships, better communication and ultimately better care for the pets we love.

It's true that the media (and by extension, we here in the veterinary media space) are abuzz with articles proclaiming the importance of wellness and self-care. Guilty as charged! And yet, we know that our Fetch dvm360 events are the perfect place for veterinary professionals to find that dose of inspiration they need to get through the next hard day.

Funny enough, Drs. Gardner and McVety even differ on their self-care tendencies. Dr. Gardner likes to unwind with a root beer, a Bravo TV show and some Oreos, while Dr. McVety is the exact opposite. Bravo show or not, they both return to practice feeling nurtured.

“No one should feel like they need to do XYZ to fit into what appears to be the best way to do things. I absolutely hate yoga and meditating, but that doesn't mean I'm not centered!” Dr. Gardner says.

And with the workload these two have, self-care and centeredness are super important. The pair cofounded Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, a nationwide network of over 100 passionate doctors and full-time interdisciplinary staff dedicated to making the end-of-life experience for pets, and the people who love them, as dignified and peaceful as possible. With a volunteer background in human hospice, Dr. McVety developed this model of care alongside Dr. Gardner, who brought her own knowledge of software management, design and marketing to the table.

In addition to inspiring through their contributions to veterinary medicine, Drs. Gardner and McVety strive to spread a message of hope to overworked, burned out and uninspired veterinary professionals.

“The idea of helping veterinarians feel inspired and not loathing their work, especially for students and recent grads, lights me up,” Dr. McVety says.

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