We mean business: Top 10 stories of 2015


Were rounding up the hottest market trends and industry issues of 2015 so you can kick off this year informed and empowered.

We're calling it: 2015 was the year of transparency in veterinary medicine. Not that you had anything to hide in years past, but 2015? 2015 was different. You were vocal about the issues affecting your life and your practice, and it spurred us into action. Veterinary Economics and the business channel on dvm360.com focused on covering the emotional side of veterinary medicine, and the response? A resounding “More, please.” Articles on regrets, frustration with clients, and raw, honest admissions about life in practice were some of our most highly trafficked pieces of 2015-and it was as if a barrier of silence was broken. So let's take a look back and then move forward, empowered. (Click on each headline to read the entire story.)

1. Veterinary medicine's top 10 regrets

Data from the 2015 Veterinary Economics Career and Family Survey shows that in general veterinarians are happy with where they are in their lives, with 59 percent responding yes when asked, “Are you happy with how your life has turned out to this point?” Five percent replied no, and 36 percent said yes and no. But there are still things that you'd change. We tallied up everything our respondents said they wish they'd done differently.



2. I'm a veterinarian-not a superhero

In this hot-button piece, Dean Scott, DVM, offers an unapologetic objection to the veterinary profession's seemingly obligatory requirements to work long hours, be the good guy or care more about pets than their owners. He calls for “a paradigm shift in practice,” wherein veterinarians learn to set boundaries for their time and get over the “good guy” complex.  



3. 10 things you must do on a veterinary team member's first day

Melissa Tompkins, BS, CVPM, offers her expert advice on how to handle a first day-when it's not your own. Her first rule of first days? Don't throw them in and hope they swim. After all, well-trained team members are happier and more productive, plus, they stay in their positions longer (hooray for no turnover!). 



4. 6 reasons why the proposed Fairness to Pet Owners Act fails veterinary patients, practices

Part open letter to Congress, part editorial, and a whole lot of passion make up this piece by Bash Halow, LVT, CVPM. In it, he reminds veterinary professionals that “any legislation that drives animal healthcare away from our profession, grows big business, weakens small business and erodes opportunities to improve care isn't fair. It's folly.” 


5. Top 5 client complaints and why they ditched their veterinarians

Veteinary Economics called on the experts-Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA, and owner of PantheraT Veterinary Consulting, Sheila Grosdidier, RVT, consultant with VMC Inc., and Sharon DeNayer, Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and practice manager of Windsor Veterinary Clinic-to guide veterinary teams through a few responses received after Veterinary Economics surveyed pet owners to ask why they left their veterinary practices. Think these scenarios could never happen at your clinic? Felsted says don't be too sure.



6. Kindergarten life: All I really need to know about veterinary medicine I learned in kindergarten

Let's take it back ... way back. It's been 26 years since Robert Fulghum wrote the bestselling All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, a look at childhood lessons that stay true in adulthood. It's past time for the veterinary school edition, courtesy of Michael Nappier, DVM, DABVP, and based on the timeless lessons he sees students at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine model for him year in, year out ...


7. When pet owners just make you sigh ...

As veterinarians and veterinary team members, your love for pets and clients is legendary, but sometimes you need to blow off steam so you can get back to being your normal, compassionate self behind the veterinary practice front desk, in the exam room or rocking the treatment area. We plucked the best bits of venting from Twitter feed @eyerollatthevet about the clients you (mostly) love.



8. To save a puppy

And now for the tearjerker on the list: Contributor Andrew Rollo, DVM, penned a personal story of the race to save a dog found abandoned in a freezing cold dumpster. It's one of a million reminders every day that veterinarians have to charge for their services to keep the doors open, but very few are “in it for the money.” 


9. Smart moves to declutter, prettify your practice

And because veterinarians are nothing if not practical: Advice from longtime hospital design contributor Dan Chapel, AIA, NCARB, on the back-room touch ups that can make all the difference in your hospital's function and appearance. 


And last but not least:

10. Veterinary happiness: Do you fit the profile?

And finally, even more on happiness. After combing through the responses regarding the personal decisions of veterinarians who participated in the 2015 Veterinary Economics Career and Family Survey, we established two profiles based on those who answered if they were happy-or unhappy-with their life at this point. Some traits in relation to happiness aren't surprising (hey, no debt? Keep walking). Others, though, might hit closer to home. You may even recognize yourself-we hope in the happy profile-or maybe you recognize the young associate in the break room staring blankly at yet another bologna sandwich. Bottom line: Good or bad you're not alone. Here you can read more about the emotional pressures veterinarians are highly susceptible to and experiencing in veterinary medicine today-and what you can do about them. 

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