What it takes to get fired from her veterinary practice

May 11, 2018
Karen Bradley, DVM

Dr. Karen Bradley is co-owner of Onion River Animal Hospital in Middlesex, Vermont. She has given many years of volunteer service to the Vermont VMA and AVMA and was one of the founding members of the Women's Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI), serving as its president from 2013-2015. Dr. Bradley lives in Montpellier, Vermont, with her husband, daughters and pets.

It's gotta be a serious violation, says Dr. Karen Bradley. Where does the fault lie with most of these problems? Poor training and coaching. Fix that first!

If your clinic is anything like Onion River Animal Hospital in Middlesex, Vermont, it takes a clearly defined screw-up for an employee to be fired. Hospital co-owner-and Fetch dvm360 conference speaker-Karen Bradley, DVM, says, "It would basically take a violation of one of our policies."

Dr. Bradley says she's lucky in that rarely does Onion River have to dismiss an employee-a scenario she attributes to depth and specificity of training.

"What we try to do the most is a lot of one-on-one coaching," she says.

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But there may be cases where no infraction has occurred, yet an unproductive or toxic employee remains on staff-"sort of that poisoned staff person who can change the shape of a day, change an interaction into a negative one with a client," Dr. Bradley says.

Even in those cases, she says there's hope before it leads to termination. It takes clarity of training and personal attention, the likes of which is administered by Onion River's manager, a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager.

"She works really hard to sit down and review with them the inconsistencies and get them training they need," Dr. Bradley says.

Watch the video for more.

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