Veterinary Viewfinder Podcast
Summary: Weekly podcast dedicated to "tackling the toughest topics in veterinary medicine." Hosted by veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward and registered veterinary technician Beckie Mossor. Candid, irreverent, provocative, educational, and occasionally funny conversations about issues that impact the veterinary profession. Non-stop since 2016.
The Washington State Veterinary Board of Governors (WSVBG) recently voted to approve a private veterinary practice’s proposal to establish a self-serving apprenticeship program as an alternative pathway to licensure as a Veterinary Technician in the state. The Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians (WSAVT), NAVTA, AVMA, and several other veterinary groups opposed the change. This week we have two leaders from the WSAVT, Ryan Frazier, BS, LVT, and Ashley Byrne, LVT, to bring the Viewfinders up to speed and explain why this matters to everyone in veterinary medicine. Host Dr. Ernie Ward is flying solo this week as co-host Beckie Mossor, RVT, is traveling. Ashly, Ryan, and Dr. Ward have a spirited discussion on how this change occurred, what the nationwide implications could be, and what happens next. Viewfinders, this legal change could prove significant if enacted in other states. Thank you to Ryan and Ashley for sharing their concerns with the Veterinary Viewfinders! I encourage you to share this conversation with your state’s veterinarian and veterinary technician leaders. To learn the latest news on this issue, visit https://www.wsavt.org/news.
The holidays are here! And that means the stress many veterinary professionals feel is climbing faster than Old Saint Nick on his sleigh Christmas Eve! But it's not too late to prepare your clients and team and avoid some holiday stress. We've got a checklist of the top things you should do in your clinic before Thanksgiving! Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT, share their most significant concerns (fears, anxieties, worries, you get it) about the 2022 holiday season. Dr. Ward worries that a "perfect storm of staff shortages, pet parent demands, and lack of emergency care" could brew a stress storm like never before. Beckie agrees. But more. Our duo dish on simple ways to get ahead of stressful interactions by deploying a client communication strategy. Beckie reveals her top tips to educate clients "before that Schnauzer's annual bout of pancreatitis strikes." You may want to jot some of these down (or at least ask your veterinary practice manager to do it). Viewfinders, are you worried about this holiday season in your vet clinic? Are you short-staffed? Do clients seem short-tempered? Share your thoughts and experiences on our social media! If you have questions or topics, email us at email@example.com.
It’s the holidays! If you’re like most veterinary clinics, clients will begin showering you with love - and gifts - very soon! But what happens when those well-intentioned gifts carry unexpected consequences? What about holiday tipping, homemade food, and a host of other seemingly innocent gestures that can cause division (or food-borne illness) in your clinic? Viewfinders, get ready for a conversation about holidays in vet med that rarely gets spoken out loud! Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT, start with how to handle “special favors” and tips for nail trims, grooming, and baths. As pet parents scramble to fluff up Fido for holiday parties, they may go to great lengths to, as Dr. Ward puts it, “jump to the front of the line.” Beckie questions the safety of accepting “ a bowl of potato salad,” and why we should be extra-vigilant about food-borne illness during the holidays. Joint: we’re already short-staffed. Did Susie wash her hands? Did Billy double-dip? Keeping it real. And finally, how do we ensure our team distributes gifts equally? What happens when that box of cookies “gets crushed while we were doing a two-hour emergency surgery? Nobody cared to save us any!?” Beckie speaks from experience. Viewfinders, take these questions to heart and discuss them with your team before the E. coli outbreak takes you out. Happy holidays!
We often talk about the alleged importance and benefits of exit interviews in the veterinary profession. But what happens when an exit interview turns into a slug-fest? Do you really get truthful information? This week we discuss the pros and cons, risks and benefits of exit interviews, and whether you should even bother in 2022. Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT share a recent question Dr. Ward received from a young associate who “spent an hour getting my @$$ kicked in an exit interview.” The duo discusses all things interview exit and when it makes sense - and when it doesn’t. Viewfinders, this is one of those topics that typically only gets briefly mentioned in practice management and rarely gets scrutinized. We believe there’s something for everyone in this podcast. Share with your colleagues - and management.
Each holiday season, many of our veterinary colleagues endure financial hardships. Over the past few years, these challenges have been complicated by the pandemic and inflation. That’s why three licensed veterinary technicians, Beckie Mossor, Crystal Vaquero, and Lily Preston started The Veterinary Industry Giving Tree, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterinary professionals in need. Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT, discuss the origin and mission of the Veterinary Industry Giving Tree, and how you can help. About The Veterinary Industry Giving Tree: Our Mission: To provide financial assistance to veterinary professionals & their families during difficult times. Our Vision: To build a reliable source of financial assistance to aid industry members in relieving stress for holidays and special occasions and improve our colleagues' quality of life. Our Values: * Anonymity * Open-mindedness * Philanthropy Website: https://www.veterinarygivingtree.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/682336046035250 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/veterinaryindustrygivingtree/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week is October 16-22, 2022. This week we celebrate our amazing licensed veterinary technicians! The “backbone,” “heart,” or “insert organ system of your choice here” of veterinary medicine! Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT, take time this week to talk about the invaluable contributions veterinary technicians make to the veterinary profession. Our hosts share tips on how you can recognize your vet techs, why they deserve a whole year of celebrations, and how to attract more great folks to the vet tech profession. The pair also discuss their views on “resilience” and some of its associated risks as this year’s theme. Viewfinders, we hope you’ll take time to do something special for your vet techs from October 16-22, 2022. If you do, please share it on our Instagram or Facebook pages! If you have questions or ideas for future podcasts, email us at email@example.com.
Veterinary colleagues, we need your help with the 2022 US Pet Obesity Prevalence Survey! Sign up today at PetObesityPrevention.org. This week hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT discuss how veterinary professionals can help gather information on pet obesity rates in the US this October. The duo discusses findings from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) 2021 Pet Owner Weight Management, Nutrition, and Pet Food Survey, including current pet parent attitudes on grain-free diets, DCM, best sources of pet food information, and much more! We need your help with this year’s survey. Our primary goal is to enroll as many veterinary clinics and professionals to collect BCS and body weight information. In addition, we ask that you share the Pet Owner Survey on your social media to help us better understand contemporary attitudes and opinions on pet weight loss, food, and how we can better help pets achieve (and maintain) a healthy body condition. PRIZES! Did we mention prizes? The veterinary professional that submits the most pet data will win a YETI COOLER! The clinic that submits the most pets will receive an IPAD! We’ll also give away several prizes to random participants, including BASEPAWS GENETICS TEST KITS! Stay tuned to APOP’s Instagram and Facebook for additional details and prizes! Be sure to sign up by October 12!
“Acting your wage” is the latest social media, well, TikTok, trend to hit the US workplace. Gen Z’ers have taken “quiet quitting” and defined it in their terms. Bonus, there’s also taking a “workcation” popping up on feeds everywhere. Viewfinders, you don’t want to miss this one! Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT, explore what “act your wage” means for veterinary practices, the root causes of these issues, and changes you can make in your management and leadership styles to help. Viewfinders, these trends are primarily in response to chronic low wages and benefits, poor or toxic workplace cultures, and managers more focused on profits than people. There’s a lot to discuss on this topic, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a DM on our socials. While you’re at it, please click on the Apple Podcasts link and drop us a 5-star to keep our little podcast growing! Thanks, and we’ll talk to you next week!
Have you ever worked in a veterinary clinic that split vaccine dosages? What about recommending half-dose heartworm or flea preventives? Ever stray so far off label that you felt uncomfortable? If you’ve ever encountered one of these dilemmas, you don’t want to miss this episode! (Although you may need to turn the volume down, so your boss doesn’t hear.) Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT, share real-life stories of vet practices that may have pushed a little too far beyond the scientific and moral boundaries of veterinary care. Importantly, the pair discuss the impact of observing these uncomfortable acts on our mental health and physical well-being. In fact, they speculate these “tiny tensions” are a major contributor to veterinary burnout. Our hosts offer practical, although potentially painful, advice for anyone seeking to “stand up against” a questionable clinic protocol or practice. Viewfinders, this is yet another good discussion of a complex - and confounding - problem in veterinary medicine. It’s a good one!
With the fall veterinary CE season ramping up, we thought we’d discuss what to wear and how to act at CE events. Yes, we had to go there. Listen and you’ll learn why. Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT share some of their tales of attire and attitudes at the scores of vet med events they’ve attended. From flip flops and tank tops, to feet propped up on chairs, to lecture hall Candy Crush marathons, our duo dish on some of the more interesting personal choices they’ve observed, and why it matters. Viewfinders, this conversation is about much more than the clothes we wear at CE events. It’s about our attitudes and behaviors and getting the most out of our precious educational opportunities. This is an episode you really need to listen to before you comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what to wear (or not) to CE and what behaviors you think are a distraction (or helpful!). Thanks for listening!
Feedback: everyone needs it to improve. But what happens when we get unexpected negative feedback? How can veterinary professionals separate “context from content” and learn the valuable lessons nearly any form of feedback offers? For a “profession of perfectionists,” there’s a lot to discuss in this episode! Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT, start by defining what valid feedback looks like in veterinary practice. From there, they review why nearly any form of feedback can be beneficial for your professional (and perhaps personal) growth, why your network is essential in evaluating feedback, and how to remain in control, even when you don’t like what, or how, feedback is being delivered. Viewfinders, there’s a lot to consider in this podcast that transcends “feedback.” We’d love to hear your thoughts! And we’d appreciate you giving us feedback over on Apple Podcasts by pressing the 5-stars! Your review really helps us reach more of our colleagues!
“Quiet quitting” has gone viral. This week we examine what “quiet quitting” really means, how it’s actually been around for a long time (thank you, Gen Xers), and how you can learn from this workplace trend. In our 300th consecutive weekly episode (!), hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT discuss the latest Gen Z TikTok trend of “quiet quitting.” The pair explain how this applies to veterinary professionals, and why this may be a healthy movement. Dr. Ward reminds the Viewfinders that, “You are not defined by how many hours you work.” He shares why establishing healthy boundaries between work and personal life are essential for a long - and satisfying - career in veterinary medicine. (And he’s been doing this for over 30 years.) Beckie examines the workplace pressures many veterinary professionals feel if they “take time for themselves” and how many clinics may be reinforcing toxic relationships with work by “texting you at 2 a.m. to ask about work" and then getting upset if you don't respond immediately. Someone needed to hear that... Viewfinders, thank you for allowing us to get to 300 podcasts! Back in 2016 when we started, we could not imagine how much we’d grow and how much fun we’d be having! Share this podcast with a colleague who needs to hear it and don’t forget to head over to Apple Podcasts and give us a 5-star review so we can reach more veterinary professionals! Email: email@example.com
Many of us see things that need changing or improving nearly every day. Sadly, few of us take action to make those changes or improvements. Stefanie Perry, CVT, VTS (Dentistry) recognized that Arizona veterinary technicians didn’t have an organization, so she and two others decided to make that change! This week, we learn how you can help the AZVTA and steps you can take to make changes in your world! Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT are thrilled to introduce you to Stefanie Perry, CVT, VTS, the current President of the brand new Arizona Veterinary Technician Association (azvta.org). She’s part of a growing movement of licensed veterinary technicians who are establishing protections and promoting better standards of veterinary care around the US. Regardless of where you live, this episode is both inspiring and pragmatic for making change. We need more folks like Stefanie, President-Elect Jennifer Serling, CVT, RVT, VTES, AAS, BVSc (Go App State!), and Vice President Katie Foust, CVT! Bravo! If you’re interested in learning more about the AZVTA, visit them at azvta.org.
What’s the latest news on the unionization movement in US veterinary clinics? What is a union and how can forming them help veterinary professionals preserve the best aspects of their jobs while improving many of the worst conditions? This week we welcome back vet tech extraordinaire Liz Hughston MEd, RVT, CVT, LVT, LMVT, VTS (SAIM) (ECC) to share the latest developments on veterinary professionals’ unionization. Viewfinders, hold on to your seat…this is one fast-paced ride! Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT explore the reasons why unions make sense in veterinary practice, why the continued expansion of corporate practice ownership makes them even more important, and the steps you can take if you’re interested in forming a union in your place of work. Beckie and Liz detour into what (or not) vet med organizations such as the AVMA and NAVTA should be doing (or not) when it comes to educating veterinary professionals about collective bargaining. Our trio also discusses what information is (and isn’t) being shared with our colleagues from our professional groups. They also offer advice on how our associations and agencies can be more transparent and inclusive when it comes to offering a variety of opinions and strategies for change. Viewfinders, this is another impactful conversation that covers a lot of essential topics. Share your thoughts with us on our social media challenge or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org For more information on veterinary unions, check out these links: http://www.natvpu.org/ https://www.instagram.com/nvpunion/ https://www.facebook.com/NationalVeterinaryProfessionalsUnion email@example.com
Do you throw a party when a team member leaves? What about birthdays or work anniversaries? How do you make celebrating employees fair and equitable? Does it sometimes feel like high school all over again in terms of who gets recognized, how, and when? If you’ve ever felt unsure about what, who, and how to recognize your team’s special events (and some maybe not so special happenings), then you’ll definitely want to check out this week’s Veterinary Viewfinder! Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT explore how to gracefully - and strategically - celebrate a team member’s leaving. Dr. Ward explains why many veterinary clinics don’t commemorate when a staff member leaves for a competing practice across town, but are quick to “throw a party” when they move across state. Beckie details how saluting staff for a wide variety of milestones can boost your culture and encourage job satisfaction. Both hosts offer simple, and affordable, tips on making meaningful staff recognitions and advice on keeping things fair. Viewfinders, share your thoughts on this episode or suggestions for additional topics on your social media or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.