Top 5 Episodes from Veterinary Podcasts in 2020

Veterinary medicine is, as we're all reminded on a daily basis, a complex and ever-evolving world. Keeping up to date on industry trends, challenging your ideas, and continuing to grow are all critical aspects of being a successful practice manager. But, with everything else going on in 2020, who has time to research and execute on all those opportunities?

Free veterinary clinical podcasts have helped to fill the gap for me this year, allowing me to slip some learning into my daily routine, like when I'm driving in my car or waiting to pick up my kids. Here are five episodes that I really enjoyed and why I think you'll find them interesting.

1. The Cone of Shame: "Help! I think my cat just died!"

Dr. Andy Roark is one of my favorite speakers; he's down to earth and able to make his experiences directly relevant. In this podcast episode, part of his "How Do You Treat That?" segment, he taps into the expertise of registered veterinary technician David Liss to discuss treatment of a hypothermic and potentially DOA cat.

Why I liked it: I love the measured approach David brings — it's something every team needs to practice and master. Knowing how to stay calm in the face of such a critically ill patient can be the difference between life and death. There are several tips in here that I plan to use, enabling my teams to react more quickly and hopefully achieve better outcomes.

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2. VETgirl: Taking Care of Our Senior Geriatric Veterinary Patients

VETgirl is a fantastic resource to keep up to date with all things veterinary — whether you're looking for content for technicians, doctors, or support staff. Their passion for animals really comes through in this episode, where Amy Newfield, CVT, VTS (ECC) brings her extensive experience to the table to discuss the care of older pets.

Why I liked it: One of the things that drew me into veterinary medicine was a desire to extend the time we get with our pets, and that means taking geriatric care seriously. These are long-term family members that need to get the best care. In a busy clinic, it's easy to pass off the reticence of an older pet as them being grumpy, but taking time to think about their experience and challenges not only helps them, but can keep your team safe.

3. Clinician's Brief: How to Give Your Team a Raise With Denise Tumblin

This episode predates the COVID-19 crisis, but at least in my clinics, staff retention and motivation have become even more of a challenge. With wages rising across all sectors, we need to make sure that we are paying our teams fairly to compensate them for the work they do and the stresses they face. As an owner or manager, we have to walk the line between profitability and attracting, developing, and retaining the best team members.

Why I liked it: I love that the presenter, Denise Tumblin, CPA, lays out ways to capture extra revenue to offset the extra costs. Giving your team members great financial security while protecting your bottom line — what's not to like?

4. Free Wheelin' Veterinary Podcast: Tips to Help You Negotiate Successfully

Short on time and want something lighter? The free wheelin' podcasts contain short, snappy tips presented by Dr. Dave Nicol that can act as some mental floss. I've always thought of negotiation as one of those dangerous skills everyone thinks they have but that, in reality, present a real challenge. Getting a deal that everyone can live with while avoiding hard feelings isn't easy. In this episode, Dr. Nicol presents some ideas to help get you started and focused, while remembering that the other person at the table also has wants and needs.

Why I liked it: It's such a relief to know that the person I'm negotiating with has already put some thought into what a deal should look like. This episode will help you prepare for the next time you engage with a vendor or staff member with an eye toward building long-term, mutually respectful relationships.

5. Veterinary Viewfinder Podcast: TikTok Vets and 30-Second Pet Education

"Dr. Google" has been with us for years, and anyone that deals with clients daily has heard some of the wacky diagnoses that come in every week. In this podcast episode, Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT remind us that information spread by social media can be valuable but can also be the new front in disinformation.

Why I liked it: After listening to this episode, I realized that I haven't been taking social media seriously enough and that I need to stay connected with the news and concerns that are trending day to day. To enable my team to challenge incorrect assumptions in a way that is respectful to our clients, we need to know what our clients hear and prepare a consistent response. It's always going to be a game of whack-a-mole, but being prepared helps you provide the best service to your clients and care to your patients.

The recommendations above are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of IDEXX.

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Des Whittall
Practice Manager

Des Whittall is an owner and manager of two veterinary clinics and pet resorts in Texas. A software engineer by training, he worked with an investment bank for 13 years in roles ranging from technical support to business divestment, managing large international teams and complex vendor relationships. With his partner, he has grown the clinics and resorts and is focused on developing businesses that can provide high-quality medicine and development opportunities for their teams.

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