Sometimes, you just need to check in on your colleagues. Specifically, a great time to do so is during a global pandemic that is turning all sense of normalcy onto its head.
In the latest 7S Society podcast, “How are ya now?”, Dr. Adam, Danielle, Dr. Dan, and Dr. Cody do just that.
We’ll take a deeper look at:
- How everyone is right now! This pandemic looks different for everyone, but there’s also some common ground we can all agree on.
- Vet Med 2.0. What does veterinary medicine look like post-pandemic?
- Practice ownership. Is now a good time to dive in?
So, how are ya now?
Dr. Adam’s take:
It’s an odd thing not to be running 1,000 miles an hour when that’s what one is used to. For Dr. Adam, while his practice remains open, the pandemic is causing a slow in operations in general. Appointments need to be spaced out to accommodate proper social distancing, and things just ultimately take longer.
Regardless, it’s a great thing to see that clients are still coming in, some surgeries are still happening, and there is some sense of “normal” as far as that. But what isn’t happening? His practice is backing off of nail trimming, elective spay surgeries, some grooming, etc. For now, things are being prioritized.
Both family-wise and business-wise, we are being forced to see things through a different lens. We’re stopping to smell the roses, slowing our lives down, recognizing the value in our conversations, and rising to the occasion.
Dr. Adam’s overall vibe? We will rebound twice as strong from this, so there’s no reason not to remain optimistic.
Dr. Dan’s take:
Dr. Dan is currently running his practices from home, which obviously looks very different from the norm. Usually, Dr. Dan hits the road and spends a large majority of his time presenting and meeting with practice partners. So what does that look like when you’re forced to make it work from home? Lots and lots of zoom meetings, calls, etc. The workload is still very much there, it just has a new face, and it’s one that can only be seen through a computer screen. In fact, Dr. Dan schedules a Friday meeting to check in with his staff and make sure their mental well being is prioritized. Human connection is still very much possible virtually!
Dr. Dan touches on the “tale of two cities” within this pandemic, which is that some inner-city practices are taking a hit, while some suburban practices are booming with just as much business, if not more. It’s an important reminder that everyone is going to feel the effects of this differently, and the bounce back will look different as well.
Danielle, who’s used to working from home, brings up the point that there’s still a very distinct difference. Not being able to leave the house and have normal hobbies presents a new layer to the work-from-home life. When you don’t have the option to leave and hit up an exercise class, just, for example, it can be hard to step away from the workload. Normally, we have control of our own destiny, but we are taking a back seat to plan things out, as we won’t have that option right now.
Danielle also touches on the weird position many people are finding themselves in. There’s a weird sense of guilt associated with having the luxury to stay home, but we are also allowed to give ourselves a moment to say, “Hey, this is hard.” We should try our best not to compare situations, give ourselves a break, and be understanding of all aspects of this.
Also, if you are catering to a velcro dog during this pandemic, she sees you.
Dr. Cody’s take:
Dr. Cody, normally an avid public speaker, has had his schedule wiped out. Nonetheless, he recognizes how grateful he is to be able to weather this storm. While nothing is “normal,” he is lucky enough to be doing infinitely “okay,” even if the weather in Canada right now is less than desirable. It’s tough not to be able to do things outdoors with his family, but ultimately, everyone is okay, and that’s the main focus.
*He’s also still available to make an appearance as “guy with cow mask” on your next Zoom meeting if needed.*
Vet Med 2.0- Post Pandemic
What’s going to stick when this is all over?
This expert panel predicts that telemedicine is here to stay.
While some practices were utilizing telemedicine before the pandemic, those who were late to adapt to this practice are now on board. For some, it’s the only way they’re keeping their businesses afloat. It’s becoming evident that some people value the convenience of a quick video call, phone call, or two-way message regarding the health concerns of their pet. We will live in a world where we can monetize phone calls and zoom meetings moving forward.
While some clients and practices will ultimately revert back to how things were done before, this will stand as the tipping point for telemedicine and its place in veterinary practice.
Right now, there’s also a trust being strengthened between the client and doctor that will be invaluable once things return to a sense of normalcy. It’s a beautiful thing when a client has enough faith in their doctor to drop their animal off curbside and accept a diagnosis without an in-person conversation. Trust is so important, and this will only reinforce that.
Taking the dive into practice ownership… but now?
The heart of 7S Society is welcoming people into practice ownership. Is now a good time for this?
The consensus within this group is a big fat YES.
Not only are interest rates low, but there are going to be very unique opportunities available to young or new practice owners right now, including low construction costs, affordable real estate, and established practices taking on partnerships.
Danielle brings up the valid point that practice owners have a unique perspective to take from this situation. They now have an inside look at the “worst-case scenario” and how people are adapting. With telemedicine and work-from-home options in place, new practice owners can incorporate those things into their practice from the beginning, which will leave them at a level of preparedness most have not experienced.
Regardless of practice ownership, young vet med professionals should NOT be afraid to pursue the kind of work relationships they want. Mentorship is so important when starting out, and there may be a fear of a lack of jobs right now. The jobs are there, and it’s important not to compromise who you want to work with due to a temporary situation.
Wrap it up.
The takeaway from these four knowledgeable veterinary medicine professionals is that the future ultimately looks bright.
During the pandemic, people are utilizing this time to bring new pets into the home. Guess what? They’ll all need vet care moving forward! So there’s no reason to believe we won’t come out of this stronger and more resilient.
The world is showing us that when something happens, we adapt. We change. We evolve.