Episode 127 | The Corporate Divide in Vet Med: True Threat or Fabricated Foe?

Corporate veterinary practice is a common villain of choice for veterinary professionals… especially those who have had a bad experience working for a corporation.

The commiseration around bad corporate experiences is wide-spread, often showing up as attacks on the organizations themselves, and the veterinary professionals who elect to work there.

But why?

Is corporate veterinary medicine a true threat to our profession, or is it just a fabricated “flavor of the day” foe we use to absolve ourselves from responsibility over our own wellbeing?

Veterinary professionals have a long history of “us versus them” mentality. It shows up with our clients, among our colleagues, between private hospitals, and now includes corporate entities as well.

But why?

It’s because we work in a high pressure career as a group of highly compassionate people, and when we recognized we are unhappy, stressed out and full of anxiety we look for something to blame simply because we have not been taught that the external circumstances are not responsible for our emotional experience of them.

Our world teaches us from a very early age that experiencing negative emotion means something is going wrong so something must be fixed before we can feel better.

Neuroscientifically speaking, that’s not accurate or true. 

What’s worse, staying in this perspective gives all of our power away. It eliminates the ability to choose differently for ourselves. It fosters hopelessness and despair. It provides no path to happiness or peace.

What is true is that the practice of veterinary medicine is ever-evolving, as is the market of veterinary business and the personal needs and desires of veterinary professionals. 

What is also true is we always get to decide. We don’t need someone or something to be wrong in order to make the right decisions for ourselves.

In this episode I share about the Corporate Divide and explain why it more important than ever to create our individual emotional wellbeing and thrive in our lives and careers.



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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos.

Hi there. I'm Dr. Cari Wise, veterinarian, certified life coach and certified quantum human design specialist. If you're a veterinary professional looking to uplevel your life and your career or maybe looking to go in an entirely new direction, then what I talk about here on the joyful DVM podcast is absolutely for you. Let's get started. Hello my friend.

Welcome back to the joyful DVM podcast. Today we are going to dig into one of the most controversial concepts in topics in veterinary medicine, and that is corporate veterinary medicine. So I've titled this episode The Corporate Divide, true Threat or Fabricated Foe. And by the time we get to the end, I hope that your perspective has been broadened when it comes to corporate medicine and that ultimately you decide for yourself what you wanna believe.

Now, I don't have any skin in the game when it comes to pro or con corporate medicine, but I do think that for all of us to pick a side, if you will, or at least to have an opinion, we should be educated about a few different aspects that aren't often talked about. And I'm gonna explain why that is as we go through.

Now, when it comes to veterinary medicine, veterinary clinics attacking each other is old news. It is something that has been going on for generations. It's not something that's new and it's something that is really kind of embedded within our culture. I'm not saying that this is a good thing, I'm not saying that at all, but for me it was a surprising thing I guess.

And as I think back to when I first became aware that this was even a thing, it would have to have been right after I got outta high school. Now, some of you know already that my dad was a veterinarian, so I literally grew up in veterinary medicine. He was a solo doctor in a mixed animal practice in a small town and he,

you know, 24 7 emergency, the whole nine yards. But he wasn't the only veterinary hospital in our town. We had three different veterinarians growing up. I was aware that there were three other, or two other veterinarians, so three total, total in our small town of under 20,000 people. So I knew that that was, that they existed, but beyond that,

there really wasn't any conversation about them. So talking about what they were doing or the clients they were serving or any of that kind of stuff just was never part of the conversation of topics in my household. And even when I went to college and then was working with my dad and his practice when I was an undergrad, that still wasn't a thing. Periodically we might have clients who had been to one of the other vets,

but even then, even when the clients wanted to be offended or wanted to bash another veterinarian, my dad just never engaged. Now that was a very different experience than what I had myself. Once I actually got out into veterinary practice and began practicing on my own in a different town. Now I said that my first awareness about this kind of attack or this animosity,

if you will, between veterinary clinics is something that I became aware of after I got outta high school. And what happened was that I was actually at a social event with a man, a kid, I guess a, a young man who I'd gone to high school with. So I'd known for years and years and years, but we were a social event and he was there and we were just chatting and he made a comment about how was it,

he said that about like, like communing with the enemy or something like that. And I just looked at him really funny cuz he was talking like we were just like hanging out, chatting. And he made that comment about like, just like hanging out with the enemy or something. And I was very curious about that and I, I had a puzzled look on my face,

I'm sure he said, well you know, because your dad's a vet and my dad's a vet. And I was like, oh. So that was like the first time I realized that there was this potential for animosity between veterinary hospitals. And I wasn't aware of that from the perspective that I had in my household, but then I became aware of it when another,

you know, somebody very similar in age to me, just a year older than me, shared the experience that they had. So to consider me kind of the enemy was the phrase that he used. I was like, wow, that's interesting because I hadn't experienced that before. Now let's fast forward to when I actually opened up my own veterinary practice in a totally different town,

actually in a totally different state. I was stunned at the animosity among veterinarians in that area when I came into the area and I opened up, it was the first one to open up a new shop in that area and probably over 20 years and when I opened up, I actually invited all of the other veterinarians within about a 25 mile radius to an open house.

And only one came, only one. And I was a little bit surprised by that quite honestly. You know, I thought that we would have more camaraderie and what I learned was that there had been a falling out between those hospitals in the years prior, probably 10 years prior, so badly that they wouldn't interact with each other at all. That at one point they had even many of those hospitals had even shared emergency service together.

And it became so contentious when they would come together and talk about cases that it really just, it completely fell apart. There was a lot of attacking each other, a lot of blaming each other for case outcomes, a lot of accusing each other for stealing clients. And ultimately that's what led to the complete just collapse of this shared emergency service and the camaraderie that these clinics had attempted to have in the region.

Of course I was aware of none of that is very naive. I was at that point, not even 30 years old and I just kinda stepped right into this big turmoil that I didn't even know existed. But once I was aware of it, you know, you gotta love the brain and the way the articular activating system works to bring into your conscious awareness that which you've paid attention to.

I began to notice how true that was and I was able to see that through interactions with a lot of support staff who had worked at multiple hospitals and definitely with clients as well. Now I bring all of this up because this whole us against them mis mentality is not new in veterinary medicine. It seems like for as long as veterinary medicine has existed, at least in my own world,

in my own mind, in my own experience, there has always been something that veterinary professionals are fighting against. And if it's not each other, then it's the clients or it's, you know, some other big thing, some regulation, whatever it might be. And so now as corporate medicine is becoming more and more pronounced, more and more frequent in our profession,

it's no surprise to me that they've become like the big scary thing that everybody's fighting against. If we've always gotta be attacking something, why not attack the thing that seems to be the newest? Because as soon as it's unfamiliar, our brain is automatically going to be scared of it. That's just the way the brain works, unfamiliar brings with it a potential threat.

And so we must fight back against it because surely it's out to get us. And we have looked at corporate, corporate medicine as a collective in much the same way as we look at the history of corporate medicine, there were initially a few main players and some of those organizations didn't necessarily create the best experience for the veterinary professionals or even the clients. And I think some of those corporations would even own up to that.

But we're talking about organizations and situations that are well over a decade old and in many cases 20 years old by now. Things have changed a lot since then. And like anything else, we have to remember that veterinary medicine is always evolving. This profession is always changing just like the rest of the world. And so what we have to remember is that the market today for veterinary services and the demographics of veterinary professionals is vastly different than what it was 50 years ago.

Vastly different than what it was 75 years ago, a hundred years ago. And as that has changed, as the market has changed and as the demographic of veterinary professionals has changed, what has also changed is the pet ownership and what we are able to do for companion animals compared to what we were able to do for companion animals 50 years ago. The technology is more advanced,

the medicine is more advanced, we just know more and so we can do more, but as we've learned to, we know more and we can do more. We've also, because our demographic has shifted together, this, if we wanted to continue to try to practice veterinary medicine in the way that it, it was historically set up, which was, you know,

single doctor practices or one or two doctor practices, private practice, maybe you know, up to three, if we're thinking like 50 years ago, three, four vets still a single entity, a single location continuing to try to do it that way. In this world, those things don't ju work out quite the same way. It's just not the same environment anymore.

On the one hand, we have to look at things like pay and the ability to provide benefits and the kinds of schedule flexibility that people who work in veterinary medicine want. If we go back to the days of a solo practitioner, you're looking at working five or six days a week in most cases. If you're looking at a traditional solo doctor practice, those practices were open six days a week,

usually Monday through Friday and half a day on Saturday. Those practices were also taking care of their own emergency. So those practitioners were on call 24 7 and the amount of money that they made was nowhere near what is possible to make from a salary perspective or to charge from a business perspective. Today it was a completely different ballgame. What the clients expected in return was also vastly different.

You have to remember that companion animal medicine really began as a bit of an offshoot from what was primarily livestock medicine. So it wasn't all about cats and dogs and pocket pets back then, right? It was about livestock, it was about horses and the companion animals as that became more and more common than what we could provide for them. And from a medical perspective also changed.

And medicine has continued to evolve. So the pay, the benefits and the schedules of work very different than what people want today. In addition to that, the opportunity to move up within a job, people want that today. There really wasn't a lot of opportunity to move up within an organization of veterinary medicine. Back then. You were either the doctor or you weren't.

And so if you were support staff, maybe you were in a position where you could become a manager of a hospital. But beyond that, unless you decided to go back and go to veterinary school, there really wasn't any other opportunity for you to, to increase your role in the profession and for the doctors themselves. If you were an owner, that was kind of the top of the line.

If you ended up having then associates, then you might be the manager over those associates and then eventually as that whole idea progressed, then maybe you had a satellite clinic. So that is something that we have seen that really started, you know, probably in the last 30 or 40 years and in the last 20 for sure has continued to be a thing.

But beyond that, again, it was very limited to what you could do. And as the, the business itself changed, so the clients that we serve changed the, the demand for companion animal medicine at a higher level evolved. And then the demographic of the veterinary professionals changed also from a male dominated profession to a female dominated profession. What the veterinary professionals themselves wanted from a quality of life perspective also changed the number of people who want to own their own veterinary hospitals today is a drastically,

drastically, drastically different percentage than what it was 50 years ago. And so if we look at all these hospitals then that were solo doctor hospitals or maybe one or two doctor hospitals and the people who originally started those hospitals have gone into their retirement years and their associates don't want to buy the practice, then where is the practice left to go? The, the truth is that corporations want to buy practices and corp,

not all corporations are the same. So let's be really clear here, not every corporation is created equally. Some of these corporations are buying groups, right? They're just, they're, they're pulling resources together to really centralize some of the management and financial aspects of owning a hospital and letting the medicine happen at the ground level. Some other organizations, some corporations,

they're a little bit more structured, they've been around longer, they have more policies and procedures and all kinds of resources and this is where the earliest corporate practices really got a bad rap because of this, you know, little phrase we love to use called cookbook medicine where the belief was that there was an expectation that you had to do things a certain way.

Now I can't kind of move forward from this point without at least reminding all of us, any one of you out there listening to this who is a veterinary professional, that it's not legal for anybody to tell you how to do your job. If you take a look at the practice acts, the decisions in medical care are yours. As an individual doctor,

nobody can tell you how to do your job. And so the o opportunity to practice what is has been kind of dubbed autonomous medicine is something that's always available to you no matter where you work, no matter where you work. So keep that in mind. The idea that you have to do it a particular way or you will be reprimanded is something that should always be questioned and that's whether you work at a private practice or you work in a corporate practice.

But all that being said and done as these solo doctor or practices, these privately owned practices, probably a better way for me to put it, privately owned practices. As those owners got to their retirement years and are continuing to get to their retirement years, there are fewer and fewer people who are interested in buying those practices. So what are they to do?

Are they just a close up shop? Many of them do, and especially in the culture that we have in veterinary medicine where we shame anybody who considers selling to corporate or we think people who sell to corporate are are selling out or they're making a bad decision or they're ruining veterinary medicine. Here comes that judgment again, this need to attack each other. But my friends,

many of the people screaming the loudest about the atrocity that is corporate veterinary medicine have zero interest in owning their own practice. So tell me, what is the solution if ultimately veterinary medicine exists so we can serve clients and treat patients, but nobody wants to own the facilities and the organizations in which we have the ability to serve clients and treat patients, then how on earth are we ever going to fulfill that mission?

I think there's room for both. I think that as medicine has evolved, as the companion animal market has exploded, as more people own companion animals today than ever before in history, we have to come up with a different way to practice medicine. And it's when we get tied to the way that it was and we believe that something different is automatically bad,

that we just then nurture this discord within veterinary medicine that has been around for generations. We do exactly the thing that we are constantly blaming clients for. How often do you feel offended when a client says you're only in it for the money, you don't care about the animals? Of course you're offended, you feel offended, you feel defensive, they don't understand.

That's not my motive, but friends, do you recognize that for a lot of us, that's exactly what we say about corporations, that they're only in it for the money, that they don't care about the people, they don't care about the animals. Do we even actually know that? I would say that it's unlikely that the people who are in veterinary medicine at whatever level are in it only for the money.

Now, I'm not gonna say that there aren't some people out there that are because there are at every single level and in every single type of veterinary medicine organization, there definitely are, but the vast majority of us are not. And just because we're trying to figure out a different way, a more sustainable way to serve the maximum number of people possible and give the people who are ready to retire an opportunity to retire and recoup some of their investment that they've put into their hospitals when there is nobody at a private level who wants to purchase them,

that does not mean we should villainize those people who choose to sell to corporate or that we should villainize the people who choose to work for corporate. There are a lot of benefits to working for a corporate veterinary hospital, and it's true when it comes to things like pay and benefits and schedule. Some private hospitals just cannot compete with what a corporate hospital can offer,

at least not in regard to that. But there are other ways that private hospitals absolutely can compete and they do. We have to not look at this as this, again, like one against the other them against us kind of situation. Instead, we need to look at how the market actually demands and has room for both. I know this is true because we continue to see more and more corporate hospitals and as we see more and more corporately owned hospitals that continue to function,

we have to be able to notice that the only reason they stay open is because there are clients going there for services. So somebody wants the services that they provide. That does not mean that they're taking the services away from private hospitals. And this is where we miss the boat. This is the exact same them against us mentality that drove privately hos owned hospitals to attack each other,

that continues to drive even privately owned hospitals to attack each other. There's a fear underneath there, it's a scarcity that there's not enough to go around. And my friends, there is plenty to go around. I've always said that when you practice good medicine, the money will come and I will believe that till the day that I die. And I think that practicing good medicine means that you practice medicine in a way that is aligned and right for you,

that you provide the services that you want to provide and that you do it at your highest level possible. And that the clients who want that kind of service, they're gonna be attracted to you, they're gonna come to your hospital, they're gonna be loyal clients and they're gonna stay with you as long as you're open. I think that you can develop those exact kinds of relationships no matter what kind of organization you work with.

You can absolutely create those kinds of relationships in a private hospital. You can create those kinds of relationships as an associate in a large private hospital with 10 or 15 or 25 doctors and you can create those kinds of relationships within a corporately owned organization. It all ultimately comes down to relationships. And with, in this time in veterinary medicine, there has just never been a greater opportunity to really focus in on what it is that you want to spend your time doing.

This is one of the things that we forget when we think about the way that veterinary medicine has changed. Back 50 years ago, there really wasn't an option to say, you know what, I don't wanna do orthopedics because you might have been the only veterinarian for miles and miles around who could see an animal. There wasn't an opportunity to take an animal to a specialty clinic or to another hospital that dealt with orthopedics.

It was just expected that you would do everything. And it was just different back then because the what we could do, just using orthopedics again as our example, what we could do for an orthopedic standpoint was very different than what can be done today. You go back 50, 75 years, they probably weren't doing total hip replacements in dogs, but today they are.

And today it has become kind of a medical standard that we offer that option when the case is appropriate for it. And you know, many places will do that in house and many places will refer on and that's a completely different way of approaching these cases than 50 or 75 years ago. That's just one little example. We can look at the way that we treat cancer today as opposed to 50 or 75 years ago.

We can look at the way that we approach vaccinations. I mean it's all so different and as it's evolved as what we can do has expanded our capacity to do all of it has really decreased. It's not that there's anything wrong with us, let me be very clear. It's not that you're a bad vet, it's just that the capacity of what is required of a veterinarian,

what is I always say, required the capacity of what is available for a veterinary veterinary doctor, for a veterinarian to do as part of their job has expanded and it is expanded beyond what is really sustainable for a single doctor to do in a single practice. There is a need for these things to be kind of disseminated, I guess pulled apart, like for us to really spread that workload out.

And part of the way that we can do that is focusing on what we want to do and then referring out or partnering with others on the part that we don't. At the end of the day, when we look at all the different types of veterinary hospitals that are out there and all of them have clients that can just show us that there is demand.

We don't have to have a scarcity mentality. Scarcity mentality is a taught condition behavior that there's not enough to go around that if one is thriving, another must suffer my friends. That is never true. But if that's what we expect in any aspect of our lives, including our veterinary careers, then that is exactly what we will create for ourselves. When it all comes down to it,

we have to ask ourselves the question when it comes to corporate medicine, why are we so offended? What are we so scared of? And why do we think this is any different than all the things we've been offended and scared of before? I think back to my very early years in veterinary medicine over 20 years ago, and you know what the big hot topic of that of the day was back then and what everybody was getting all riled up about?

It was about frontline getting sold over the counter that, oh my gosh, as soon as we started selling frontline over the counter, that was gonna be the end of it. You know, as soon as the preventives went over the counter, then you know that was gonna be, that was it. Like it was. They were gonna be our bread and butter.

We were gonna starve, we're gonna have to close our doors. The next thing, vaccine clinics, oh my gosh, you take the vaccines out of the veterinary hospital and they start having people have the opportunity just to go and get their shots somewhere else at a cheaper cost. That's gonna be the end of us. We're never gonna be able to keep our doors open.

Same thing a few years later, pet insurance, that's gonna be the end of it. And that, I mean, that's still a hot topic, right? And so we're vaccine clinics, like probably all of these things are still a hot topic, but you notice like if we just pick whatever the thing of the day is to be what we focus on to be angry about,

that's gonna be the devise of veterinary medicine. And we gotta ask ourselves, what are we really offended about? What's really the problem here, my friends? What the real problem here is what the problem has always been, which is none of these circumstances. What the real problem here is, is that we have veterinary professionals who are unhappy, they are stressed out,

they are anxious. And we ha live in a world where we have been taught to believe that if you are unhappy that there is something that needs to be solved for or there is somebody that needs to be blamed. And when we are in a high pressure, highly compassionate field like veterinary medicine and we are unhappy and we are stressed out and we are anxious,

it's very easy to point fingers at things like clients and corporations and industry. I, we wanna blame them for why our job is so hard. But my friends circumstances never create emotion, never. You cannot adjust the variables, the circumstances enough to guarantee you are never stressed out, that you are never anxious, that you're never unhappy. The whole spectrum of emotion is part of the human experience.

But in this human experience, we have been taught from a very young age that if you feel bad, there is something going wrong. There is something that needs to be fixed. And so therefore there is probably somebody to blame this shift in the the market of veterinary medicine, in the practice of veterinary medicine, in the business of veterinary medicine. This shift that we've been seeing over the last decade to more and more corporate groups in veterinary medicine is a change of circumstance.

It is not responsible for the emotional wellbeing of the professionals. I'm not saying corporate medicine is a right fit for everybody. I'm not saying private practice is the right fit for everybody. You've heard me talk about this before. Your job and whether or not it's the right fit for you is an individual decision. It's one that we will each make. There is not a one size fits all type of practice that will make everybody happy.

Not everybody in the veterinary profession and not everybody from a client perspective either. And so us pointing our fingers and saying that the demise of veterinary medicine is gonna be the corporations is very shortsighted because what you're actually saying is that corporate medicine is responsible for your unhappiness. And I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to give my emotional wellbeing to something that I will never control.

Especially when I look at the neuroscience behind it. And I realize emotion's not created by circumstances, it's created simply by what I believe. However, what I also know about neuroscience is that being angry feels a whole lot better than being defeated. And when we are angry, when we commiserate, when we can come together with a common villain, even one that is fabricated in that we feel more powerful than the way that we feel maybe day in and day out when we get a little bit consumed by our own insecurities,

by our imposter syndrome because we keep tying up our self value and our self-worth into things like patient outcomes and client interactions, my friends, that's where our opportunity is. That's where our opportunity always has been. It is not to try to control the variables of veterinary medicine because by nature this is the practice of veterinary medicine. It will include variables for the rest of the time that we exist on this earth,

it will constantly be evolving and changing. We will never control it. But what we will always have the opportunity to control is how we feel. And that is an internal game. It is not one that is ever, ever dependent on your circumstances. So when we come together as a group and we wanna make corporate veterinary medicine into the villain of the villain of the day,

there will be many who will go right along with you on that and together you will feel camaraderie, you will feel connection, and you will feel powerful. But focusing on that, focusing on somebody else, being the reason why your un unhappy does not change your unhappiness. It only leaves you at the mercy of something that you will never control. It's really not any different than a group of veterinary professionals standing around inside of a hospital commiserating,

complaining and blaming about another coworker or about the manager or about the owner of the hospital. It's not any different. It's simply an external outlet, something that we can come together and we can believe we're fighting against for the greater good of the profession without ever stepping back and taking a look at what the elimination of that as an option would do to the profession.

Ponder that for a second. What if tomorrow all corporate entities just ceased to exist, how many veterinary professionals wouldn't have jobs? How many veterinary clients wouldn't have some place to go? Why can't we just let it be different without making it be wrong? That's the heart of so many human struggles that something is different, has to be wrong. It's a very primitive perspective because something that's different is uncertain,

it's unknown, it's scary from that primitive perspective of your brain, you're taught that you should be afraid of what you don't understand, what you've never been ex exposed to, what you haven't experienced. But my friends, there's nothing to be afraid of here when we take a look at it, there's nothing to be afraid of here. If we want more regulation,

if we want more oversight, great, let's do that. Let's take the appropriate channels, let's make sure that we advocate for that. But many of us aren't willing to do that. We're willing to stand around and complain and say that these types of organizations shouldn't exist yet we're not willing to be the owners of our own hospitals. We're not willing to engage in any kind of solution for the very problem that we wanna blame for the way that we're experiencing our career.

Maybe that's because the solution isn't what we think it is. What if instead the existence of corporate medicine isn't actually a threat at all? What if it's just simply the next evolution of veterinary options? I know what I own my practice back in in, you know, almost 20 years ago when I opened it up and vaccine clinics were really just kind of getting started at that point.

And there were a lot of my colleagues out there who were really freaked out by 'em, really freaked out, right? Oh my gosh, vaccine clinics are stealing our bread and butter and like there's just like, we're never gonna be able to survive if people aren't coming in for their yearly vaccines and they're never gonna come in for anything else. I mean,

and they just, the catastrophizing, the focus, the fear, the scarcity. And I just, that was just something I just didn't buy into. Because for me, my goal is to serve clients and treat patients. And when I take a look at animals and I look at, let's just say dogs and cats for, for an example, and I look at the benefit of vaccination and preventive care,

I would much rather somebody go to some vaccine clinic and get their animal vaccinated than never go at all. And if they need me because that animal comes up with some kind of illness, I'm not gonna shame them because they chose to go somewhere else for their vaccines. I'm gonna help them where I can help them and maybe in that interaction they'll choose to come to me next time for the vaccines and maybe they won't.

But whatever that choice, I'm not gonna make it personal. I'm gonna be grateful that they're taking the steps to vaccinate their animal and I'm gonna help them where I can help them when they want me to help them. And I'm gonna let it go from there. I'm not gonna take it personally. This is the exact same kind of approach that I take when I consider corporate medicine.

It's been fascinating to watch these buying groups. It's been fascinating to watch the evolution over the last decade. That's been fascinating to watch my colleagues get completely freaked out about all of it, but at the end of the day, it's all gonna be okay. At the end of the day, we're all gonna survive. And it's just whether or not we decide to make ourselves miserable in the process by believing that corporate medicine is the enemy.

I'm not saying you have to work there, I'm not saying that at all. But what I am saying is that if you're blaming something like corporate medicine for the reason you are not thriving in veterinary medicine, I want you to take a step back, stop giving your power away and let's look at the fit of your situation and find maybe a better fit for you.

You were never supposed to have to do everything. You get to decide where you wanna focus. And just as corporate medicine may be expanding in the US right now and probably kind of all over, but I can speak to the US for sure, even though corporate medicine is expanding, you know what else is expanding? Things like house call practices, privately owned and even groups of people who are coming together to do house call practice together.

You know what else is expanding boutique style practices. What's a boutique style practice? A boutique style practice is a private practice, usually a solo doctor, maybe a two doctor practice. That very much limits what they do. And when they do it open, you know, three days a week charging more, you know, higher dollar amount for services, very high touch customer service,

there's a market for that as well. The way that we've always done it is not the way that we will always do it. It actually never has been. Veterinary medicine has been constantly evolving and it's just kind of front and center right now, how much it's evolving in a very short period of time because of what we all went through during the pandemic and because of the staff shortages that have resulted from that.

The reason that we have all these staff shortages is because veterinary professionals just aren't willing to continue working in the same kinds of environments they were working with before. Once a, we had a minute to take a breath and recognize that they didn't want that kind of quality of life. They just said no. And it's those practices that are continuing to try to do it the old way and the new environment and the new world,

if you will, that are really, really struggling. My friends, just because it's different doesn't mean it's wrong. So let's give ourselves an opportunity to adjust the way that we practice veterinary medicine to the way that we want to practice it today. And let's stop spending so much time being concerned about what everybody else is doing because this is your journey, your career,

your life. You decide how you wanna do it and focus on that. That's the beauty of veterinary medicine. You get to decide. And what I know in all of my years in veterinary medicine and all the different ways that I've practiced over the years is I know that there is always someone out there to serve. There's always somebody who is interested in buying what I have to provide.

And it's no different for you. So don't let yourself believe the nonsense that you are trapped where you are, that you don't have choices, that you have to stay in whatever job you're in if it doesn't work for you. And definitely do not give your wellbeing away to being angry about the existence of corporate medicine or whatever other villain you wanna put in that place.

Maybe it doesn't have anything to do with your career at all. But as soon as we focus on something external and we put all of our emotional wellbeing, we put the fate of our future into the hands of something we will not control, we will lose a hundred percent of the time. And my friends, you are way more powerful than that. Your emotional wellbeing is 100% within your control.

It is not dependent on your circumstances. And the only thing that keeps you from changing your circumstances if you want to change them is fear. Fear does not get to get to be the driver of your life. I'm gonna say that again. Fear does not get to be the driver of your life, but by golly it will try to be, unless you take the wheel back.

Do not spend your time focused on the things that you will not control. Do not spend your time focused on blaming people and circumstances that you can't change. Instead, look at your own circumstances. Decide for yourself what is it that you want, and then create that. Find that, go after that. Because when you go after the experience that you want to have for yourself,

you will find it 100% of the time. The timeline might not be as quickly as you want to, but I promise you, if you keep moving in that direction, you will find that. And it's when we together drop into commiseration, drop into complain and blame. When we come together around a common villain, even when it is fabricated, that's when forward movement stops.

That's when emotional wellbeing sinks. And that's when we start to look hopeless and feel hopeless as we look toward the future. But that is not your destiny that you live in. This time in the world is not an accident. The veterinary medicine is rapidly changing at a time when you are a veterinary professional. It's not a problem. You are equipped to live through this period of time in this profession.

This was part of your journey intentionally. So what are you gonna do with it? If you're unhappy with the life that you have right now, how are you gonna change it? Cuz my friend, you're the only one who can. You're the only one who can. And the way that you can control your own emotional wellbeing is what? By learning how to leverage this space,

by recognizing that you and you alone create your emotion. And that as soon as you stop taking away the responsibility for your emotions by the, from the circumstances around you and the people in those circumstances, the sooner you step back in your power and you begin moving forward in the direction that you wanna go. All right, my friends, much to think about this week.

I would love to hear what you have to say about this episode. So feel free to shoot me an email, drop me a comment on social media and if this podcast episode has resonated with you, I do hope that you will share the Joyful DVM Podcast with a friend that's gonna wrap it up for this week. I'll see you next time. Bye for now.