Next-Gen Veterinarians Plan to Create Value

Over the past month, we asked students and recent graduates to address the issue of long-term viability in bovine practice. In the November-December issue, we featured observations from several other current students addressing the same question.

Our question for this month:

The theme of the recent AABP Conference was “Become Indispensable,” with a focus on how veterinarians can develop services that bring long-term value to clients. What are some strategies you hope to employ in becoming indispensable to your clients?

Paul Riedel, Lincoln Memorial University

In the short term, my goal is to acquire the technical skills necessary for areas of bovine medicine that are increasing in demand. Based on my specific interests, this includes assisted reproductive technologies such as ET and IVF. In the long term, my goal is to gain the experience and expertise required to move to a consulting role when implementing this technology on the farm.

Laura May, Purdue University

I hope to become the primary source of animal health information for my future clients through producer field days and regular newsletters. I plan to habitually ask clients for their specific livestock goals and develop the skills needed to help producers meet or exceed these goals. Finally, the more time I spend teaching clients why we do what we do such as specific vaccination protocols, the more likely the client will value the services being offered.

Dr. Ruffin Hutchison, 2018 Graduate, University of Tennessee

I think the most beneficial way that we can bring long-term value to clients is expanding our services from just seeing dystocias and lame cows to consulting on a wide variety of topics in an effort to make production more efficient. Especially in the southeast, we can focus on educating producers on modernizing production methods, and helping them implement vaccination protocols, proper nutrition and mineral plans, and calving seasons. Another big complaint is that producers lack the time, manpower, or resources to implement these things, and practices can adapt to provide those services. Things like breeding management, vaccination and processing, weaning protocols, feeding plans, and records keeping can be offered to clients to fill that gap and help producers improve their herds, better manage their time and cattle, and become eligible for value-added programs.

Dr. Josina Kasper, 2018 Graduate, University of Illinois Bringing more to the table than regular pregnancy checks at a farm is something that is becoming more of a necessity with the current changes in the dairy industry. I try to keep up with changes in the industry by reading magazines such as Progressive Dairyman, MILK, and Dairy Herd Management. I also, look for any opportunity to be able to help make changes on the farm be it through record analysis or employee training. I always look for ways to do and more to learn so that I can offer more than just preg checks on a dairy.

Dr. Olivia Myers, 2018 Graduate North Carolina State University

As technology and information are more widely available, it is important for veterinarians to learn how to become indispensable. One of my mentors once told me that he was not hired to be a veterinarian; he was hired to solve problems. Some of these problems might not be directly related to veterinarian medicine. However, the ability to retrieve information, logically categorize and develop the problem and ultimately find a solution is what I believe will make veterinarians indispensable. Although technical skills are also important, the whole picture is what veterinarians are trained to do and what will make them valuable to clients.

Dr. Tara Lynch, 2018 Graduate, Oklahoma State University

We need to be able to offer an array of services. Staying up with new procedures, technologies, or medications allows us to offer services that could improve the outcome for our producers. More importantly, if we communicate that goal with our producers and take time to educate, we open doors to become more than just the physical labor, we become indispensable!”

Jennifer Lantzer North Carolina State University

I believe a major part of "Becoming Indispensable" is being in tune with what your clients need. As a veterinarian, I will have access to vast resources, but learning new skills is only beneficial to my clients when they are valuable to them and their animals. I need to be in contact with my clients and to learn about their changing needs to ensure I am an indispensable resource for them. My skills should improve and change over time, but should always have with the client's needs in mind.

Seely Sayer, University of Illinois

I think becoming indispensable to your clients is all about building a relationship with them. The greater the connection you have with your clients the more they trust you and will come back to you time and time again for veterinary service. I plan to get to know my clients and overall just be personable to show that I am invested in the ultimate success of their cattle herds. Demonstrating that you care can go a long way in “becoming indispensable”.

Paul Riedel, Lincoln Memorial University

In the short term, my goal is to acquire the technical skills necessary for areas of bovine medicine that are increasing in demand. Based on my specific interests, this includes assisted reproductive technologies such as ET and IVF. In the long term, my goal is to gain the experience and expertise required to move to a consulting role when implementing this technology on the farm.

Maddison Tyrrel, Iowa State University

According to the AABP conference as well as my current education, the key to becoming indispensable is to have good communication and involvement in your clients herd. The industry is constantly changing and more is expected of both veterinarians and producers. Trends involving antimicrobial stewardship, improved animal welfare, niche markets, just to name a few, are providing opportunities for young veterinarians to form special services to become indispensable. As a student, I am seeking opportunities to practice more than just medicine for my clients and a clinic that encourages young veterinarians to develop services that bring long-term value to cattle producers.

Laura May, Purdue University

I hope to become the primary source of animal health information for my future clients through producer field days and regular newsletters. I plan to habitually ask clients for their specific livestock goals and develop the skills needed to help producers meet or exceed these goals. Finally, the more time I spend teaching clients why we do what we do such as specific vaccination protocols, the more likely the client will value the services being offered.

Stephanie Tarlowe, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

As I see it now, I must first consider how I will become indispensible to my employer before I begin to think more broadly to my clients. I have yet to gain speed with palpations or skill with field surgeries, and know I will not be the most valuable clinician in the practice when I first get started. The idea of being an innovator in the field or providing new services that will keep clients coming back for more seems out of reach when I still have so many basics to master and growth to do myself. So for now, I will continue to be a sponge and soak up as much as I can in my schooling, and trust that with time and experience will come the confidence to be a leader for my clients.

 

 

 

 

 

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