Elizabeth “Betsy” Charles DVM, MA
Elizabeth “Betsy” Charles, DVM, MA combines a wide variety of professional experiences with her love of veterinary medicine in order to help others be the best they can be. After graduating from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003 and completing an internship with an equine referral hospital, she joined a performance horse practice as an associate veterinarian and then, after 3 years, served as their Imaging Center Director for another 3 years. In addition to her responsibilities within the imaging center, she developed the practice’s extern program that included students from all over the country as well as formal involvement with the 3rd and 4th year veterinary students from Western University of Health Sciences. She is also an adjunct professor at Washington State University.
Dr. Charles completed a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership in May 2009 where her thesis dealt with implementation of change efforts within organizations, specifically veterinary practice. To that end, she loves helping veterinary professionals understand how the principles of emotional intelligence can help facilitate implementation of change initiatives in practice using the servant leadership model.
One of her main areas of interest is generational diversity as it applies to veterinary medicine and she has spoken on this topic at veterinary colleges around the country, various state veterinary medical association meetings, the AAEP National Convention, and the North American Veterinary Conference. She has also helped team members in private practice implement these communication strategies. She has been involved with the Veterinary Leadership Experience as a speaker and facilitator for 9 years and is now the Executive Director of The Veterinary Leadership Institute, the organization responsible for putting on the annual VLE event. She served on the AVMA’s Council on Communication, recently completed a term on the Student Relations Committee for the American Association of Equine Practitioners and is now a member of the AAEP’s Leadership Development Committee as well as the AAEP’s Student Programs Task Force.
Currently, Dr. Charles is an Assistant Professor at Western University of Health Sciences where she teaches radiology, leadership, and serves as a content expert in equine medicine and surgery. Her role as Executive Director of the VLE allows her to continue to combine her passion for veterinary medicine, leadership development, teaching, and communication so she can be a difference maker in the veterinary profession. She enjoys spending time with her husband of 22 years and their 3 dogs. When she is not trying to make a difference in the veterinary profession, you can find her at the barn riding, Lenny, the best horse ever.