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In Practice

Jump in with a Smile

By | In Practice, Inspiration | No Comments

If you had a few hours to engage with experienced, high-achieving veterinarians reflecting on their career and providing advice, what would you ask? If you were given challenging advice, would you take it?

I was recently afforded this scenario as part of my state veterinary medical association’s Power of 10 Program. This program, designed to develop young veterinary leaders on the state level, provided me with a golden ticket to the Past-President’s luncheon for the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association.

As we mingled with colleagues and mentors from across the state, it became clear that the roughly twenty previous KVMA Presidents we were dining with were going to leave a lasting impression. Read More

Choose Happy

By | In Practice, Inspiration | No Comments

Hi future VLE’ers!

I can fondly remember the year I attended VLE as a veterinary student. It was exactly the right time for a fun and invigorating experience, right before starting my 4th year rotations. I remember being together with fellow students, as well as prominent veterinarians in the profession, and thinking that it was so cool that finally we could all come together and be on the same level. What breaks down barriers is simply just HAVING FUN! This was such a simple, but powerful concept.

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A Lollipop Moment

By | In Practice | No Comments

Lollipop moments are but small and few. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I suggest you YouTube “Drew Dudley: Leading with Lollipops” (I’ll even include the link in this Blog because I think everyone should watch it at least once). According to Dudley, a lollipop moment is “a moment where someone said something or did something that, you feel, fundamentally made your life better.” My lollipop moment? It came at just the right time.

My name is Chelsea and I am currently a Term 4 (Second Year) DVM student at St. George’s University (SGU), on the island of Grenada. I’m sure you’re all thinking “Holy moly, this girl goes to veterinary school on a Caribbean island? That’s got to be the life!” Sure I live on a tropical island, but I’m still a veterinary student with the exact same course load of any other DVM student studying in the states. I didn’t get out much my first year of school, you could say I was a hermit of sorts. You’d find me pretty much locked in my room spending countless hours going over the physiology behind the cardiovascular system or trying to figure out how the hell you pronounce cricoarytenoideus dorsalis. I often wondered what SGU even saw in me, I was entirely convinced I got in by some mistake. That being said, I suffered constantly from imposter syndrome and was depressed. Everyday I put a smile on my face, pretending that life was good and I was more or less sane. On the inside? I was being torn apart. It was a constant battle of balancing being a DVM student, being thousands of miles away from my family, getting enough sleep, and everything else in between. At the end of the first year, I was seriously considering dropping out of school. Though I was constantly battling my mind, SGU gave me the opportunity to attend the Veterinary Leadership Experience in Post Falls, Idaho. I took them up on the offer, but I felt like I was taking the experience away from someone that would make it in this rigorous DVM program.

I arrived in Post Falls, greeted with applause and smiles. Getting ready to move into small group activities, I spoke with one of my facilitators and referred to her as “Dr.” She stopped right there and said “Oh no, not here. Here I’m Jen.” My other facilitator, Chuck, is a professor at a university and from day one was throwing out hugs left and right. “Okay” I thought, “not exactly what I was expecting.” From this moment on, I was challenged in ways I didn’t think I would be. In the course of a week, I conquered my fear of heights, made lifelong connections with my small group, and learned that never, under any circumstance, should you cut a donut. For the first time in my veterinary career I not only felt my 100% genuine self, but I finally felt like I belonged within this profession. Leaving VLE, I knew I deserved those three letters at the end of my name and a diploma on my wall.

My facilitators and my small group members changed my life. So, I suppose I have two lollipops to “give”. One to SGU, for blessing me with this opportunity and one to VLE, for helping me find myself again and reminding me that I was destined for greatness within this profession.

Drew Dudley – Leading with Lollipops:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVCBrkrFrBE

VLE Packing List

By | In Practice | No Comments

Hello VLE Participants!

We hope you are all getting excited for the 2016 Veterinary Leadership Experience (#VLE2016)! We’ve been creating some buzz about the upcoming event, posting little samples of what you may expect. We’ve had fun sharing these teasers with you, and we hope you’ve enjoyed them. Now we’d like to share some thoughts on WHAT TO BRING, and hope this will help you prepare for your trip.

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Are you Ready for a Cruise?

By | In Practice | No Comments

Have you thought about the things you are going to do during VLE2016?  If you’re an alum, have you thought about some of the fun things you did while at Ross Point? Here’s a video with Dr. Jen Quammen to introduce you to the cruise event at the Veterinary Leadership Experience.

Tell us what you think in the comments below. Share this with friends and remember to use #VLE2016 or #VLEalum

Celebrating Success

By | In Practice | No Comments

As a member of a small subset of the already small community of veterinary medicine, it was inevitable that I would end up in competition with a friend.

Before I begin, I want to make it clear I am not inherently competitive. I genuinely want everyone to be successful. In fact I personally loathe “competition for the sake of competition.” While this may sound like some kind of everyone-gets-a-ribbon soapbox, it’s not that. We all show up, give our all, and some will outshine and that is so, so fine! I am good hearted and trust – no, I hope that everyone else is as globally pro-success-minded, that we all want to cheer for one another as we, in turn, perform at our best in the moment. Some will “win,” some will “lose,” but we all win when we are supportive of one another. What goes around, comes around, so they say.

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The Wisdom of Adversity

By | In Practice, Wellness
I frequently ponder which has been my better teacher, success or failure. For me the scale usually tips towards failure. On the surface this looks like a cup-half-empty instead of a cup-half-full way of looking at life. However, I’ve come to see failure as a gift although it usually doesn’t feel that way, at least initially. Failure is part of the struggle we all have to achieve our purpose as leaders or as human beings.

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Coffee to sugar ratio

By | Emotional Intelligence, In Practice | No Comments

I was on call over the weekend and met my husband, Tim the other day for breakfast. We got our usual coffees and omelets. I’m a bit particular when it comes to my coffee and had managed to add just the right amount of sugar. When the blonde waitress in her 50’s came around for refills, I stopped her and proclaimed with a smile that I didn’t want to alter my “perfect coffee to sugar ratio”.

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#VLILeaders making a difference!

By | In Practice

Congratulations to VLE alumna Laura Baltodano, Washington State University CVM Class of 2013, who was presented with the Anna E. Worth AAHA Student Leadership Award at the AAHA Annual Conference in March 2013. Laura was recognized for outstanding student leadership through her service to the WSU Pet Loss Hotline and development of an AAHA Clinical Skills Training Program at WSU.