Rise Resilient

By | Emotional Intelligence, Inspiration, Wellness | No Comments

As a budding college graduate in the Spring of 2010 I had one goal in mind, to join the US Military and serve my country for 20 years. After being accepted by the Army Officer Candidate program, I flew down to Ft. Benning, GA for three months of basic training followed by six more months of Officer Candidate School to earn commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. My dream was to be an infantry officer and serve on the front lines. After graduating Basic Training, I watched my dream die in one fell swoop. During a 5 mile run my knee locked up, I fell and tore my MCL.

The next few weeks were a whirlwind; one second I’m on my way to earning my commission and taking the next step toward my 20-year career, the next I’m chaptered out of the Army and flying home with my head in my hands. All my hard work seemed to be for nothing. I had to explain to friends and family, many of whom had thrown me a huge going away party just 6 months prior, that I was back, and I was back for good. I was embarrassed, I had no goals, and I was depressed. Without my wife and her love, I may have spiraled down into an unascendable pit. Luckily she lent me enough strength to help me find new goals (i.e. VetMed). However, the pain of the failure was still strong. I couldn’t read war novels; I couldn’t watch powerful movies involving soldiers; courageous stories I loved now put a bitter taste in my mouth.

Flash-forward to June (2017), I attended the Veterinary Leadership Experience. My group-mates and the facilitators at VLE shared their stories of resiliency. They lent me their strength to finally be able to talk about my failure, about my regrets, about watching my dream die…Talking about something gives you strength over the embarrassment; announcing it to a group gives you power over it completely and allows you to move on, and now this post will finalize my life rising out of the ashes of that shattered dream. Without my wife, my friends, and the amazing people at VLE, I may still shudder when I think of my past. Now I stand proud about my future; resilient.

Who in your life gives you strength to be resilient? How do you move on from the inevitable failures in our profession and use them to fuel your fire? Your experiences may help others, like me, move on from their hardships so we’d love to hear your thoughts! #resiliency #poweroverfailure #risefromtheashes #VLEalum

You are Only Confined by the Walls You Build Yourself

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I have mixed emotions when I think about attending Veterinary Leadership Experience (VLE), hosted by the Veterinary Leadership Institute, again.

As a first-year DVM student at the University of Sydney, I was lucky enough to be selected to attend VLE 2016. I had no idea what to expect from this week-long camp, which helps people “learn the skills necessary to be healthy and resilient so they can become people of positive influence”, but I do know that it was life changing, in the ‘how do I even put that into words’ kind of way. There are some things in life that we don’t know how much we need them until we find them – that’s exactly how I felt about VLE 2016.

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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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Lead With Your Strengths

By | Emotional Intelligence, Inspiration, Wellness

Let’s all just take a little breather for a second.

We’re in a rat-race. There’s no doubt about that. And if you’re reading this, chances are you know that some self-management is pretty critical to maintaining that work-life balance we all covet so much.

Part of the reason that striking that balance is difficult is that we are all, quite literally, trying to do everything at once. We’re marketing. We are strategizing. We’re making decisions. We’re beating our competitors. We’re caring for our client
our colleague’s, and our family’s emotions. And on top of that…medical decisions at the drop of a hat.

We are literally trying to do it all. And it has to stop.

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Clydesdale Leadership

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Remember the Budweiser commercial where the young Clydesdale tries to pull the cart and because it’s not strong enough to do so, two adults push it? Suddenly the cart starts to move and, without being too anthropomorphic, you can feel the satisfaction of the young colt when it achieves its goal.   It’s a heartwarming commercial that makes me tear up every time. InBev, the owner of Budweiser, produced that commercial purely to market its product. At VLE the commercial is shown not because it’s cute, contains some incredible animals or an attempt to sell beer. The commercial depicts a perfect message of Servant Leadership.

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