TUESDAY • July 26, 2022
Dear Veterinary Student, While understanding that the clinical and scientific education you are receiving now is your primary focus, this weekly publication is designed to supplement your education by providing information that helps you learn about the business of veterinary medicine, the emerging technologies that will shape the future of veterinary practice, the ever-changing regulatory environment and more. It features commentary from Terry Sheehan, an industry consultant with a keen eye for trends affecting the animal health industry. We hope this newsletter helps you prepare for your career in veterinary medicine. The Veterinary Student Insider is delivered at no charge, and we encourage you to share it with your peers! To subscribe, click here.

How practice leaders can empower their staff

In this week's student report from the by Suveto Summer Hospital Immersion Program (SHIP), Michigan State University veterinary student Alexia Mazzarella writes about the impact of practice leadership on employee experience.

"The most significant thing that I have learned about leadership during my experience in this program is how important it is to empower others," Alexia writes. At the veterinary practice where Alexia is completing the SHIP program, each employee is given a specific responsibility, based on their strengths, that allows them to feel a greater sense of purpose in the organization.

As Alexia writes, "This sense of purpose all starts with the practice leader."

> Read more of this article here.

Also: Congratulations to last week's trivia winner, Colorado State University student Sean Lewis. Sean correctly answered that the Principle of Reciprocity means that if you think about what you can contribute to the profession as an employee, you're more likely to achieve your goals.


Zomedica acquires assets of Assisi Animal Health
Zomedica Corp., a maker of diagnostic and therapeutic products for companion animals, has acquired substantially all the assets of Assisi Animal Health. Assisi has created a line of targeted pulsed electromagnetic field (tPEMF) devices to treat pain, inflammation, anxiety and behavioral disorders in companion animals. “This acquisition adds a growing product line that furthers our commitment to providing solutions that deliver enhanced companion animal care while improving practice efficiency and economics,” said Zomedica CEO Larry Heaton.

TS: Zomedica recently launched its Truforma line of diagnostics and PulseVet technology.

> Read more of this article here.

Veterinary profession must act to mitigate 'significant shortages' of doctors across all sectors: AAVMC
The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges has issued a statement on the U.S. veterinary workforce shortage. “Significant shortages of veterinarians exist across all sectors of professional activity and at all levels of specialization,” the AAVMC says. “Although precise numbers are difficult to quantify and specific predictions about future needs are subject to interpretation, the available evidence indicates that these shortages are a result of systemic, long-term trends in pet ownership and demand for veterinary services, along with limited capacity for training veterinary professionals, and are expected to continue unless the veterinary medical profession takes action.” Since 2007, the number of U.S. veterinarians has been increasing at a rate of only 2.7% each year, with 2,000 to 3,000 more open jobs in 2019 than veterinarians available to hire, according to the association, which makes several recommendations for actions to remedy the situation. The full statement is available on the AAVMC’s website.

TS: Another voice chronicling the current and growing shortage of veterinary graduates. For those that have not visited this website there is great resource information available.

> Read more of this article here.

Inflation dampens meat and poultry market as prices for consumers rise, CoBank report shows
Inflation is now the key risk to meat and poultry consumption as the pandemic has a reduced effect on consumer food spending, according to a new quarterly report from CoBank. Retail meat and poultry prices were 18% higher in May compared to 2021, and both spot market supplies and freezer inventories are below pre-pandemic levels. Tight supplies and steady demand kept meat prices 20% higher than the five-year average for the March-May period. Beef culling is elevated as cattle ranchers and feeders deal with poor pasture conditions and high corn and hay prices. Declining cattle supplies and excess processing capacity in the next 12-18 months should help create more favorable conditions for producers, according to CoBank.

TS: While not unexpected, inflation is an ever-growing risk to the livestock industries and their allied associates.

> Read more of this article here.

Common retirement plans – Part 2

In an ongoing article series, Dr. Brent Mayabb helps readers understand different aspects of saving for retirement and provides tips to help get started. From Dr. Mayabb this week: "As noted in the previous article, a 'traditional' 401k is tax-deferred, meaning the money is not taxed now, but it will be taxed when you withdraw it in retirement. There is another version of the 401k called a Roth 401k that is taxed now instead of when you withdraw it later.

"Which is best? It depends on your overall financial situation." He breaks down the differences in his article. Dr. Mayabb is currently the global chief medical officer at Royal Canin. He has experience working in many different aspects of veterinary medicine, from general practice to industry to nonprofits and shelters. He also has an avid interest in personal finance and helping educate others about financial topics, especially veterinarians, vet techs and vet students.

> Read more of this article here.


ADM launches course on farm management
ADM has launched Shift, a free online course for producers that covers core areas of farm management, including grain marketing, crop insurance, fertilizer and input costs, market fundamentals and general financial planning strategies. Shift stands for “Successful Habits In Farming Today.”

According to the announcement, participants will have access to audio and video lessons, quizzes to test knowledge of key principles, and sample worksheets and calculators to run production costs, price targets, insurance estimates, fertilizer prices, storage investments and other related budget items.

> Read more of this article here.

Why the candidate experience is the most important tool in hiring
Every experience a job candidate has with a potential employer affects how they view the company, and they’re more attuned to negative signs than positive ones.

In her column in last week’s Fountain Report, veterinary industry recruiter Stacy Pursell shares several case studies demonstrating how important a potential employee’s impression of an organization is.

“There are multiple factors involved in a candidate’s decision to accept an offer of employment,” Stacy writes. “However, none of these factors means anything if the candidate is not still fully engaged at the end of the hiring process and convinced they want to continue exploring the opportunity.”

“You can’t hire a candidate at the end of the process if they have already left the process because of a poor experience they received from your organization,” she points out.

> Read more of this article here.


Crop insurance cap could save billions, report says
Billions in taxpayer dollars could be saved over the next decade if the 2023 Farm Bill puts a cap on federal subsidies paid to farmers who purchase crop insurance, according to a special report published by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. A cap would affect relatively few farmers, have little impact on total insurance use and make resources available for conservation programs and other initiatives that help farmers further reduce the risk of weather-related loss, according to the report. The U.S. government currently pays out more than $7 billion annually in crop insurance subsidies, with the majority going to the largest farms. “For some reason, crop insurance is the only subsidized farm program which includes no caps on the money that farmers can receive from the federal government,” said Billy Hackett, a policy specialist at NSAC. “It only makes sense that caps exist, as they do in federal commodity and conservation programs, to promote equitable outcomes.”

> Read more of this article here.


What do veterinary practices say about telemedicine?
In a follow-up to her column last month, veterinarian and industry consultant Karen Felsted writes on veterinary practice leaders’ opinions of telemedicine.

Karen discusses results from a survey of clinic leaders by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association about how they and their staff view telemedicine. The VHMA conducted a survey in April of this year and compared the results to a similar survey from April 2019.

When asked if they had discussed telemedicine as a business strategy with their practice teams, 72% of the respondents in 2022 said yes, compared to 28% in 2019. This may have been expected given how much the pandemic boosted telehealth.

Significantly fewer practices this year than in 2019 said they saw an opportunity to attract new clients with telemedicine. Respondents had mixed feelings about how they thought clients might respond to telemedicine, including issues related to payment and VCPR constraints.

“Results of this survey indicate that while at least some practices see a benefit to telemedicine, it’s a long way from full acceptance in the profession,” Karen writes.

> Read more of this article here.

New AAHA tool helps practices compare their performance to the broader profession
The American Animal Hospital Association announced the release of AAHA Benchmarking, a tool that uses practice information management system data and other analytics to compare individual practice performance to the broader veterinary space.

Using the tool, veterinary practices can compare their own data to aggregated financial and productivity data from practices across the United States. It also features SPOT Score, which AAHA describes as “an instant view of how a practice compares to its cohort in four major categories: sales revenue, producer performance, opportunities and trends in medicine.”

AAHA Benchmarking was developed by Petabyte Technology. It will be available in September.

> Read more of this article here.

Terry Sheehan is currently the CEO of Aniconsilia, LLC an animal health industry only consulting firm he founded in 2009. Prior to the founding of Aniconsilia, Terry had a 30+ year career in the animal health industry with a strong record of achievement in sales, marketing, and commercial operations. Terry held positions of increasing responsibility and leadership in all segments of Animal Health Sales, Marketing, Business Development and Commercial Operations.
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