Episode 32 – Introducing the Sustainability in Equine Practice Seminar & Retreat

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Click here for the full transcript, but please excuse any errors. It was transcribed automatically using Otter.ai

Stacey Cordivano 0:07
Hey there, it’s Dr. Stacey Cordivano. I want veterinarians to learn to be happier, healthier, wealthier and more grateful for the life that we’ve created. On this podcast, I will speak with outside of the box thinkers to hear new ideas on ways to improve our day to day life. Welcome to The Whole Veterinarian.

Stacey Cordivano 0:35
Hi everyone. This episode is going to be a little bit different. Earlier this year three of my closest friends, who are also colleagues, and I were discussing the need to continue the conversation about the problems that we face in equine veterinary medicine. We also realized that in order to make real changes, we couldn’t just complain about the same things over and over again. We needed to create a space where vets could focus on actionable ways to improve their own lives, which could then ripple out and affect their practices and the lives of other equine vets; their associate their mentees, their other local colleagues, etc, etc. Thus, the idea of the Sustainability in Equine Practice seminar and retreat was born. We are getting together a group of progressive equine veterinarians with the hope of enacting lasting change in our industry. We are doing so with the support of some amazing partners. Huge thank you to Boehringer Ingelheim for being our presenting sponsor for content and speakers. We also couldn’t be putting on this event without the help of Merck Animal Health, Midwest Vet Supply, Sound Veterinary technologies, the DVM Project and Starwood Veterinary Consulting. Please check out the website at thewholeveterinarian.com/seminar to see everyone who is partnering with us for this event. And now please enjoy chat with Doctors Misty Gray, Cara Wright, Kelly Zeytoonian and myself as we talk about what’s in store for those attending this awesome new seminar.

Stacey Cordivano 2:05
Hi, guys. Hey, I know that everyone has been on this podcast before, but for those listeners who haven’t heard your episodes, let’s do a little round of introductions.

Cara Wright 2:17
My name is Cara. I am a equine veterinarian who’s done a few different things. And I currently live in the Bay Area in California.

Stacey Cordivano 2:26
And this is Kelly Zeytoonian. I’m a practicing veterinarian and also have a consulting business that helps with practice owners and veterinarians alike trying to make life better.

Misty Gray 2:40
I am Misty, I am a practicing equine veterinarian. I’ve been in practice since 2007. I’m a mom of two boys, and I live in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

Stacey Cordivano 2:53
Awesome, thanks, I can do myself as well, just in case. My name is Stacey Cordivano. I’m an equine veterinarian, outside of Philadelphia, here in Pennsylvania. And I’m also the host of this podcast, the whole veterinarian, and I’m super psyched to be partnering up with you all to be part of the team that is bringing a brand new, exciting event. So who wants to tell everybody what we are here to talk about today.

Misty Gray 3:18
We are excited to be working together to bring the sustainability and equine practice seminar and retreat. It’s going to be held October 14 through 17th. This year at the cedarbrook Lodge and Seattle, Washington.

Stacey Cordivano 3:35
Okay, so now I think we should dig into kind of how this came about.

Stacey Cordivano 3:41
I can start us off. So I think one of the things that we’ve kind of come to and talked about, as we’ve gotten together is our perspectives on many of the different struggles and trials and tribulations that we see through our classmates, sometimes through ourselves, through you know, all of the different Facebook pages. And I personally had attended a women’s meeting in Northern California that it just to my core, I kind of wanted to scream and say why are we dealing with these things? And why hasn’t somebody told you to do X, Y, or Z? And we kind of looked at each other I think erver and sort of said well, we have each other and we have you know the ideas to bounce off of each other and those resources but people are looking for that and maybe we can try to help provide it

Stacey Cordivano 4:36
Not everyone is as lucky- we have a great group to bounce things off of. Cara, any insight from you on how this whole thing got going?

Cara Wright 4:45
Yeah, so I think we’re all aware that the equine veterinary industry has some issues with work life balance with I don’t want to say making a living wage but being able to balance Life and paying student debt and running a business. You know, it really is like the same 10 problems keep coming up, everyone has the same core issues. And you know, some of it is because the current practice is its own beast, right? Like, and it has been for a long, long time been a certain way. And I think, especially over the last couple years, a lot of us are realizing that maybe that certain way is not sustainable for an actual life. How can we solve these problems, and that’s where I think we decided like maybe getting everyone together in a place where we can collaborate with each other problem solve with each other, help people take off their blinders or their whatever colored goggles where you have your daily struggles and really get together and like, help inspire change are people’s individual levels, to really make their life better and make their practice life happier and more sustainable.

Stacey Cordivano 5:51
And I think that sentiment is where we basically got the idea for this whole project, you know, disrupting the norms that are equine veterinary medicine right now. And we want to do that in a way that will be sustainable and drive industry wide change. Because like you both have said, the way it’s going right now, we know from research, it’s not sustainable for equine veterinarians. And we’re here hoping to do something to make actual changes.

Misty Gray 6:22
It’s so easy to get locked into your area, or what you know, or the practice that you’re in, or like that, the local belief. And I know I did that for a long time. And even when practice wasn’t fitting for me anymore, I just didn’t realize that there could be another way until I started to connect with the three of you. And we did decade one and met a bunch of other vets who had different ideas and who could look at my situation from an outside perspective and help you to help me to kind of realize that it’s okay to be creative, and it’s okay to make a change. And it’s okay to want something different that I can still love this job and love the animal and love practice and look at it differently and and try to find a different way. And so I think it’s integral to have outside opinions, you know, other people that are not stuck in the details, maybe of the emotion of what your particular situation is to help me find another perspective.

Stacey Cordivano 7:29
Yeah, for sure. Let’s talk a little bit about what the meetings actually going to look like for people.

Misty Gray 7:35
I think we want to find a really nice balance between what more traditional format lecture where you can sit and absorb somebody’s point of view, and reflect a little bit on how that can work for you. So we’ll do that in the morning. And then we also want to add in the next step of that, where you get to actually get to know the speaker and talk about your thoughts. And you know, maybe make it a little bit more personal. we’ll combine that in the afternoon with more casual conversation, one on one time activities to really make bonds and make connections.

Cara Wright 8:14
I’m really looking forward to the sessions that were casually calling the fireside chats. Hopefully there will be a fire, maybe not, I don’t know. But they’re really going to be where the magic happens, where discussions where people can really get down into the nitty gritty and talk about solving problems. And I think misty made a really great point like we are not going to be sitting in a lecture hall just passively absorbing stuff from people. This is really meant to be an interactive, collaborative environment so that everybody can come away with something, even if it’s something small, to make your day to day life better, and to make your life as an equine practitioner more stable and palatable.

Stacey Cordivano 8:57
And let’s just be honest, no equine veterinarian wants to sit all day long.

Stacey Cordivano 9:03
It’s like impossible.

Stacey Cordivano 9:05
It’s impossible. So I’m also like super happy that we have built in some of those more physical activities where we still get to talk and collaborate and maybe have a subject but include, you know, a hike or yoga or some other things into it. So I’m excited about the fact that I know I’m not going to just be sitting all day long.

Stacey Cordivano 9:25
Yeah, totally agree.

Cara Wright 9:27
One of the other things that I think is going to be really awesome is the fact that we have planned time where people can sit one on one with each of our speakers, and really dig into whatever their personal need is because I think we’ve all been at meetings where somebody raises their hand and starts talking about their you know, you you do a client meeting and someone’s like one time, worse had diarrhea for three weeks, and the whole meeting derailed. So the opportunity for one on one meetings with all of our speakers is going to be really awesome. For people to be able to in a little bit more of a private environment, if needed, really get some good information

Misty Gray 10:07
Well, and to be able to take that connection home so that when they get home and something comes up, they have a person to be like, Okay, I know this person, sometimes the whole step of like, well, who do I even ask about this? Now I’m gonna look up their phone number on the internet, you get lost, right? So now you’ll have a connection with a professional that can easily help you.

Stacey Cordivano 10:30
And not just the professional, but it’s such as, you know, small group of attendees that we’re limiting it to, in an effort to give everyone the opportunity to really talk to each other and meet and make connections just like you said, Misty, that’s really cool, too, because it’s small enough group that we’re all going to be able to talk and share and go away with accountability partners and people to run ideas past.

Stacey Cordivano 10:55
Yeah, I told someone the other day that if attendees don’t leave feeling like they have 30, new amazing colleagues that they can call, I’ll be really sad. So that’s a big, a big goal of ours. I know. What are other things that you guys are hoping people walk away from this meeting with

Cara Wright 11:13
I’m super looking forward to the fact that we are having a registered dietitian, come and talk to us about the need to appropriately fuel ourselves for our active days, and our busy days, I’m sure everybody can sort of relate to being so busy that you don’t take 30 seconds to put food in your mouth or take a bathroom break or anything like that, which obviously, in the long term is not really good for wellbeing. But I can personally say that working with her, I’ve just done a lot better at work, I’m not hungry in the afternoon, my patients levels are better. And I’m just feeling a lot less frazzled at the end of the day when I take the time to feed myself appropriately. So

Stacey Cordivano 11:49
and she’s even going to teach us how to eat healthy from a gas station, right? Because I mean, I can’t live without Wawa.

Cara Wright 11:56
With our active jobs, it’s gonna be a nice balance to some of the other stuff that we talk about to talk about how to take care of yourself with nutrition,

Stacey Cordivano 12:04
I’m really excited myself to have the opportunity to share some practice tips and tricks, but also to hear from colleagues on things that they’re doing. And then also bring in a fresh perspective from those non veterinary professionals that are joining us, I think it’s an opportunity for us to hear what other industries are doing and maybe get some new ideas to disrupt our current industry. So that’s something that I’m excited about is bringing some new fresh ideas into the fold.

Stacey Cordivano 12:33
I think along with that kind of fresh ideas. One thing I’m really excited for is the fact that we’re incorporating yoga and mindfulness. And that’s certainly been a big game changer in my life. As far as personally and even professionally, the idea of giving yourself some grace, the idea of giving yourself a moment before reacting, it’s been, like I said, life changing for me and my parenting and my work and in my own stress level. So I’m super excited that we’re incorporating those aspects. And they’re like, the more woowoo side of things, but this conference is not your typical, so there’s gonna be some woowoo stuff, but you don’t have to do yoga if you don’t want.

Cara Wright 13:18
I am excited to wear yoga pants. And I am also really excited to meet everybody and to make new relationships and to collaborate and just extrovert a ton. So

Stacey Cordivano 13:32
that’s because you’re an I on the disc.

Stacey Cordivano 13:39
Yes, Yes, for sure. We’re going to do some digging into disc analysis. Let’s hit on some other topics that we are going to be discussing during the seminar.

Stacey Cordivano 13:50
Yeah, for sure. I know that we have Mackenzie Martin, who’s going to be coming in and giving us some advice on disability insurance and other insurance opportunities that we need to be considering, especially in our line of work. We have a financial planner, Isaiah Douglass, who’s been on your podcast before and was awesome, giving us some tips and tricks for financial health and sustainability.

Stacey Cordivano 14:19
Yes, I’m excited about that. I think Isaiah’s topic is going to go really well with a talk that you’re going to do Kelly about hiring associates. And Isaiah will be able to prep people on the financial side of things about how to prepare for things like that. And then you will talk on the practical side of things and maybe thinking outside of the box on how to hire an associate or when you might need an associate. So that’s exciting.

Stacey Cordivano 14:46
Yeah, I’m excited about it. Cause that’s one of the biggest questions I get or things that people say is I can’t afford to hire an associate and it’s not true, you can so I’m excited to go through some of those numbers. Awesome.

Misty Gray 14:58
I am SO excited for Jessie Jessie car, she’s gonna come and talk about the linger movement and finding your pause. That idea really hits home. For me the idea of pausing at all during the day as an equine vet, I just I think that’s so important for all of us. And I cannot wait to hear what she has to say about that. And then Danielle Alamin, from impactos, that is going to talk to us about boundaries, which has been a big topic of feedback from the people that are filling out our questionnaire at registration about how we can help them and what they’re looking for. I think we all know what a boundary is, we’re smart people. And we all in theory, know how to set a boundary. But we do not know how to feel okay about it, and how to enforce it, and how to not have guilt associated with that. So I’m super interested to hear what they have to say about those two topics.

Cara Wright 16:00
I’m really looking forward to we’re lucky enough that Zoetis is helping us bring in a speaker, disc communication styles, which is basically a really nice way to figure out how you best with people. And we’ve done a little bit of it at our practice. And I can say that it has made a really big difference in how I receive information, as well as how I give information to other people. So I think that is going to be bouncing off what misty said about boundaries, a really nice way to maybe help set your boundaries once you understand how you typically communicate.

Stacey Cordivano 16:37
Yeah, and another podcast guest that will be there is Julie Squires. She’s coming out to talk to us about compassion, fatigue, and emotions, what they are and how feelings can affect you. And another little soft skill, but I think also really important and she’s been super helpful for me personally also.

Stacey Cordivano 16:56
And we need those soft skills, nobody else no other conference is talking about them and doing them right. Like, yeah, you are not going to learn we are not going to even talk about horses for the weekend, we’re going to talk about all these other things that go into into it. So

Cara Wright 17:13
balancing out the soft skills. I think one of the other cool things we’re going to have is we are going to have Liz Moneymaker, who is a lawyer, be there to help answer some of the questions that we all have about essentially, how do you know when you need a lawyer? And what does that even mean? You know, for some of the things that we all actually have to deal with on a daily basis that we may not even know. So some contracts, some employment stuff, business succession planning, there’s a lot of things. So I think it’s just going to be really awesome to have the opportunity to talk to these professionals, and like really get some like specific guidance for some of the challenges that we’re all facing.

Stacey Cordivano 17:48
For sure. And I do want to say a big shout out thanks to Boehringer Ingelheim, for being the content sponsors, they are helping us get these speakers here, aside from the DISC. And then also, we are going to have a dinner sponsored by Merck, and a super fun team building guacamole competitions sponsored by Midwest veterinary supply. And we’ve got some other sponsors. But that’ll all be on the website. What is that website? And where can people find out more information about this seminar.

Cara Wright 18:19
So if you go to the whole veterinarian.com/seminar, you will find all the information you need about the speakers that are attending how to register some of the fun stuff, like I don’t know if anybody mentioned but the Cedarbrook Lodge actually has a spa on site. So for those of you who are really trying to recharge this weekend, there’s time for that as well.

Stacey Cordivano 18:40
Awesome. Okay, well, thanks, girls. I’m excited to keep this planning rolling, make it the best event ever for our fellow equine veterinarians. So talk to you soon.

Kelly Zeytoonian 18:52

Misty Gray 18:54

Cara Wright 18:54
See y’all soon.

Stacey Cordivano 18:57
Thanks again for checking out the podcast today. As always, I so appreciate your time. And please make sure to share this one with an equine friend who might not have heard about this new seminar yet. If we haven’t already convinced you that this event is going to be amazing. I’ll leave you with this little spiel from the website. Are you fed up with the way that equine practice has been run for the past.., I don’t know, forever? If so, this seminar and retreat is for you. Over three days in Seattle, Washington, we will spend time in small but meaningful group conversations. We will focus on aspects of personal and professional development that aren’t covered in other meetings. If you’re ready to help make changes in our industry, we want you to spend the weekend learning and collaborating with us. We know that it’s possible to make equine veterinary medicine a sustainable and fulfilling career. There you have it. Please check out the website if you have any interest and come join us as we disrupt the equine veterinary medicine norms. As always, thank you so much for listening to the Whole Veterinarian podcast. In two weeks we’ll be back with a super interesting take on burnout in vet med. So I will talk to you again soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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