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Vet Med Wellness + Leadership

Crystal Stokes, LMFT

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Join Crystal Stokes, licensed psychotherapist, Harvard, Cornell, and CoActive trained organizational and high-performance leadership coach, and former vet technician, for actionable ways to improve the wellness of vet med professionals. The Vet Med Wellness and Leadership Podcast discuss leadership and wellness: how we, as individuals and teams, can apply evidence-based skills to help our authentic leadership style shine while effectively supporting others to perform at and feel their very b ...
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In the demanding world of veterinary medicine, burnout is a pervasive challenge that can significantly impact professionals' well-being and job satisfaction. Steve Oehley, the founder of Next Step Vet, understands the complexities of this issue and offers valuable guidance to help veterinary professionals not just survive, but thrive in their caree…
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Handling dispute in animal industry can be frustrating, painful, and costly. Debra Hamilton, of Hamilton Law and Mediation, is dedicated to supporting individuals passionate about animal welfare and those working in the animal industry. Her focus is all about finding peaceful resolutions, recognizing that pets are more than just property—they're ch…
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Ryan Leech starts out this really intriguing conversation with a case for AI and why it is not to be feared. The bottom line is that AI tools like Chat GPT, Spotify DJ, and Digitails AI Tool: Tails are human prompted and meant to offload time consuming and often mundane tasks so that we can do the things we’re skilled at. Digitails has introduced A…
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The reality of being a veterinarian is that you create relationships and bonds with the pets you work with over the years, and the longer your career, the more pets you see in full circle. The process of euthanasia for Dr. Pam Johnson’s childhood Doberman impacted her entire career. She knew she wanted to do better for the pets and clients she woul…
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Today’s guest, Sydney Wandix, speaks to one of my favorite topics: the varying opportunities that fit under the vet med umbrella. There are so many careers available in this field that you don’t have to be stuck; you can try new things and hopefully find just the right fit. Sydney has run the gamut of jobs in the veterinary industry and is a licens…
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We have another incredible full circle story for you on this episode. Dr. Natalie Fayman shares her journey beyond vetmed after 33 years of exhaustion and burnout led her to a point of no return. When a life coach helped Dr. Fayman work through her emotional eating coping mechanism, she had a powerful breakthrough and a total epiphany through posit…
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Does your veterinary job leave you depleted? Worn out? Reaching for chocolate and caffeine day after day after day? Kirbie Be had the same experience when she was an elementary school teacher. She shares with us her story of declining physical and mental health… all culminating in a big shift when she took a contract in the Caribbean at a prep scho…
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A fun bunch joins me for this episode. I sat down with Dr. Chad Ely, Dr. Jessica Schultz, Dr. Lindsey Goeckner, and Dr. Mara Fehrenbacher from Effingham Vet Clinic. During our conversation, the glue that holds them together was no surprise. Humor. The team at Effingham has no shortage of jokes for each other when it comes to work. They find that ta…
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Dr. Neil Shaw is the founder of SignalPET, where he has worked to refine revolutionary AI technology to boost veterinary confidence and reduce stress with assisted diagnostics. When a pet comes in for care, there are a variety of scenarios that could take place, and many fall to a pivotal question: Do they need radiology? This question can lead to …
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As providers in the veterinary industry, we have compassionate hearts, always wanting to help pets and their people too. But palliative care can be hard to bear, especially when you’re having difficult conversations daily. Dr. Rachel Venable is the owner of Pet Cancer Care Consulting, where she offers teleconsulting. Telemedicine is growing in the …
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I met Daniel Valdes during a Celeritas Digital virtual peer group discussion (stay tuned till the end and check the links so you can get involved). Daniel is a dedicated project manager with Celeratis, a technology company with a heavy hand in animal health. Daniel has a personal connection to the vet industry and veterinary wellness, not only as a…
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Early on in Dr. Corey Blake’s, owner of Oceanside Animal Hospital and founder of Sacred Leadership, career, she realized owning a practice is much more than being a good DVM. She became so invested in doing the best for her team, clients, and patients. Burnout was surely following. This is when she discovered Embodiment and Embodied Leadership. Too…
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Before she founded BETTERinary Personal Coaching, Dr. Ashlee Bruewer experienced the benefits of coaching. From the age of 3, Dr. Bruewer remembers admiring her family veterinarian and wanting to be a small animal vet herself. Between then and now, she has reached her goal, but her career has taken many turns in between. Dr. Bruewer shares her pers…
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Booster Pet is leading a revolution in the veterinary care industry. CEO of Booster Pet, Dr. Katie Cutter, joins me to explain their model and the wellness benefits that come along with it. The veterinary industry has experienced a lot of change over the years and a lot of struggles, and as Dr. Cutter points out, it needs to step back and build sus…
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Dr. Pamelar Hale has returned to the podcast, this time with her colleagues Dr. Keith True and Dr. George Melillo. Together, these veterinarians bring decades of experience and a shared passion for vet-owned clinics and veterinarian leadership in the field. The wealth in the industry is more often not going to veterinarians but instead to corporati…
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MySimplePetLab, founded in 2019 by Dr. Dennis Chmiel and Dr. Nancy Willerton, has innovated a space that improves the lives of pets, pet owners, and veterinarians. As an animal health company and national diagnostic lab, MySimplePetLab uses at-home lab testing and care kits to not only reach pets faster but also optimize vet appointments and reliev…
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Leaders in the veterinary field need to be supported and trained because they impact the rest of their organization. Too often, they are thrown into positions with no education on how to be leaders. Dr. Sally Ryan has a wealth of experience in the veterinary industry, and she is the founder, consultant, and instructor of Veterinary Leadership Servi…
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Financial strain and hardship are common stressors in the veterinary profession. If you’re a practice owner considering selling your property or wanting to better understand the value of your health care real estate, Rahul Chhajed of Matthews Real Estate has some great tips. Rahul is the leader of Matthews Health Care division, where he primarily f…
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Meditation and Mindfulness are research and evidence based practices that reduce stress and instances of burnout or compassion fatigue that occur in veterinary practice! Dr. Marie Holowaychuk is a small animal emergency and critical care specialist and a passionate advocate for veterinary team wellbeing! Dr. Holowaychuk shares her story and winding…
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Joining me all the way from the UK is Dr. Liz Barton, an accomplished vet with what she calls a ‘squiggly’ career path, leading her to co-found wellbeing and support communities such as WellVet and Vet Mums. Creating groups of extrinsic resilience has such an impact when people can turn to peers or their teams for support in their times of need. Dr…
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One of the major impacts on veterinary mental health is the veterinary workforce crisis. Dr. Bob Lester, an accomplished veterinary healthcare executive, joins me with a dose of optimism and some great options for how we can work towards fixing this shortage in the industry. Dr. Lester calls the workforce crisis a "problem of abundance." This is so…
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A core strength of those in the veterinary industry is our ability to create deep connections with our animal patients. Dr. Bruce Silverman joins me to share the value of the spirituality and zen moments that come with this connection. During a time in the field when we have more patients than ever before, it is easy to become burnt out, stressed, …
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“Be the change you wish to see in the world”. This Ghandi quote is one that I think really encompasses the conversation I had in this episode with the veterinary practice manager, Kassandra Erven. In the veterinary industry our number one goal is to help animals and with them comes their owners, our clients. Too often vets are taught the hard skill…
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There are studies that prove that owning your own business can reduce your rate of burnout. Tiffany Riley, a licensed Vet Tech in Montana, shares how she found the opportunity to create a new role in her industry that not only reduced her burnout but reignited her passion for animal care. Lack of autonomy, lack of contribution control, lack of choi…
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Today l am discussing disability as a veterinarian and student with the remarkable Dr. Christina Kaye. Dr. Kaye is a talented veterinarian who has congenital vision disabilities and has received visual accommodations throughout her academic and professional journey. We explore the importance of asking for help and what you could benefit from in ter…
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Today I talked to two veterinarian friends and business partners, Dr. Seth Bleakley and Dr. Brandon Prince, who met during their early careers and bonded over a common story in the vet industry - the inhumane treatment of veterinary professionals. Despite being highly educated and making a good salary, both doctors felt overworked, undervalued, and…
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Feeling lost, numb, dreading your day, and overall burned out? Dr. Caitlin Vaughn, a veterinary professional and founder of Unlocking Vet Med, believes that sharing our stories gives us strength, and most importantly you don't have to feel this way. Dr. Vaughn shares her road through the veterinary profession and her personal experience with burnou…
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With this podcast, I truly hope to reach and improve the lives of veterinarians and other professionals in the industry. Today I am talking with Cheyenne Williams, who has worked in Vet Med for 11 years. Cheyenne shares her touching and personal story that connects her to her work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In 2016 Cheyenn…
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Dr. Craig is a 39-year veteran of the industry and has a wealth of knowledge to share. Including insights that track the entire span of a veterinarian's career. Veterinary school is where it all begins, where individuals who have always wanted to be a vet go to learn. Dr. Craig spoke of a "problem" that is occurring in admissions. What was once in-…
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“You’re just in it for the money”, a statement heard in clinics around the country that hits with a sting for veterinarians. But are they wrong? Most veterinarians are caring, tender, service-led people who deeply want to treat and help animals, but…they also have expensive student loans and personal goals like starting a family or buying a house. …
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If you’re like me, seeing the news…some situations can feel so far away and removed. But they are very real, and in the case of the War in Ukraine, there is something you can do to help. In war-torn Ukraine, it is estimated… 6,000,000 domestic animals have died 50,000 dolphins in the Black Sea have died Hundreds of thousands to millions of wild ani…
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Dr. Phil Richmond's early career in the veterinary field quickly became overwhelming from self-imposed overworking and overextending, leading to depression and even suicidal ideations. Dr. Phil is fortunate to have coworkers who saw the signs and helped him get the help he needed and deserved from a local medical professional help program. Now, he …
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With 27 years as a Veterinary Medicine professional, Andrea Tschakert has seen the industry change, morph, and come back. She describes the path of vet med as a figure 8. Over time she has gained insight on two big topics, Culture and Cash. Andrea describes culture as the way veterinary clinics process people and their pets. And over the decades sh…
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As a new veterinarian post-graduation in 2012, Dr. Amanda Ensor had bright expectations and big goals for her career. Unfortunately, her experience was met with a toxic vet culture that crushed her dreams. Dr. Ensor did not let that stop her as she persevered through the next 10 years of her career. Today she shares her journey of how she overcame …
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Dr. Shannon Bass wears a lot of hats in both her personal life and even more so in the veterinary field after working in almost every role in a hospital. She now holds the position of Director of Talent Acquisition, Specialty, for VCA Animal Hospitals. Knowing firsthand the challenges we face in the veterinary profession, Dr. Bass highlights the im…
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Most veterinarians enter their practice because they love medicine and patient-client care…not because they love the details of running a business. In fact, these responsibilities can cause overwhelm, and burnout, and can cause general care in the clinic to suffer. Dr. Ira Gordon is a veterinarian who has experienced the same fate. He loved veterin…
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Dr. Ivan Zak joined the field with a passion for ER medicine, but 6 years of overworking himself led to intense and crippling burnout. Dr. Zak described burnout as a total loss of joy with no escape. No matter what he tried to do, the feeling of disconnection and cynicism plagued him. Now he is motivated to build an organization that will systemati…
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Over the course of 20 years, Sabrina Beck has grown through many positions in the animal and veterinary industry. Today she is a practice manager and the founder of Blue Poodle Consulting. With her firm, she advises teams and practice managers on how to build happy and healthy veterinary teams. Sabrina encourages hospital and clinic owners to prior…
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Since she was a child, Dr. Dani Rabwin has always loved animals and pursued a career in veterinary medicine. As her career developed Dr. Dani began to see her passion for people, connecting through pets, and teaching and helping others. In the midst of the online era of 2020 Ready, Vet, Go was born. Ready, Vet, Go is a 6-month formal mentorship pro…
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Christina Delgado comes from an extensive background in the veterinary medicine industry. Today she works as a multi-clinic manager for two hospitals as well as being the management coach for her division, spanning across three states. Christina describes her management technique as Servant Leadership. Servant Leadership is all about empowering eac…
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Dr. Kelly and Dr. Robert Hutchison are the founders of White Whiskers Aging Pet Care in Colorado Springs, CO. This organization is the culmination of their many years of experience in the veterinary world and countless family dinner table discussions regarding what was missing in our collective veterinary experience. Their goal is to address the ch…
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Many of my listeners are veterinary professionals working in hospital clinics, but this episode is especially for those in the part of their journey where they are looking for an internship program as they find their specialty and make career decisions. Dr. Christina Kaye is currently studying to be a veterinary ophthalmologist. She shares her expe…
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Dr. Cindy Trice is the founder of Relief Rover, an online community and resource for the needs of the veterinary relief sector. Dr. Trice has worked as a relief professional for the majority of her career and her personal experience in long-term veterinary positions has allowed her to see the importance and need for relief work in this profession. …
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My listeners know by now I LOVE personality typing and discussing its impact in the workplace. Today I am talking to Theresa Bohler, she has worked with animals in some capacity for the last 44 years. Now she is a Certified DiSC Trainer helping veterinary professionals communicate better, deal with conflict, discover what motivates them, and enjoy …
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Bret Canfield is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to improving culture and operations in a veterinary hospital. Today he joined me to discuss his specialty, engagement and efficiency. What are engagement and efficiency in the workplace? Bret first describes these buzzwords as what they are not, the maximum result in the minimum time. Efficiency …
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Dr. Laura Graye, founder of Medigraytion, is a unique humanitarian and visionary scientist. Her passions, talents, and curiosities pushed her to pursue a broad variety of education and degrees that have provided a really interesting understanding of our consciousness, especially in the case of improving mental health. Dr. Graye says that she finds …
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“A vision for a transformative level of veterinary care. A belief in protecting the connection between you and your pet. And a passion for making a difference in your life. This is a new kind of veterinary practice. And you'll never think of veterinary care the same.” Dr. Cheryl Roth and Dr. Kristin Gerard are the co-founders of Guardian Veterinary…
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Conflict can be a scary word. No one likes a problem, but it’s all in how you handle it. Dr. Jeff Werber is in his 39th year as a veterinarian, and all these years later he is still in love with the profession. Today he is sharing some stories from his clinic alongside some really great advice for handling conflict in the workplace. Most problems a…
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As a Brazilian woman working in the operation field, Lety Cavalcante offers a unique perspective on leadership, team management, and burnout. Lety moved to America in 2013 after working as a lawyer in Brazil. Prior to her move she was missing something and wanting more, so she made a huge switch leading her to her position as Head of Driving Operat…
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Burnout, stress, overwhelm, fatigue…These cannot be the feelings coming from working in a field that brings you joy and aligns with your life. Dr. Amanda Doran shares her experience of burnout and overwhelm in a position that wasn't right for her, and how she began her journey to create resonance in work and life. “What is wrong with me?” A questio…
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