President’s message – veterinary medicine disrupted
I have a word for you. Disruption. I have been hearing this word a lot recently. It is used frequently in the tech sector of our economy. There is disruption happening in veterinary medicine and it has not been talked about much. A big disruption happened to our profession over a century ago when the automobile replaced the horse. I can imagine our colleagues at the time had many anxious moments and some interesting discussions. We are in the midst of a disruption today. When the profession has a major change, it is uncomfortable to have a conversation about it. We started the conversation at our VetMed Matters Conference last week in Bellevue.
Changes will always be around and can bring anxiety to many of us. The major change now is the consolidation of practices and the introduction of capital from outside sources. As with anything, there can be positives and negatives. This change has occurred relatively quickly. Depending on where we are in our career, the impacts are different for all of us. One important thing we need to examine is the potential effects on our healthcare teams. The balance between patient care and business has become something we should all examine.
A report about the Conference will come soon and I invite everyone to read and discuss with your colleagues. Further conversations need to take place about how to retain the talented team members in our profession. No matter what the ownership structure is at a practice, we need to listen and respond to the needs of our team. Patient care is what we have to consider as things change.
Will the disruption be as large as the automobile? It is way too early to tell. How we look in the coming decades is probably beyond our imagination. We all need to watch and talk about this now to make sure it continues to be a profession all of us can be proud to be a part of.
By Dr. Paul DeMaris, WSVMA President
Posted March 9, 2018