Pulse - September 2021 - 15
I didn't know financial management. I
didn't know any of that.
" I had to educate myself. There was a
very steep learning curve and in the process
of taking CE and asking questions and
attending conferences, it was really overwhelming.
But this group of managers -
they all took me in. It was so nice to be
able to have a support system.
" I could call them. We would go for
walks on weekends and it was so nice to
share. They have this problem. I also have it.
We could cry together and share our successes
together and go to conferences and
learn things together. I don't think that
I would have made it in this job without
" This position in a hospital is a very
lonely position. I don't have any co-workers.
Everyone is above me or below me.
There's nobody I really can vent to about
problems within my practice. "
Elaine added that she attends yearly Veterinary
Hospital Managers Association conferences.
" I have made friends there. We have a
text chain, a managers text chain that we're
all in, " she said. She has frequent exchanges
with a practice manager in Texas. " She
laughs at our California laws and gives us her
perspective on things. So that's fun. "
" Now I'm in a better place. Other hospital
managers call me now with questions and
for advice and help. That feels good. "
Leslie Boudreau, practice manager
and administrator at the Animal Hospital
of Huntington Beach, said that being
in a management group " is a necessity for
every practice manager. You can't share
your workplace frustrations with any of
your staff. You can't talk to them about the
employee who makes you pull your hair
out. Having a group of colleagues you can
commiserate with, bounce ideas off of and
get ideas from is essential: How are you
doing it? How are you handling it? That's
been a godsend for me.
" I have a core group of manager friends.
We've really become good friends - we
travel together and we see others regularly
as a support system. Without that support
system, I would not have gotten through all
this with all my hair in place.
" It's really nice to talk to someone who
gets you, gets what you're dealing with
every day. You share so many things in
common. If I'm having employee issues,
I'm sure one of my colleagues is having
a worse time of it. If I'm having a person
quit, there's someone who's had three people
quit. It keeps you grounded and you
realize you're not alone and that this is a
normal thing that's happening. It's not just
your practice. "
She added that shared camaraderie with
fellow practice managers " has helped us all. "
Jake Waas, former manager and now
administrator/owner of Covina Animal
Hospital, provided an insight into that
camaraderie: " What's so great about the
national VHMA conference is that people
all over are my friends - from Philadelphia,
Florida, Georgia, Colorado - and those
people, every time we go, are texting each
other. 'Hey, where are you? What time are
you getting in?' "
It's like a fraternity, he said. " It's a great
group of people. But that's true of the
industry as a whole. Everybody's willing
and happy to share. " Although it's a bit of
a drive for him from Covina, he loves the
North Orange County Managers Group,
which is coordinated by consultants Melissa
Tompkins and Andrea Crabtree. He loves to
attend their monthly lunches.
" It's a good group for me. Everybody's
there to help one another, even though
they might be competitors from a practice
standpoint. Everybody's happy to share. I
think it's so cool. "
Jake also has a Zoom group, he said, with
from Ohio and one from
Central California. He describes the participants
as " kind of my tribespeople. These
groups are so valuable, " he said.
" I would say of the innovation we do, 90
percent or more of it comes from gatherings
like these. Just talking and spitballing
ideas at one another and then I make a
couple of tweaks to make it fit what I envision
or what we're doing in our practice. "
Jake is deeply involved in the VHMA.
" I'm on a committee that does education
and programming - setting up conferences,
webinars, those types of things, " he said
" I love that association. At a conference
about four years ago, I realized that these
are my people. They love veterinary practice
management. They dedicate themselves
to practice management. It's fun to be in
the same room with people who share that
common interest and passion. I like the idea
of being able to do something meaningful
and important in this industry.
Leslie agrees. She is a CVPM and member
of the VHMA Board of Directors and
treasurer-elect. " It's a world-wide group
with members in 26 countries. I have
friends on a national level from attending
VHMA meetings. "
There are eight practice manager
groups in Southern California said Melissa
Tompkins, owner of South Coast Veterinary
Solutions. They are in Los Angeles,
Orange and San Diego counties as well as
the Inland Empire. The original Orange
County group was founded in 2008. In
2011, a North County group split off from
the original group. Andrea Crabtree and
Melissa were cofounders.
" We decided to create a platform that
was specific for practice managers or assistant
managers, practice owners - people
who were focused specifically on management.
We don't discuss anything medical at
" We took all eight groups that were in
Southern California and we made a network
- the SoCal Veterinary Managers
Network - that was really helpful during
" The North Orange County group
updated people constantly on changes. All
the HR, all the legal stuff - it was just crazy,
there was so much information. We did virtual
meetings for more than a year and now
we're doing them in person again.
" Leadership in the various groups can
invite all their members to join the network.
The purpose of our network is to
connect everyone, take questions if they
want to know more about something. "
As she's grown in this management field,
Melissa said, she has heard many times from
practice managers that there are so many
things that they don't know whether the
rules permit or prohibit.
Pulse - September 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - September 2021
Pulse - September 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
How Veterinary Managers’ Jobs Differ
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - September 2021 - Pulse - September 2021
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - September 2021 - 1
Pulse - September 2021 - 2
Pulse - September 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - September 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - September 2021 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - September 2021 - 6
Pulse - September 2021 - 7
Pulse - September 2021 - 8
Pulse - September 2021 - 9
Pulse - September 2021 - 10
Pulse - September 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - September 2021 - How Veterinary Managers’ Jobs Differ
Pulse - September 2021 - 13
Pulse - September 2021 - 14
Pulse - September 2021 - 15
Pulse - September 2021 - 16
Pulse - September 2021 - 17
Pulse - September 2021 - 18
Pulse - September 2021 - 19
Pulse - September 2021 - 20
Pulse - September 2021 - 21
Pulse - September 2021 - 22
Pulse - September 2021 - 23
Pulse - September 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - September 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - September 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - September 2021 - Tools for Success
Pulse - September 2021 - 28
Pulse - September 2021 - Angel Fund
Pulse - September 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - September 2021 - The RVT
Pulse - September 2021 - Industry Insights
Pulse - September 2021 - Quick Reference
Pulse - September 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - September 2021 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Pulse - September 2021 - 36
Pulse - September 2021 - 37
Pulse - September 2021 - 38
Pulse - September 2021 - Resources
Pulse - September 2021 - 40
Pulse - September 2021 - Disease Table
Pulse - September 2021 - 42
Pulse - September 2021 - 43
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Pulse - September 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover3
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover4