Pulse - September 2021 - 19

for the letters of recommendation
needed to qualify to take the CVPM test.
" A core group within the larger group
formed a bond because of going through
certification and supporting each other
in the process. "
Leslie earned her certification in 2011.
" This was going to be my profession once
I decided that my best role was in a management
position. Becoming a CVPM not
only is a learning process. You learn very
quickly what you don't know [as you prepare
for the test] because it's so encompassing
in the tasks managers face. I tell people
who are interested that, if this is your profession
and certification is the highest qualification
for it, why wouldn't you get it? It's
a very challenging exam with a wide body
of knowledge you must prepare for.
" You learn very quickly that there are
all these different areas you have to study
- financial, resources, legal, ethical - even
OSHA and safety. And you discover that
you have your strengths. For me the financial
aspect was an area where I was weak.
I had to study contracts, benefits law and
take a deep dive into corporate law. That
wasn't my forte at the time.
" You learn what you don't know and
then you prepare for all aspects. "
Elaine Myers, administrator of Orange
County Emergency Pet Clinics, echoed
Leslie's thoughts. " What educated me most
for my job, " she said, " was going through
all those management readings while I
studied for the CVPM test. As the saying
goes, you don't know what you don't
know. I didn't know how much I didn't
know until I did all that reading and then
attended conferences and workshops. "
She advises those wanting to become
practice managers " to work really hard and
take on all those jobs that you see aren't
being done. If you see a problem, figure out
a solution and ask that it be implemented.
In my experience, when somebody is looking
for a manager, they look to who's doing
the job already. That's what I would look
for. Who's already stepping up to the plate?
Who's shouldering responsibility?
" I had done that here [at the two emergency
clinics] and my boss had come to rely
on me. When he retired, it was a natural fit
for me. And if he hadn't retired, he would
have recommended me somewhere else.
" I think a lot of the advice given to
young people in this profession is very selfcentered,
very 'me, me, me.' I understand
PULSE
SEPTEMBER 2021
there's a lot of burnout and a need for selfcare
and setting boundaries. But I don't
know anyone who's succeeded that way. "
Veterinary consultant Melissa Tompkins
suggested that a staff member aiming
to become a practice manager - a job she
once held - should seek a supervisor's role.
She also said that taking college courses in
business, accounting, leadership, communications
or other useful subjects would be a
good idea.
" That would help [candidates] who
don't have a college degree. They could do
it while working as a supervisor. Becoming
a member of VHMA is also a good
step because there are lots of powerful
tools there. " The American Animal Hospital
Association also has good tools, she said.
And there are online courses in practice
management at universities such as Petersburg
University, Patterson U. and PennFoster
College.
Melissa added that it would be smart to
affiliate with managers groups - there are
several in Southern California - to engage
and exchange ideas. " There are a lot of
places someone could join where you
could get so much knowledge. "
And, she said, as an aspiring practice
manager, you should " make sure that your
practice owner knows what you are trying
to do, " she said.
Jake Waas, former practice manager
and now administrator of Covina Animal
Hospital, said: " I love initiative from people
on our team. And I think that's a lot
of the story from other practice managers.
Like the technician who cared enough to
say: 'Hey, this isn't working. It needs to
be fixed.' Or: 'This process isn't working
right. Let's make an adjustment.'
" That's what I've looked for a lot in
leadership positions - people who take
the initiative and really care. Work ethic is
a big part of that. The important thing to
add is people who care about other people
and have the emotional intelligence to
help other people reach their best potential,
people who show up and are there
to support one another - that's a really
important part of being a leader. "
Jake added that people skills and personal
communication are " really important. "
It's that inner desire that you love
working with people, you love fixing
things and being a problem solver. You can
acquire those skills through self-assessment
and understanding and building confidence
19
through programs such as Toastmasters for
public speaking.
" As a practice manager, the buck often
stops with you and you need to be ready
to face that challenge and make decisions.
It's been important to me to maintain
my composure and have my own house
in order. There are going to be days that
are tough as a practice manager and being
able to have resiliency - that sustainability
and long-term view - is an invaluable
asset. You may not make every decision
right but you need to be able to bounce
back and learn from your mistakes and
keep moving onward. "
" You learn very
quickly that there
are all these
different areas you
have to study -
financial, resources,
legal, ethical - even
OSHA and safety.
And you discover
that you have your
strengths. "
- Leslie Boudreau

Pulse - September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - September 2021

Pulse - September 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
President’s Perspective
Pulsepoints
SCVMA Profile
How Veterinary Managers’ Jobs Differ
Practical Pathology
Medical Leeway
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Angel Fund
Dear Tabby
The RVT
Industry Insights
Quick Reference
AVMA Diplomates
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Resources
Disease Table
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
Pulse - September 2021 - 44
Pulse - September 2021 - 45
Pulse - September 2021 - 46
Pulse - September 2021 - 47
Pulse - September 2021 - 48
Pulse - September 2021 - 49
Pulse - September 2021 - 50
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Pulse - September 2021 - 55
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Pulse - September 2021 - 57
Pulse - September 2021 - 58
Pulse - September 2021 - 59
Pulse - September 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover3
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover4
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