Perk up your business savvy by picking up tips from more than a dozen business management authorities speaking about personal and professional development during the Educational Program of the AVMA Annual Convention.
"These programs should have a broad appeal to anyone coming to the Annual Convention. Not everything in the Personal and Professional Development Program is strictly for veterinarians," said Dr. Albert S. Dorn, manager of the Personal and Professional Development section of the Convention Management and Program Committee.
So grab your family and friends and head to Salt Lake City, July 22-26.
Dr. Nan Boss
Ride the FA$TRACK
"FA$TRACK to a Better Practice," sponsored by Merial, features Dr. Nan Boss and Dr. Tom Catanzaro. Dr. Boss' practice has more than quadrupled its gross production in six years and, in 1997, earned a practice of excellence award from Veterinary Economics magazine. She has developed a complete set of handout materials to use in her practice, including resources on the care of puppies, kittens, and adult and geriatric dogs and cats. Using herself as an example, Dr. Boss will explain how to harness the power of customized client education materials. She will outline 13 principles of communication to implement in veterinary practice settings.
Dr. Tom Catanzaro
Practices face the challenge of bringing clients into their offices daily. Dr. Catanzaro, president of Catanzaro and Associates Inc, Veterinary Practice Consultants, will focus on assessing a practice's competitive environment, using a three-dimensional assessment model.
"Dr. Catanzaro is a highly visible practice management speaker with a wealth of experience on business issues," Dr. Dorn said.
Practice ethics, or lack thereof, is a major issue for Dr. Catanzaro. His session also will help practitioners define unethical behaviors and how they relate to terms of employment, hospital rules, and setting the right tone in a practice.
Economists say the veterinary profession in the new century will see an increased demand for their services. In the Communications Seminar, sponsored by Merial, speaker Petra Marquart, principal of the presentation and training firm Petra Marquart and Associates and training coordinator of Hennepin Technical College, Plymouth, Minn, believes that no matter how busy you get, it is important to maintain quality service.
In "There's No Substitute for Service," Marquart explains the impact of good service versus bad service on clients and the hospital through her four cornerstones of service, and how clinics can integrate service policies into their practices.
For clinics that may have lost a client or two along the way, there's "service recovery." Joan Fox, clinical microbiologist and international speaker, trainer, and consultant, offers a six-step model for practices that want to make amends with clients who have had an unfavorable clinic experience. Fox also explains the importance of phraseology and how to avoid common trigger phrases that immediately upset clients.
Communicate with computers
The business world has advanced because of the widespread use of computers. More often now, people are shopping for veterinary services on the Web, and practices are relying heavily on computers. Because of this, an increased number of Informatics Sessions will be held July 23-25. Randy Nichols, PhD, who does consultation for the federal government, will talk about data encryption and access to data by unauthorized individuals in "Defending Your Digital Assets Against Hackers, Crackers, Spies, and Thieves."
Dr. Dale Herman is back this year to describe the basics of integrating computers into a practice. "People who are interested in computerizing their practices or are at a basic level of computer skills in their practices are urged to attend," Dr. Dorn said.
Part of the Informatics Sessions is the Talbot Symposium, coordinated by the Association for Veterinary Informatics. The symposium highlights a variety of topics, including computer diagnostic laboratories, security, databases, designing Web sites, Java, distance learning, and Systematized Nomenclature of Human and Veterinary Medicine (SNOMED) for summarizing veterinary diagnoses (see SNOWMED browser latest in informatics).
Be healthy, wealthy, and wise
During the Wellness Symposium, William Buskist, PhD, professor of psychology, Auburn University, will talk about emotional health, and Ann Bradshaw, physical fitness trainer, will discuss physical health.
In the Gender Issues Session, sponsored by Bayer Animal Health and Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc, Dr. Cecilia Soares analyzes issues of particular interest to women. Her talk, "Home Sweet Work: Managing Family Dynamics in Veterinary Practices," pertains to women in the workplace. In another talk, "The Ultimate Team: Building Relationships that Sing," Dr. Soares will address team building and harmony in the workplace.
"An entire day is devoted to various subjects of legal interest to veterinarians. The Legal Symposium is being coordinated by the American Veterinary Medical Law Association," Dr. Dorn said.
Dr. Everett Macomber, 1992-1993 AVMA president, will discuss investing in the stock market in, "Stock Market Evaluation: How to Interpret Change and What's Important."