Viewing the veterinary profession with optimism in a post-pandemic world.

Brenda Andresen

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic triggered sweeping changes in how people go about their daily lives. Despite these challenges, the veterinary profession responded with resilience, finding new ways to care for pets while keeping people safe. AVMA President 2020-2021 Douglas Kratt, DVM shares his perspective on the successes of a difficult year, plus three areas where the profession can continue to evolve and grow.

Three ways the veterinary profession can embrace change and overcome challenges.

As veterinary practices reopen and rebound following the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, many of the ways the profession adapted are here to stay. According to Dr. Kratt, it’s important to focus on what the industry does right, and how to keep improving in the future. Here are three things he sees on the horizon of animal health care that every clinic needs to know.

1. It’s time to master the hardest “soft” skill – communication.

Veterinarians and veterinary technicians are trained in the science of animal health care, but aren’t always the best at explaining it in terms a pet owner will understand. What makes sense from a clinical standpoint may be interpreted completely differently the pet owner. Practicing good communication skills can go a long way to improving the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).

2. Connected care is the future of animal health care.

Telemedicine became a staple for veterinarians in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, but it isn’t the only aspect of connected care to watch. Smart tags or collars and exercise tracking devices for pets are just the beginning. With more data available, veterinarians can make better decisions to help improve outcomes for animals around the world.

3. Veterinary care is no longer confined by international borders.

From converting laboratories into testing labs, to contributing to vaccine research, the global veterinary community came together to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak. This innovative mindset is part of a global digital transformation that continues to break down borders and expand the possibilities for animal and human health. With access to colleagues around the world, veterinarians can collaborate and connect on the next advancements to propel animal health forward.

All of these can be achieved by embracing change and challenges. Dr. Kratt observed that during the 2020 pandemic, veterinary practices learned that it’s okay to stumble as long as they get back up and keep going. By adopting a positive, optimistic mindset and focusing on what’s going right, the industry can uncover opportunities to grow and overcome any obstacle on the horizon.

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