Pet Insurance: Healthier Pets, Healthier Practice

Dr. Kristi Yee of Nationwide Insurance joined us again via webcast for a continuation of last semester's discussion on pet insurance and revenue. She walked us through the differences between human and animal health insurance, and how practice revenue increases simply by having a higher percentage of clients using insurance. Dr. Yee also highlighted essential points that should be included in a good plan, including both wellness and emergency services, an annual (not appointment-based) deductible, and prescription diets.

"All my points have one theme in common: step outside your comfort zone."

Dr. Tyler Foreman, from PetWell Partners of Texas, joined us to discuss leadership pathways in veterinary medicine and the various career options one could pursue them in. He walked through three options: traditional/clinical, industry, and "anything else". For the traditional pathway, Dr. Foreman urged taking risks and making connections while still in vet school, and always setting yourself up for your next opportunity as much as possible. In industry, he recommended a strong resume and LinkedIn, and emphasized the variety of paths here, including consulting, practice brokering, entrepreneurship, and careers in pharmaceuticals/nutrition. For "anything else", Dr. Foreman highlighted options in government organizations, writing/public speaking, and politics. He finished by saying life outside the profession is always important for a healthy work-life balance, and also helps in building client relationships.

Third Annual PennVet Career Fair

More than twenty employers from all over the tri-state area came to PennVet as part of the third annual career fair in conjunction with PVMA and SCAVMA. Booths in the lobby encouraged networking between students and visitors, while two sets of career presentations ran concurrently, covering everything from government veterinary careers to shelter medicine tracks. In addition, many employers also hosted speed interviews with the students for summer jobs, externships, and full employment following graduation. A few of the participants were Banfield Pet Hospital, Metropolitan Veterinary Associates, and Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware.

Interviewing 101 Workshop with PVMA and SCAVMA

As part of the SCAVMA/VBMA/PVMA "Student to Veterinary Superstar" Seminar Series, this workshop assisted participants with refining their interview skills to prepare for employment, externship, and internship opportunities. The workshop covered the do’s and don’ts of interviewing, pre-interview preparation, and the importance of professional networking. Following a panel discussion with our experts, Dr. Tina Dougherty and Dr. Mary Bryant, participants in this workshop had the opportunity to work in small groups to practice interviewing skills firsthand with volunteer interviewers. This workshop balanced individual, personalized attention, small group exercises, and overarching mass-applicable themes.

"You remember the negative, you don't remember the positive."

Mr. Alan Fishman, from the Yorktown Financial Group, and Mr. Thomas Grandieri, from Montgomery Insurance Services, gave a four part talk on investing basics and disability insurance. In the first part on investor behavior, Mr. Fishman presented a crash course on investing terms, and misconceptions that can lead to poor decision-making when investing. In the second part, he reviewed the types of stocks and bonds, when to invest in each kind and why, and the importance of investing. In the third portion, Mr. Fishman gave a talk entitled "Principles of Investing", where he emphasized the necessity of long-term strategies when investing. Mr. Grandieri stepped in for the final part on disability insurance coverage, or as he phrased it, the "income replacement plan".

"Listening is a powerful gift you can give to a person."

Dr. Dean Tyson from the Veterinary Medical Center and Mr. Michael Linardi from Halcyon Coaching joined us as part of an ongoing sequence titled the "Barth Communication Excellence Series", named after a former patient. This series was developed to improve doctor-client communication, and to make a connection and build trust with said client. Emphasis was placed on improving soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, and increasing levels of listening, from ignoring up to empathizing. Several exercises helped practice these abilities, including  a communicating-listening activity with a partner, and role playing "tough talks" with both clients and coworkers. Other significant topics covered were conflict management and the importance of influential leadership.

Loan Borrowing and Repayment Strategies for First and Third Year Vet Students

Dr. Jeffrey Hanson gave two separate talks aimed at loan strategies: borrowing for the first years, and repayment for the third years. At the loan borrowing talk, Dr. Hanson discussed personal finance and managing a good budget as a student, making a financial investment in yourself, and maximizing your education while minimizing your debt. At the loan repayment talk, Dr. Hanson held an interactive session while discussing loan conditions and repayment plan options, federal loan forgiveness programs, and managing a reasonable budget while under repayment.

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PennVet Chapter of the VBMA | vet-vbma@vet.upenn.edu
3800 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104