What dreams may come

How a Vet Ec board member snuck into my subconscious.
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May 01, 2008


Kristi Reimer
I had a dream last night that I became a veterinarian. The details surrounding how that actually happened are fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure Dr. Ernie Ward, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member, was one of my teachers. I couldn't figure out why no one was bringing me patients, and Ernie was giving me tips. At that point I think I woke up with my own "patient" meowing in my face ready for her breakfast.

The dream was bizarre and nonsensical in the way that dreams are, but it got me thinking that if I really were to embark on the journey all of you have undertaken, who better than someone like Ernie Ward and the rest of our incredible board members to light the way?

I had the privilege of seeing several board members in action recently during CVC East in Baltimore, where they were speakers. And many of their words and ideas are still rolling around in my head—which is probably where my dream came from in the first place. So rather than have these gems simply sit in my subconscious, I thought I'd share them with you as well. Here are a few sparklers:

Shawn McVey. During his "group therapy" session at the Managers' Retreat, Shawn put the smack down on triangulated conversations—that's therapy speak for discussing a problem with someone other than the person you're having conflict with. When Shawn was a hospital CEO, if a team member came to him with a problem about a coworker without first talking to that coworker, he would write him or her up for violating hospital policy. Wow. I could see the lightbulbs flashing on over all the heads in the room. They mirrored the one above my own.

Dr. Ernie Ward. Is there anyone like Ernie in all the world? Not in my book. He spoke to a packed room of more than 100 Firstline Live attendees, and his charm reached even those of us in the back row. It didn't hurt that he was talking about one of my favorite subjects: nonverbal communication. He said the most important piece of equipment in a veterinary practice was an exam room stool. Studies show that women prefer to converse with a doctor who's positioned just a bit below eye level, and if she's sitting in a chair, a stool puts you at just the right height.

Denise Tumblin. I talked with Denise about Benchmarks 2008, set to be published in August, and I can't wait! The study hones in on one of the most potent elixirs for both financial health and medical excellence—continuity of care. The evaluations from Denise's Progress In Practice session on the same topic raved about the practical tools attendees received for establishing consistency in their own practices—and reaping the rewards that go along with it. And this one I can't whittle down. All I can say is, catch Denise's Progress In Practice session at CVC Central or CVC West later this year.

In fact, you can catch Shawn and Ernie doing their thing, too—plus countless other amazing speakers and sessions. I can't wait to see what dreams arise for you as a result.










Kristi Reimer, Editor