Today's episode is a fun collaboration with some of my amazing colleagues! Dr. Moriah McCauley of That Vet Life Podcast, Drs. Marci Kirk and Annie Chavent of My Veterinary Life Podcast and I sat down to discuss our experiences at the Veterinary Leadership Conference which is hosted every January by the AVMA. It is a really unique conference and we wanted to spread the word about all of the awesome aspects that we were able to experience.
Make sure to follow and subscribe to both of the other podcasts as they offer amazing insight into our veteirnary medicine world. Find them on Instagram @dr.moriah.mccauley @vetxinternational and @avmavets!
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Hey there, it's Dr. Stacey Cordivano. As a veterinary professional, you can learn to be happier, healthier, wealthier and more grateful for the life that you've created. This podcast is here to help you find the resources to do just that. I will speak with outside of the box thinkers to hear new ideas on ways to improve our day to day lives. Together, we will create a community of veterinarians working towards positive change. Welcome to the whole veterinarian. In air, I am so glad to be back with you. I don't even really know what to say about the prolonged absence. If you follow me on social media, you saw that I was taking a break. I just had a few too many things on my plate, kind of starting at the end of October. And I just wasn't able to finish out Season Five like I had planned. And then life just kept happening. You know, once you're out of the swing of something, it's a little hard to fit it back in. But I have been desperate to get back to podcasting and releasing episodes and I'm so happy to do so with this episode. This was a culmination of a trip that I took to Chicago to go to the veterinary Leadership Conference which is put on every year by the AVMA I tried to go last year, but COVID stopped me. So this was my first time attending. And on the suggestion of a dear friend, Dr. Gary Marshall, who is the master networker, I got together with some fellow podcasters at the first night cocktail hour. And we decided that what we needed to do was to do a recap episode talking about our favorite parts of the conference. And so this is that episode. We all recorded it. We're all going to release it separately, but it's the same content. So if you've heard it on another channel, then no need to listen here. So yeah, I'm just so glad to be back with you. I'm going to start releasing the last two episodes of season five, which have been recorded forever ago. I'm going to start releasing those shortly. And then I have lots of new content planned for the new year. And I'm looking forward to getting back to talking with you twice a month from here on out. So thanks so much for waiting during my break and coming back and listening and welcome. If you're new. Feel free to reach out on social media if you have questions, suggestions or topic ideas. Or if you just want to connect, so find me at the whole veterinarian on Instagram. Or check out the whole veterinarian.com I really hope you enjoy this episode. And thanks again to my co hosts and fellow guests. You guys are amazing.Annie Chavent:
Welcome to a very special podcasters United episode today. We are super excited to be here and talk about our combined experience at the recent veterinary Leadership Conference that took place at the beginning of January in sunny Chicago. So why don't we go round and do introductions before we jump into the content of the show?Moriah McCauley:
All right, who wants to first been taken away? Right? All right. So my name is Dr. Moriah McCauley. I am a small animal general practitioner and the host of that vet life podcast which looks at mentorship for mentors and mentees within the veterinary profession.Stacey Cordivano:
My name is Stacey Cordivano. I'm an equine veterinarian and practice owner in Chester County, Pennsylvania and I'm the host of the whole veterinarian podcast.Marci Kirk:
All right, and I'm Marci I am I an employee of the AVMA and co host of my veterinary life podcast. Prior to that I was in small animal private practice.Annie Chavent:
And I'm Annie Chavent. Also on staff at the AVMA part of the student initiatives team here and also a co host of the my veterinary life podcast, part of the AVMA I was an equine private practice. So we're coming to you together today because we got a shared enthusiasm for a desire to make a difference in the profession, interested in podcasting, as well as the clinical parts of veterinary medicine. So we thought it would be really fun while we got a chance to touch base in person at the veterinary leadership conference to talk about some takeaways from that conference as they relate to the different identities that we have in veterinary medicine. So what I think would be good to do first is kind of start with our whys. As I mentioned, the veterinary Leadership Conference is in Chicago in January. So a tropical location was not the reason why you picked this conference. So let's let's hear about the whys. Why VLC for you for your continuing education this year.Stacey Cordivano:
I had never been before I was super excited. To see what it was all about. And I was initially tempted by all the amazing lecture titles that I saw. And then I knew I would get to see a bunch of friends and meet some people that I had connected with on social media. So a big part of it was networking. And I'm sure we'll get into it later. But I was actually surprised that all that VLC encompasses. So I'm kind of excited to share this episode with everyone.Moriah McCauley:
This was my second year at VLC. I went last year on the begging of some of my friends. So like, you need to come to this conference and like, Okay, why am I gonna go to Chicago in January? I have other friends who are like, Oh, I, because I was asking them Do you want to come to like, well, I'm going to a conference in Bermuda. I was like, Oh, I made the wrong choice here. But, of course, going to VLC like, it was so much fun that first year, it drew me back for the second year. And I was speaking this past year. So that was my first time really speaking at an AVMA convention of any sort. So that was my main reason for going. But then also just connecting with all these friends that I know via social media and meeting new people, and just the leadership aspect, like we do a lot of medical conferences as doctors, but we don't get to work on these other skills and these networking opportunities. So that was my other big reason for going.Marci Kirk:
This is my eighth VLC. I went into one before I was on staff at the AVMA and I, I'm also on the planning committee for it. So I'll be taking notes so that we can continue to improve it. But it's what I what I like is I don't know about you guys, when I go to any conference, there's 18 different things going on. And I always want to do all of them. So this is structured much smaller. So I do feel pulled in slightly less directions and have to make fewer choices, which I always really appreciate.Moriah McCauley:
That's a really good point. Yeah, I know, like a lot of these bigger conferences you go to and like you literally have like 20 different things. You're like, I want to do all these things right now. But because of the way that VLC is structured, you actually can make it to most of the things that you want to which is a big difference.Annie Chavent:
Yeah, no, I think that's that's a great point, as well. I'm a little bit in the in the camp of Marci in terms of going as part of my staff responsibilities. But I have a slightly different bent for VLC. So as part of the student initiatives team, we work with the local chapters to offer a scholarship to one person from each of the savage chapters to come and attend VLC as a student. So there's some students specific programming there, which is really fun, we do a sort of orientation before the orientation to kind of help our early veterinarians get acclimated with some of the kind of governmental things that also go on at VLC, which I think we'll probably get into, but it's really fun to see that combination of leaders from all phases of the profession in this conference, and in that kind of small group setting that that both Marcy Moriah were talking about. So it's been a really fun and rewarding experience for me as well.Stacey Cordivano:
I actually went to that student orientation with our all of our mutual friends, Gary Marshall, and I was like, What are we doing here, and I was so thankful that I went because I didn't actually know any of the stuff that was presented. So it was really great information. I'm glad that the students get to learn about it. I certainly didn't invent school.Annie Chavent:
I always appreciate a good orientation, really, whatever life stage I'm at.Marci Kirk:
Yeah, if you were really motivated, there's two hours of essentially the same content back to back.Annie Chavent:
So I'm curious. So we've talked about how there's kind of different things going on. It's a smaller group setting, but it is continuing education and kind of some professional development for us. And I think that there's, there's different things that you can take from different parts of this conference, as in all conferences. So Mariah, I'm curious, as a current practitioner, what what's something that you took away from, from that, like, kind of clinical aspect or what you're going to bring back to your team.Moriah McCauley:
So from a clinical aspect, of course, like we're not, it's not like we're going into a talk to be like, This is how I approach a GDV by any sort or stretch of the imagination. But we are looking at these leadership skills. And like, for me, I'm really focusing in on the mentorship side. And those are skills that within our day to day practice of small animal General, General work that we don't always think about, but they are intensely important with the culture of our practice. And so a lot of the things that I took away from this conference was okay, how am I going to be a better leader for my staff members for my colleagues, and also just not just the people within my practice, but then the people that I talked to in the practices in my neighboring area, just because like we are just one big community not to kind of look at it from that aspect, but we we forget about the conversational and you I guess that community aspect of veterinary medicine and being at VLC brings up some of those conversations that we we know are there, but we don't really spend the time to really go into and focusing again, like, how do you be a good leader? How do you be a good mentor? Where are the pitfalls? Where are the areas that we're looking into in developing? So it's, that was the kind of the the big takeaways that I had as a practitioner. I think that's really neat.Annie Chavent:
I like that you kind of mentioned the, the veterinary ecosystem of yes,Moriah McCauley:
that's the word I was looking for there.Annie Chavent:
Because it is it's not just about you and your team, I think we focus on that first. But there are these really important interactions with neighboring practices and with the community at large. And that is one thing that I really enjoy about these conferences, and kind of, especially at the beginning of the year, like VLC is when you're thinking about resolutions and goals of, of maintaining those connections and, and keeping a broad perspective on your role in the profession as well. So love, love that. Stacy, anything to add from our equine friends.Stacey Cordivano:
Yeah. So clinically speaking, as a practice owner, I'm always and especially in my work with the podcasts and other things, you know, I tend to gravitate towards burnout and leadership talks. And I certainly couldn't help myself from going to a couple of those. But I was excited to be able to expand into a lot of the equity and inclusion lectures. I went to AVMA this year, and they were all at the exact same time. So I literally went to one. And I was really excited to make two different sort of workshop lectures. So Dr. LaTonia Craig talked about increasing our intercultural competency. And she had us do an exercise of our sort of inner circle of colleagues and trusted friends. And it made me realize how narrow mine is. And I think that it's our responsibility as practice leaders to try and increase our cultural competency, but also, you know, the options we have for enhancing our inclusion inclusive practices. So another talk, doctors come from Kemba Marshall and Mia Cary did, they asked us to, you know, pick one thing we were going to do when we left, and I had known about journey for teams and had signed up for it actually at a P and had started getting the emails, but I had not opened them. So my commitment was to dig into the program, which is seems to be an amazing program, and really explore that over the next few months, especially, it's our slow season here up north for equine. So I'm going to really dig into the journey for teams. And that was a really nice, different thing for me to kind of explore as a practice owner.Annie Chavent:
Awesome. Awesome. I'm glad that you got the opportunity to explore some of those tracks that you might not have been able to otherwise, I was in both of those sessions as well. And I thought they were eight speakers. Yeah. So powerful. So so powerful. And and I think it's good to have those kind of regular check ins that are that are not just lectures that are workshops to so you can really think about how it applies specifically in your day to day and I think that they did an amazing job with that. So awesome. So that's our practitioner hot. Take Marcy, what do you think about for podcasting? Any inspirational tips tricks from VLC? Or did it just? How did it how did it hit you this time? Well,Marci Kirk:
now you say that, I think last year, right? What what there was a year that there was one, there was actually a session on podcast? Yes,Moriah McCauley:
yes. Last year. I remember that one. I remember sitting there and they're like, we have other podcasters in the room. And I was like, Oh, don't do there.Marci Kirk:
Yeah. I didn't know that there was like practical tips, but I think we hit on it before but because of the smaller size, just the connections that you can make in a very meaningful way have tremendous impacts. And I laugh at myself, because, you know, he said there was orientation and so I did one of the orientations. And I joked that like I kept a lot of the governance stuff because this conference in particular happens in conjunction with the AVMA is House of Delegates winter session. So like when business is done for the organization, and it is very confusing and even working here, I still get a little lost in some of it. So I jokingly said, like we're keeping this very high level. And I, I You stated that it was because I want you to go talk to the leaders. They're here. Ask them how this works, how they got involved, what are they doing? And part of it was to because I'm like, I'm not sure I know all the answers either. So I need to go ask the questions. But it's just you're able to do that because there there are facilitated networking events. There are structured I guess, I should say there are opportunities to just chat with people and crossing because the breaks are longer. And I should also say, you know, being in Chicago in January, you're not going to be walking across buildings. It's like the rooms are right next to each other like you're insulated. inside. So I just really appreciate all those opportunities to connect with people. Like right at the first of the year, it just feels like a great way to start the year. So I, I love that and appreciate that aspect of it.Stacey Cordivano:
I mean, just look at us here together, we wouldn't have gotten this organized if we had not been there in person and agreed to it.Moriah McCauley:
And if we didn't have that one friend that sent out by email right before all of this, we know who we're talking about, like, Hey, you all do podcasting, you should all meet up. And so that first night, we're all just like standing there. We're like, Hi, this is me in person. And we came up with this grand plan to record this episode. And that's what I think is so cool about these, these conferences is that you find out that hey, like, yes, we're in a we're in a small little world of veterinary medicine. But they're like little microcosms. And for us, it's the podcasting microcosm. And that's where we got to meet up. And I know for myself, I ended up recording a few episodes while I was there, just serendipitously. And just the connections that you make with this with people as your as your guests. You just didn't don't know that they're gonna happen. And that's what makes it even more amazing.Stacey Cordivano:
Yeah, I left with a ton of new ideas for episodes and people to talk to, and I'd met them. And yeah, the networking and introductions are great,Annie Chavent:
amazing. Amazing. Yes, I think that's really at the heart of a lot of these conferences and kind of talking about going back to the beginning and talking about the why is, is getting to meet these people in person. I think, of course, we appreciate it more now than ever. But it is it's such a special profession. And there's so many different paths that you can take. And so to get these little touch points throughout the year, to check in with people that have similar interests, and similar Miko, microcosms I really liked that term is really helpful. And it's good. Also, to your point, Stacey, and talking about content and managing burnout and recharging. Like, for me, talking to other people who are passionate about the same things that I am, is that sort of like restorative energy giving, kind of providing that drive? And so in terms of takeaways for podcasting, yeah, definitely loving the connections, but also just loving the infusion of energy that that we get from being together. So that's been really fun in the vein of energy. I'm very curious now, because, as you heard in our introductions, we're involved in a few things in veteran medicine, I think that would be in addition to podcasting. Having a lot of things on our plates is a common interest of ours. I think I could say. So and actually, I think Stacey, we talked about on the episode with you of how, how you're juggling these different hats and things that you're wearing. So were there any takeaways specifically on kind of handling life as a busy female professional, a common thread again, for all of us, how has that kind of influenced your your mindset,Stacey Cordivano:
I saw some women who were kicking butt, and doing all the governmental things that I didn't even know existed. And it is inspiring to see them working so hard for us as a profession, in ways, you know, like I said, I didn't go to that student orientation when I was a student. And I am much more clear on how all the House of Delegates and everything works, but still not totally sure. And I'm just really thankful for the people that are working really hard balancing all of that on top of their clinical jobs, and motherhood and all the other things that they're doing. So that was just inspiring for me to seeMoriah McCauley:
some of the way like, I'm gonna just a little bit of a different life stage than the rest of y'all and getting to go to a conference like this. And just like you said, Stacey, getting to see these people that are working in the governance side. And I love how the way that this is structured, like you can go and sit in on those big talks, where they're having these big discussions, and you can hear the conversations and the that they're having, and just the things that they're fighting for, and working together as this big community. And it just brings in this whole new insight as to what's truly happening within the veterinary profession. And then as like a female practitioner, who's of course balanced is spending a lot of plates right now as we do it for for better or for worse, I guess. But it is incredibly inspiring and encouraging and challenging to see all these other people like yourselves that are are balancing all of these different things. But at the same time, it's really comforting to be able to sit down and say, Hey, I'm struggling with this. And you're like, Yeah, I've been there too. And you're like, Oh, phew, I'm not I'm not the only one who's going through this. So we can like like I said, and different life stages you can still say hey, you know what I've been where you've been and I can help you get to where you want to go like to let's talk about your goals. So having that kind of energy is so revitalizing and again, right at the beginning of the year, so what better could you ask for?Marci Kirk:
I don't know. Maybe it could be in Florida. That wouldMoriah McCauley:
be ideas, ideas, you know, you're on the planning committee here.Marci Kirk:
Honestly, no, honestly though, like if it was somewhere nicer you would have people dispersingStacey Cordivano:
Totally agree. Everyone was nice and cozy in there, right?Marci Kirk:
Yeah, it's still in the heart of like really good food, we had some great meals. So there's always that option too. So it's I don't want people to think that we're just isolating you in this hotel. There's optionsMoriah McCauley:
will say it was warmer this year than it was last year. Like, we actually could go outside without wearing 10 layers.Marci Kirk:
All joking aside, not that bad to be in Chicago.Moriah McCauley:
It really is cool. Like, just wait right where we were with the hotel, like you could go and walk to the lakefront, you could go see the beam, like everything was within reachable distance. Like if you didn't have to jump in a car, you could if you wanted to, but you didn't have to, to walk anywhere.Annie Chavent:
Awesome. So whether you're looking for inspiration as a practitioner, as a podcaster, as an aspiring podcaster, there might be some of those out there, we need a few more, right? We always have more voices to the to the mix, or just kind of trying to figure out some life things right, like how to balance or just knowing that you're not alone, some of the things that you're thinking about and some of the priorities that you're working to juggle and balance as well. The LC veterinary Leadership Conference is an amazing time to reenergize revitalize, you've heard from lots of different perspectives and things that you can take away. So we touched on diversity, equity, inclusion, some workshops, really some time to pause and reflect on yourself at the beginning of the year, learning a little bit more about the organized veterinary medicine and how it's governed and being able to kind of look behind the scenes on that as well. And then also just the support and the connections that you make from bumping into people in the hallway or grabbing a cup of coffee or getting a delicious meal at the end of the day. There's lots to take away from this conference and other conferences throughout the year. So we just wanted to take a second today and celebrate that and recognize that and also to selfishly get a wonderful podcast reunion together because it's been great to make these connections in person. And now we'll get back on the air together. So as we wrap up this VLC summary any closing thoughts, final parting ideas?Moriah McCauley:
If you're listening to this podcast, we expect to see you at VLC next year.Annie Chavent:
Well said well saidStacey Cordivano:
great summary. I don't have much to add other than thanks for getting us all together. And thanks for listening to everyone. And yes, if you're interested in kind of a different avenue, definitely check out VLC. It's a slightly different twist on a conference for veterinariansAnnie Chavent:
love it. So we'll see you all there,Unknown:
Chicago VLC 2024 2024. See you there.Stacey Cordivano:
See ya. Thank you so much for tuning in to the whole veterinarian podcast. I so appreciate the time that you spend with me to connect, please find me on Instagram at the whole veterinarian, or check out the website at the whole veterinarian.com and you can sign up for our monthly newsletter as well. Thanks again and I'll talk to you soon