It has been a week since the conclusion of the AAEP Annual Convention. Each year I always try to focus on the key pieces of information I’ve learned that can help our vet practice. It could be a new procedure or technique or in this case an attitude. Dr. Dennis Brooks gave the prestigious Milne lecture this year. For those who don’t know him, Dr. Brooks is an ophthalmologist wi

th the veterinary college at the University of Florida. I was able to attend only 1.5 hours of his 3 hour talk but in that time a theme became obvious; he is not happy with the status quo with regards to the veterinary treatment of corneal injuries. I don’t know how many times he stated, “It’s not good enough”. At a stage in his career wheremany of his peers are enjoying their positions of tenure or looking forward to their impending retirement this gentleman is still challenging himself to be better. Whether it was for the love of the horse or his own personal challenges it became obvious that he wants to be better.

What an inspiration! If this icon of veterinary ophthalmology strives to improve so much why can’t I in what I do? As a veterinarian or a practice manager the better I can be the better it will be for horses, their owners and the veterinarians and staff that work for us.

Going forward my approach to common day take it for granted situations will be “It’s not good enough” In my world the conclusion of any sentence starting with that phrase has to be “there has to be a better way”.

It’s not good enough to lower fees to be competitive. There has to be a better way to attract and retain clients

It’s not good enough to pay support staff minimum wage. There has to be a better way to compensate staff so that they want to stay and have a career with our practice.

It’s not good enough to get paid 30, 60 or more days afterwards for work performed. There has to be a better way to get paid for the work that we do.

How can you use these phrases to deal with a challenge at your vet practice?


  1. Mike. A great take away from AAEP. It reminds me of a story from the UK. Quite some years ago when one of our premiere horse races (The Grand National) made a complete mess of the starting procedure on live TV using some very old "technology" (a piece of string!). The Official Starter tried to defend the process by saying "we have always done it that way". He was shot down in flames! So now whenever anyone I work with tries to justify some action by saying "we have always done it that way" I get VERY nervous!

  2. Hi Jos,

    Great seeing you at the AAEP. It goes without saying that the best part of the AAEP is catching up with friends. I think your example is the perfect flip side of my example. The phrase"we have always done it that way" is banned at our practice".
    Happy Holidays.

  3. Hopefully they know what is better to do. People ar eoften too in rush when deciding things.

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