Welcome to #IVETSOHARD.
Listen in as your hosts Dr. Stacee Santi and Dr. Caitlin DeWilde talk about their takeaways and experience at this year’s VMX conference.
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Together: 00:03 Welcome to I vet so hard technology and workflows that really work the not so serious podcast for seriously busy veterinary teams brought to you by vet to pet. Listen for quick fun interviews with veterinary professionals, who’ve retrieved and actually held onto their sanity, happiness, and success. I learning a few new tricks and embracing efficient processes that actually work. I’m Dr. Stacy Santee and I’m Dr. Caitlin de Wilde. And this is I Vet So Hard.
Stacee Santi: 00:34 Okay. I just got back from VMX like last night.
Caitlin DeWilde: 00:38 So first of all, you’re probably like super tired and you probably had a crazy layover cause you live in a tiny little town, so it’s not easy to get into.
Stacee Santi: 00:47 Luckily I had a three hour layover in Denver and I ate it’s a really horrible, let’s just say it’s really hard to find decent food at the airport and you make a lot of bad choices at the airport. I mean, who would think that pineapple mango sorbet chased by a pork, barbecue, jalapeno, pickle, slaw dishes. Good idea. With a final chaser of some creamy Mac and cheese. I probably gained like 10 pounds at the airport yesterday.
Caitlin DeWilde: 01:21 That all sounds really terrible. My, my advice is that I always like get a little snack. Cause my fear is one time I was left on an airplane like that sat on the runway for five hours. It was what like 10 minutes shy of like when they have to like legally let you leave the plane kind of thing. No, but they’re like, and they had like no snacks. Right? And so I always like, feel like I have to have some snacks because what if, and of course I’ve never had anything happen to me since then, but then I’m like, well, I have these snacks here. I can’t just leave them in my bag. They’re going to eat. The Oreos are going to get all crumbly. So I better just
Stacee Santi: 01:58 Eat them. That’s a real problem. Conferences
Caitlin DeWilde: 02:03 And travel. That’s when you should be, you know, allowed to venture outside the box and you know, I think it’s okay. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself, obviously, which is also why I’m back on weight Watchers, but that’s all right.
Stacee Santi: 02:18 Different podcasts. Well, it was pretty cool. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go down. You know, I saw you and then you flew out and your normal fashion of leaving right the day before the conference actually starts, but hardly anyone was wearing a mask. So that was interesting. And I saw that people would be a bit more, you know, I guess concerned
Caitlin DeWilde: 02:46 A little more concerned or keep in mind this was in Florida, but I also noticed that and I was to be truthful. I was bummed for many reasons. I mean, health, health concerns concerning, right, right. How many times can I say concerning in the sentence, but okay. I had aggressive, but the biggest reason I was concerned and disappointed is I really expected the vet people to have the coolest masks. I wanted to see like a lot of animal variety, you know, like people watching it, that conferences like cat shirts alone or lake worth going for, I was expecting some awesome masks selection. And I really saw like for the whole time I was there,
Stacee Santi: 03:24 It was weird. Yeah. There wasn’t much on there. Most people were pretty chill to not wear a mask. And you know, it was kind of, there was about maybe 50 to 70 people in each of my sessions, but they had us in, remember we went and looked at those giant rooms. The giant room of people were sprawled all out. And so it was super hard because if somebody had a question and you know, my, my sessions are more conversational. They didn’t have a mic because I guess they didn’t want to have COVID germs. Right. So I’d have to like lean in on him with my mic on my shirt or hand them a little oil look. Well, they’re not much added bonus to participation here. Yeah. Yeah. Take the mic off my dress and like hand it to him. So there was a lot of extra passing of COVID stuff probably, but nobody seemed to care. It was, you know, the, the people that were there were really quite happy to be there. I thought about it. Yeah. I think people,
Caitlin DeWilde: 04:27 I think that’s what it was. I think people just like got on the plane and then they were like, you know what? This is probably like, I talked to so many people that it was like their first flight, right. Or their first event or their first like inside thing. It was my first insight dinner. So I was like, this is crazy. You know? So I think once people, like, once you get over the hump a little bit, you know I think they just kind of threw caution to the wind a little bit, which is not a bad thing. If you’re vaccinated and are healthy,
Stacee Santi: 04:54 We had a, we had a lot of fun. And so the pulse in the industry is what I wanted to tell you about. Yeah. It seems like at least half the people are moving away from curbside.
Caitlin DeWilde: 05:08 Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I feel like, well, I even have a really good friend who is a drug rep. Right. And she, even in my own state of Missouri, it’s just already so vastly different on like, some people never work curbside like in the middle. Right. And then St. Louis is still pretty locked down on curbside. But I mean, now it’s, I think everybody’s kind of either already open or they’re like, how the hell do I do this? Right. They’re there, they want to be open or open ish open partially. But I felt like that’s what a lot of people were talking about. I don’t know if they were in your sessions, but like, how do, how do you do this? Right. What’s the next step.
Stacee Santi: 05:46 Yeah. They were talking about, you know, it’s kind of like, we’re going to stop curbside. I didn’t hear anybody talking about doing a hybrid, which I, them to not necessarily do a hybrid, but it’s, but please continue the part where people can just pull up to pick up meds. I think that’s that. Yeah. I
Caitlin DeWilde: 06:10 Feel like it’s a mistake to go all the way, one way or the other. Right. I think there were some silver linings of the pandemic, obviously not many, but I think one of them is our, we’ve talked about our ability to change, but also our ability to adapt and our ability to consider and take into consideration the needs and benefits of our clients, but in ways that also benefit the practice. And so I think the, yeah, curbside pickup, I think honestly, still curbside appointments for those who want them, because there’s, I mean, we’re not out of it, right. We’re not out of the woods. So there’s going to be people that are still from a health perspective, alone are concerned and don’t want to come in or there’s going to be people like me that got like a car full of screaming children. I don’t want to bring them in anywhere at all. So if like that’s an option, I think the drop-off is an option. I think there’s so many potentials that this hybrid model is, is the way to go better for the practice in some ways to some, some ways can be more efficient. Right?
Stacee Santi: 07:18 Yeah. I, I think so. We, we talked about that lot. Everyone’s super busy, of course, high, highest revenues ever. But I really couldn’t wait to tell you about my session with Megan. Breshears
Caitlin DeWilde: 07:32 I told you she was amazing. She is amazing.
Stacee Santi: 07:36 I do love her. I only just met her. Like I think I met her. Yeah. Where you’ve been all her life. I don’t know how I’m, how I’m not friends with her. I mean, we’re Facebook friends, but I, I don’t really know her, but so we, we were somehow selected to do this session on technician, under utilization and it’s her wheelhouse because she manages like 70 technicians to Purdue and she’s, she’s really, she’s really savvy and training and being a tech herself and all of that. And then they had asked me to be there, to talk from the doctor’s perspective of kind of, they really wanted me in there to try to convince the doctors, to let the techs practice to the top of the license. That’s what I was asked to do. She had made a presentation. I like literally had nothing to do with it. And we started talking, we met an hour before the session to just, this is how prepared we were. And we were like, what are we going to talk about? And we just started having real conversations and we both decided let’s just scrap the PowerPoint and go rogue. Like it, it was so cool. So we, we had a couple of slides to just introduce the topic, but oh my God, Caitlin, people were like crying in the session. Wait, you mean people cry
Caitlin DeWilde: 09:09 Like this? I don’t know if I didn’t
Stacee Santi: 09:11 Make them cry, but they’re sad. Technician life made them cry.
Caitlin DeWilde: 09:16 Well, that would make me cry as well. That’s
Stacee Santi: 09:19 And we were, we were like advocating for like massive change, massive overhauling of the let’s just start with the tech credential technician initiatives or whatever you want to call it. That we were saying, well, Megan said in her where she lives in Indiana, that you can get a job at the carwash making more money as it, than you can as a technician. Oh, a hundred percent. Yeah. And so people were saying things like the first one we asked the audience, how are you treating your technician? Oh, I pay my texts really well. I give them a $13 an hour out of themselves. And they were like paying over 20 bucks an hour, which is way better than we’re used to. But we were advocating for a new initiative called double it. You should be paying twice what you’re paying these people. They shouldn’t be making $32,000 a year. They need to be making 60. And we didn’t get booed out of the room.
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Caitlin DeWilde: 11:30 Oh, nicely done. I think that that is, should we stop? Yeah.
Stacee Santi: 11:39 I clean. You have a cleaning guy. Wait, wait, what, where did you get a cleaning guy? And is he vacuuming right there?
Caitlin DeWilde: 11:51 He’s vacuuming in the hallway. It’s a very little hallway, so, okay.
Stacee Santi: 11:56 Well let’s just stop. Where did you get this person? And what guy please? Do you
Caitlin DeWilde: 12:03 Know? Becky you’ve met Becky right now, Becky. Okay. Becky is one of my really good friends and she used to work for Kindredbio and MWI. Now she works for Clipper. She’s the, she’s the rep friend that travels all over anyway. It’s her step-dad that’s that he has CP and they, it was recommended as a and a PC
Stacee Santi: 12:38 Amazing, well, you know, well, just a little derail, this summit, I want had the best housekeeper. My girlfriend and I had her, I ended up letting her go because she was obviously on meth, but my girlfriend just loved her because she got so much, it would drove me crazy. Cause she would organize all my drawers and organize all my, like all my papers. Everything would be stacked and all. And she scrubbed everything and I’m like, I can’t take this. This girl is obvious. She’s an addict. And Kristen’s like, I don’t care, man. I’m getting a lot of value out of this sheet, organized mice her, she has a store with thoughtless Scentsy candle thing. She’s like she organized all of that. I didn’t even have to ask her.
Caitlin DeWilde: 13:32 I wouldn’t really think going through my drawers,
Stacee Santi: 13:35 Kristen. Well, well
Caitlin DeWilde: 13:38 Typically have a we call it the cleaning fight, which is the day before the cleaning guy comes. You have to actually clean your house cleaning guy. Can
Stacee Santi: 13:49 You can’t just leave it in complete pandemonium. I want that cleaning person, right? The pre-cleaning
Caitlin DeWilde: 13:56 Clean. Yeah. I mean, yeah. Cause I guess I got all my steps in yesterday in my own
Stacee Santi: 14:01 House because it’s
Caitlin DeWilde: 14:03 Just like putting away. Like, and I, you have to remember. I had five people in my house all day, every day. Now that it’s summer again, the kids are both home am and nanny and Carl and I, and we have a puppy and I’m watching my brother’s dog for a month. It’s a mess. And we have a Guinea pig who throws his poop in his hay everywhere.
Stacee Santi: 14:26 Yeah. You’ve got some problems.
Caitlin DeWilde: 14:29 I do have you have a lot. Okay. Sorry. Now he’s in the bedroom. Okay. Well it should just be another second
Stacee Santi: 14:36 That I can’t hear it now. So it’s totally fine. Not our listeners understand what you’re going through Caitlin. And they understand that girl’s got to do it. She’s got to do so audience. We just thank you for understanding that Dr. De Wilde has a man cleaning person in her bench. Right. But she’s going to continue working fine. I, yeah,
Caitlin DeWilde: 15:04 He was, had just started in the kitchen and so I thought we’d be good. Cause there’s a lot the kitchen that stuff, maths, but he’s very efficient also. So
Stacee Santi: 15:14 I’ll get us a selfie and we can share that in the notes for our listeners as cleaning man. Well, okay. So I thought that technician one that is not even my lane, I got completely out of my lane, but I was so pumped to talk about this and you know, the, the initiative, right? Double it, double it. And I talked to them about, you know, how most practices will figure out how to pay their staff is you take revenue, subtract your cost of goods, subtract your labor. You see what’s leftover. And then you Dole out raises. I said, reverse engineer, that baby, like, you know, close your eyes and think about what everyone needs to make, write it down and then figure out how much revenue you have to generate to get to that number and then raise your fees. And everyone’s like, oh my God, I can’t raise my fees. Right.
Caitlin DeWilde: 16:09 You got 800 people beating down your door and you can’t see appointments for five weeks. So I’m pretty sure your now’s the time.
Stacee Santi: 16:16 Exactly. Now is the time to raise your fees. And if you work in any other industry, if you have increased demand and decreased supply, you raise your fees. Yeah.
Caitlin DeWilde: 16:27 Interesting. So now I even just read this article about product shrinkage, same thing. Like if a lot of products now are giving you less, that’s how they’re cutting it. So like, instead of getting like, you know, 22 ounces in your cereal box, you get 20, right. That’s how they’re cutting, cutting those corners, which apparently is a whole thing. A whole industry business thing that I didn’t know about
Stacee Santi: 16:52 Interests. So I mean, if we’re getting
Caitlin DeWilde: 16:54 Less cereal and chips out there, people, yeah. There are times to, to take action. But I mean realistically like every vet I know once more technicians wants to keep the technicians, they have wants them to do better, grow better, be faster and wants them to stay for, you know, not have to hire texts. Like if I get on Facebook and see one more, like where do you hire technicians? Where do you hire? Where do you hire? Where do you hire post? I’m going to, I’m going to lose it
Stacee Santi: 17:25 Straight about it. You know what I was thinking too, Katelyn is that let’s just imagine for a second, you went from pants 30,000 a year to 60,000 a year for a, I’m not talking to shrapnel tech, I’m talking like a licensed OnPoint tech that knows their stuff. Yeah. There’s so many of those people that have left the profession. Yeah. Because they could go, they could go work at
Caitlin DeWilde: 17:52 Chick-Fil-A or anywhere else don’t go to Chick-fil-A. But like
Stacee Santi: 17:57 Kristen, my friend that likes to mess head cows cleaner. She is a technician. She’s a licensed veterinary technician, but she’s now an MRI technician at the human hospital. But these people are out there and they would like to come back. And if you aren’t going to get very much new, emerging, technical talent on the market, but there’s a lot of texts around your practice that you can maybe attract back in. If you paid a decent wage. I mean like a good, like a worthy wage
Caitlin DeWilde: 18:30 Or, or yeah. I mean, cause you can’t expect these people to a stay B have your business’s best interest at heart or C challenge themselves to get better or do better to help you or your business. Like it’s just not possible. And not to mention, it’s just, it’s just, I think a huge slap in the face to pay them what the industry pays them. They are skilled, educated people. They are vital to the industry and to the successful care of any patient. And it’s just ridiculous that we’ve we pay them like what we pay the high school kid to come mow the lawn or whatever, you know? Like it’s just crap. Like they no wonder I would leave too. Like I wouldn’t blame them at all.
Stacee Santi: 19:15 So I’m glad you talked about it. Oh yeah. It was fun. And people were crying and they were like, we need this to be an all day session and well, they probably,
Caitlin DeWilde: 19:25 The technicians are probably glad to hear people that value them. Right. And value change in support of what they’re doing.
Stacee Santi: 19:35 Yeah. There’s a lot of the side of our profession is a hot mess. There’s a lot of our profession.
Caitlin DeWilde: 19:43 That’s a hot mess, but myself included let’s be real in my house.
Stacee Santi: 19:48 Well, what’s the next conference you’re going to, now that we’re back at it. You going to Western in Vegas in September.
Caitlin DeWilde: 19:55 I’m actually not. So fun fact the family vacation that was canceled to Disney by COVID then rescheduled three other times is now finally happening. Nice. Be a Disney. So that that’s really cool. I’m okay with it because I actually hate Vegas. So there’s no part of me that enjoys Vegas. Also. I feel like Vegas is where you go to get diseases and I’ve been spending a lot of time avoiding that. So I’m, I’m I’m okay. Missing that one. I am probably gonna go to wild west in New York vet. Maybe fetch
Stacee Santi: 20:35 I’ll report back. Right? Oh, I love we’re opposite. I love Vegas. I, I grew up in a long from my family’s a long line of gamblers. We didn’t really play sheets and ladders and I was growing up, we played, we had a craps table in our living room. We played like preschool craps, black Jack. And yeah. I love some skills. My favorite. Wow.
Caitlin DeWilde: 21:06 Okay. Maybe I should, I guess with you sometime. And then I would actually win some money and then maybe I’d like it. I don’t know.
Stacee Santi: 21:12 You only go the smoke well anyway.
Caitlin DeWilde: 21:17 All right. Well, I’m glad that we are back on the circuit and that we’re back seeing people that kind of challenge us and inspire us and make us laugh and make us do things other than hanging out in our living rooms. So I’m, I’m here for it.
Stacee Santi: 21:33 Well, thank you guys for joining us. We are so excited to have you on this journey with us and please make sure you subscribe to get more episodes of I vet so hard where we continue to talk about everything that’s wrong in our profession. We
Caitlin DeWilde: 21:49 Should, we should give them some tips though, too. So we’re not the negative podcast here. No,
Stacee Santi: 21:56 We’re not the hater. No. Where they empower turning into a very weird indeed. Yeah. Sorry.
Caitlin DeWilde: 22:06 Let’s just peace out. Peace out. Thanks for joining us for today’s episode of I vet so hard. Don’t forget to head over to I vet so hard.com to download our top five takeaways from this episode, we’ll see you right back here. Same time, same place next week until then here’s to putting your technology to work for your practice.
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