The Blunt Dissection Podcast exists because everyone has a story worth listening to. It's the original and best interview podcast in veterinary medicine where the best minds in the various subcultures of veterinary medicine (and sometimes outside) are profiled/deconstructed so you can listen to their remarkable stories, and also learn the habits, routines, thought processes and anything else that makes these individuals so good at what they do.
What’s in it for you to listen? For some, it's entertainment, for others the show offers inspiration. My hope is that once you’ve seen the pathway to success all you have to do is follow the breadcrumbs. Simple right? So what are you waiting for? Let's jump in and get to know some amazing people better. :)
Sometimes funny, sometimes dark but always entertaining - welcome to the hidden world of veterinary success.
Your host is Dr Dave Nicol, a veterinarian, occasional CEO, multiple time author, international speaker and mentor/coach to countless vets, nurses and managers in veterinary leadership roles across the world through VetX International.
Ep 45: Laura Muir - The Vet Who's Going For Gold
On today’s show, I’m joined by double European record holder, gold medalist, and Olympic athlete, Laura Muir.
Laura made her debut in senior athletics representing Great Britain at the 2013 World Championships and is the current British record holder over 1500m. In 2017 she had an incredible year becoming the fastest woman in the world over this distance, taking her first diamond league world title and winning two gold medals at the European Indoor Athletics Championships, breaking a 32-year old championship record along the way.
So what does any of this have to do with veterinary medicine? Well not content with taking the athletics world by storm, Laura achieved many of these feats while completing her veterinary degree at the equally world-beating Glasgow University Veterinary School!
In fact, Muir missed the chance of gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, opting instead to focus on passing her veterinary medicine finals.
But in August that year, she was back and achieved her greatest honour to date winning gold in the 1500 metres European Championships in Berlin, the first British woman ever to win this title.
And you thought it was hard to go for that early morning run twice a week!
Now a quick word from today's show sponsor. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you are probably the source of your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter Thrive. Thrive is a course and support community where you will learn the professional skills needed to build a sustained and successful career. With RACE accredited webinars, workbooks, and live monthly mentoring events you have all the tools to set you up for success.
Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed their careers for the better. To join visit www.vetxinternational.com today and if you use the promoted 'podcast' then you’ll receive 10% off your monthly membership fee.
Now back to Laura,
For many, rising to the very top of their field, ego can be a problem. In Laura’s case, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you get the sense that she is the same person today, as she was when she first went cross-country running as a child, through the frozen fields around her school in Kinross.
The interview with Laura was an incredible pleasure and rare insight into the mind of someone who knows what it takes to suffer for her art. Doing a veterinary degree is hard enough, but doing so while performing at the highest level as an international athlete boggles the mind.
So sit back, or maybe go for a run, and enjoy this my conversation with the record-breaking Flying Scot, Laura Muir.
Ep 44: Dr BJ Miller - Embracing our mortality for a better shot at life
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr BJ Miller. BJ is a practising hospice and palliative medicine physician in San Fransico, an author and speaker, best known for his TED Talk, "What Really Matters at the End of Life”. He has been on the teaching faculty at UCSF School of Medicine since 2007 and sees patients and caregivers through his online palliative care service, Mettle Health.
He is the subject of Netflix's Academy Award-nominated short documentary, End Game and his book for approaching the end of life, A Beginner’s Guide to the End, was co-authored with Shoshana Berger and published in 2019.
He’s also a triple amputee who suffered a horrific injury resulting in the loss of both legs and his left arm when he was an undergrad at Princeton. To many, this would have been calamitous. To BJ, it became a transformative moment of deep pain he harnessed to find purpose.
Now, before we get into the show, a quick word from today’s sponsor...
When it comes to end of life care, most pets are still euthanised in the sterile and sometimes harsh clinical environment of the veterinary practice which, while convenient for practitioners, is not ideal for pets and can result in as many as 20% of clients never returning to the clinic again due to the psychological trauma.
Enter Lap of Love, a veterinary service working in partnership with veterinarians across America to offer an incomparably compassionate end of life care experience for pets in their own homes.
In one memorable example, CEO Dr Dani McVety was asked to euthanize a family pet in his beloved swimming pool…. The result was a pet passing in his favorite place, a family grieving but grateful, and a sad moment made infinitely better by an act of amazing kindness.
So, if want your clients to experience a beautiful end to their pet’s life or learn more about how you can make the euthanasia experience better for your patients then visit www.lapoflove.com. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll end up doing house calls in swimming pools too!
…back to the show.
This interview ranks as a huge personal highlight, and it could be so for all manner of reasons. BJs inspirational story of overcoming incredible adversity. His dedication to a career; making a massive difference. Or his utterly genuine and radiant personality. But in my case, it’s because of a single line he shared in his interview with Tim Ferriss. One that shaped my view of patient and client care forever…. to learn more, listen on.
In the interview, we cover a great many topics, but in particular death, mortality and by unbreakable association, life itself. While some of the topics were confronting, it was both a comfort and pleasure to have BJ as my guide. I hope you enjoy this uplifting conversation with the wonderful BJ Miller as he illuminates some of the darker places we fear to tread.
BJs Ted Talk:
BJs Endwell Project:
Ep 43: Debt & Money - The Elephant in the Room of Veterinary Medicine
On today’s show I’m joined by not one, but two awesome guests as we take on the towering elephant in the room of veterinary medicine - MONEY! More specifically, DEBT!
To dissect this huge issue we have a two for one deal where I’m joined by vets and financial experts Dr. Meredith Jones and Dr. Phil Zeltzman.
Meredith is an ER doctor from Virginia, host of the Debt Free Vets Facebook group, and was able to pay off her entire student debt in less than five years post-graduation. She now uses the knowledge she acquired in the process, plus the huge amount of financial training she has undertaken since to help other vets follow the same path.
Phil is a multi-time business owner, investor and board certified traveling surgeon, supporting clinics in his home state offer advanced surgical care without the need for referral. He is also a published author with two books available on Amazon and happens to be one of the best storytellers in the business.
Now, rather wonderfully both of these amazing people have teamed up and are on a mission to teach vets how to escape from the burden of the amassed student debt they carry and have created the Veterinary Financial Summit which will hold its inaugural event in September 2020. Check is out at https://vetfinancialsummit.com/
Today's episode is sponsored by the VetX:Thrive community. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have mixed news. The bad news is you are probably the source of your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter VetX:Thrive - a RACE accredited, non-clinical skills course/community where members receive training, toolkits, and mentoring support to support the development of these skills. Paul, one of the community members says joining was the best decision of his life and went from being miserable to be energized and happy in his work.
Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed their careers for the better. To learn more and find out if the class is a good fit for you visit www.vetxinternational.com/thrive today.
Debt is one of the biggest causes of stress and it’s hard to imagine how the added pressure this has placed onto the shoulders of the next generation of vets is helping anyone to cope. Which is why I was so happy to make this interview happen.
Phil and Meredith both have great career stories yet different perspectives to share on the issue. If money is on your mind, you are going to get huge value from this episode.
So, I invite you to put your feet up and invest some time and enjoy this my oceanically-distanced conversation with the exceptional Drs Meredith Jones and Phil Zeltzman.
Ep 42: Dr Melinda Merck and the World of Veterinary Forensics
On today’s show, we go on a dive into the dark side of humanity as I am joined by veterinary forensics expert, Dr Melinda Merck.
Dr Merck is the owner of Veterinary Forensics Consulting in Austin, which supports law enforcement by tackling crime scene investigation as well as the examination of live and deceased victims. She helps with large scale operations including exhumations of burial sites and examination of skeletal animal remains.
She frequently testifies as a veterinary forensic expert for animal cruelty cases around the country including the high profile and successful conviction of NFL player Michael Vick.
The fearless Dr. Merck, a Michigan State University veterinary graduate, also trains veterinarians, attorneys, and police officers around the world on the use of veterinary forensics in the investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases, and the important link between this and domestic violence.
She serves on the WSAVA Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee, is the Past President of the Board of Directors for North American Veterinary Community, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
Plus, my favourite to last she is a member of the International Association of Blood Stain Analysts - if you’re thinking Dexter right now, I suspect you are not alone!
In addition to her incredible list of accolades, Dr Merck is the author of “Veterinary Forensics: Animal Cruelty Investigation, the co-author of “Veterinary Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty: A Guide for Veterinarians and Law Enforcement,”.
Now, just before we jump into the episode, I just wanted to drop a quick word from today's show sponsor which is my brand new VetX:Leaders training group.
If you are a manager in, or owner of, a vet practice and people are your biggest challenge then VetX:Leaders was designed for you. The program is a complete personnel management system where you will learn how to create vision & strategy, hire effectively, and lead your team so you create a positive culture that brings results.
This is a unique deep dive into the world of high performance and I will be your personal mentor throughout. There is a four-module training course supported by with weekly live coaching sessions and toolkits to ensure you bring your plans to life and take back control of your practice. To learn more and apply to join, then head to vetxinternational.com/leaders.
Now back to the show...
This interview ranks as one of my favourite interviews on so many levels. If you are not drooling with excitement at what is in store in this episode then I recommend you immediately check your pulse. So sit back and enjoy this conversation with the brilliant Dr Melinda Merck and the fascinating, but quite creepy, world of veterinary forensics.
Ep 41: Dr Lisa Radosta - Being Unbreakable (and much more besides)
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Lisa Radosta.
Dr Radosta graduated in 2000 from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. After completing an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Coral Springs Animal Hospital, she worked as a primary care veterinarian for 2 1/2 years. She then completed a 3-year residency in Behavioral Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. During her residency, she was awarded the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists Resident research award two years in a row.
Dr Radosta is contributing author for chapters of many well-known textbooks including The Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat; Blackwell’s Five Minute Veterinary Consult and Small Animal Pediatrics.
She has published research articles in Journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science, The Veterinary Journal and the Journal of Veterinary Behavior and written review articles for Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Compendium, Clinician’s Brief and AAHA Newstat. Plus she is the section editor for Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery.
Dr Radosta also serves on the Fear Free Advisory Board and the AAHA Behavior Management Task Force.
Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is the VetX:Thrive community. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you are probably the source of your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter VetX:Thrive. VetX is a RACE accredited, non-clinical skills training course/community where members receive training, toolkits and mentoring support to support the development of these skills. Paul, one of the community members says joining was the best decision of his life and went from being miserable to being energised and happy in his work.
Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed they careers for the better. To learn more and find out if the class is a good fit for you visit www.drdavenicol.com/vetxthrive today. And is yuou use the promocode podcast when you sign up you'll get a further 10% off your monthly membership.
Now back to the show, I thoroughly enjoyed this interview and we dived deep into many subjects including from how Dr Radosta developed an unbreakable attitude and considers herself a rule-breaker, to busting wide open a few of her favourite behaviour myths with much to ponder and learn in between. So without further ado, I give you this my conversation with the unbreakable, Dr Lisa Radosta.
Ep 40: Dr Sara Pizano & Her Mission to Transform Shelter Medicine
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Sara Pizano.
Sara is a Cornell Graduate and leading light in shelter medicine who has brought about enormous positive change to shelters across America.
After university, she completed an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York in 1995 and was subsequently hired by North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, New York where her shelter medicine adventure began.
In 1998 Sarah was recruited as director of the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale and in 2005 she was appointed the Director of Miami-Dade Animal Services in Miami, Florida. During her tenure, she attracted hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding, nearly tripled the adoption rate and pretty much rewrote the Animal Services County Code!
In 2013 she joined 'Target Zero' as program director and was instrumental in creating and developing a new model to transform high euthanasia public shelters. In the course of her work, she visited and mentored multiple shelters around the country resulting in a drop of nearly 50,000 animal euthanasias in just 18 of those shelters alone.
In an effort to offer a wider scope of services to help shelters of all types and sizes she created Team Shelter USA in 2017, where her goal is for all animal welfare organizations to have access to her life saving practices.
Dr. Pizano is the author of The Best Practice Playbook for Animal Shelters and leads the assessment and mentorship program at Maddie’s Shelter Medicine, University of Florida. She has received multiple awards and is a board member of the Companion Animal Advisory Council and the Humane Society of the United States.
Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is the VetX:Thrive. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you are probably the source of your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter VetX:THRIVE. VetX is a RACE accredited non-clinical skills training course where members receive training, toolkits and mentoring support to support development of these skills. Paul, one of the community members says joining was the best decision of his life and went from being miserable to being energised and happy in his work.
Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed their careers for the better. To learn more and find out if the class is a good fit for you visit www.drdavenicol.com/vetxthrive today.
Now back to the show,
In a sector of veterinary medicine which can seem bleak, Dr Pizano’s work offers not just a glimmer of hope, but a well-lit path to a future where animals that can find homes, do find homes. I was engrossed and I learned so much about the incredible and often unsung work Sara and all the heroes in shelter medicine undertake each day. I hope you also enjoy this eye-opening conversation with the inspirational Dr Sara Pizano.
Customer ReviewsSee All
LOVE THIS PODCAST!!
Dr. Nicol highlights all aspects of veterinary medicine in this can’t miss podcast! He offers insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!
Witty, Comprehensive, and So Informative!
Dr. Nicol is a fantastic interviewer with unending curiosity and passion for veterinary medicine. So far he’s chosen excellent guests who all bring a unique perspective! I’d love if you could have Dr. Cody Creelman on, I love his vlogs and would love to hear the two of you chat!
Update: he did have Dr. Creelman on and it was great!! I just listened to the 2019 wrap up episode and it made me want to listen to every episode again! I had the same experience at the end of 2018 and I think that is what got me into the podcast in the first place.
I listen a ton of podcasts, but this one is probably my favorite in the vetmed space.
I found Dr. Dave’s podcast after listening to his interview on the Purr Podcast and loved his take on veterinary leadership. I listen to his podcasts on my way to work and always find something to be inspired about for my day ahead in the clinic. Really great conversational style and great guests.