75 episodes

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.

Blunt Dissection Blunt Dissection

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 85 Ratings

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 75: Can Vet Heroes Get To Net Zeros? Sustainable Futures, with Dr. Jeremy Watson

    Ep 75: Can Vet Heroes Get To Net Zeros? Sustainable Futures, with Dr. Jeremy Watson

    Can Vet Heroes Get To Net Zeros? Sustainable Futures, with Dr. Jeremy WatsonAbout the GuestDr. Jeremy Watson completed his Bachelor of Veterinary Science with honours at the University of Melbourne in 1986. He established the Brimbank Vet Clinic in 1998, a small animal practice in suburban Melbourne. During 2011, the clinic was rebuilt incorporating the latest environmental design features, facilitating a pathway to make the practice carbon neutral.
    In 2013, Dr. Watson achieved membership by examination to the Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in the discipline of small animal surgery.

    Dr. Watson joined Vets for Climate Action in 2020 to help amplify the role that veterinary teams can play in motivating our community to take urgent action on climate change. Within this organisation, he has been working specifically on the Climate Care Program for Veterinary Practices.

    Links
    Brimbank Veterinary Practice: https://www.brimbankvet.com.au/ 
    Connect on LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-watson-29243151 
    Sustainable Clinic AVA Article: https://www.ava.com.au/digest/from-around-the-ava/2021/november/2/jeremy-watson/ 

    Episode DescriptionIn this episode of Blunt Dissection, we dive deep into the quest for net zero carbon emissions in veterinary medicine, guided by Dr. Jeremy Watson, a pioneer in the field of veterinary sustainability. Dr. Watson brings to light the crucial role of integrating business culture and strategic planning in veterinary practices to foster a conducive environment for sustainability efforts. He underscores the necessity for management's commitment to spearhead this journey, through strategic fund allocation, visionary leadership, and setting a clear direction for the practice's future. The absence of such unified leadership and vision, he warns, could hamper efforts to curb carbon emissions, depriving them of the essential support needed for success.

    Dr. Watson further explores the power of collective action, emphasizing the importance of engaging with a broad spectrum of stakeholders - from manufacturers and distributors to equipment makers, end-users, and disposal services. He illustrates how such collaborations can effectively tackle challenges and pave the way for adopting more sustainable practices across the board. For example, the adoption of sustainable anesthesia practices, such as low-flow anesthesia or total intravenous anesthesia, achieved through the concerted efforts of anesthesiologists, equipment manufacturers, and veterinary nurses.

    Highlighting the difficult pathway to achieving net zero carbon emissions, Dr. Watson discusses the importance of setting clear, achievable targets. He references the science-based target initiative, advocating for the establishment of intermediate goals over the next 5 to 10 years, with the ultimate objective of reaching net zero by 2050. These targets, he argues, serve as critical milestones, guiding veterinary practices towards systematically reducing their carbon footprint.

    In summary, this episode of Blunt Dissection underscores the indispensable role of strategic alignment among practice management, industry partners, and professional organizations in embedding sustainable practices within veterinary medicine. Through collective efforts and clear goal-setting, veterinary practices are well-positioned to make significant strides towards a sustainable, net zero...

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Ep 74: Renaissance in Independent Practice Ownership: The Right Time is Now, with Dr. Matthew Salois and Martin Traub-Werner

    Ep 74: Renaissance in Independent Practice Ownership: The Right Time is Now, with Dr. Matthew Salois and Martin Traub-Werner

    Episode Description
    In this episode of Blunt Dissection, we peel back the layers of veterinary medicine's current landscape, under the guidance of two of the industry's most influential figures, Dr. Matt Salois and Martin Traub-Werner. Matt, the president of VMG, a leading veterinary group purchasing organization, and former Chief Economist for the AVMA, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the economic facets of veterinary practice. His insights into financial trends and strategic planning are invaluable to understanding the broader economic environment in which veterinary practices operate. Martin Traub-Werner, the pioneering former CEO of Vet Success and the current CEO and founder of VetBooks, a cloud-based veterinary accounting software, is a titan of data analysis and entrepreneurial innovation in veterinary medicine. His expertise not only lies in harnessing the power of data to drive business success but also in creating tools that empower veterinary practices to navigate their financial landscapes more effectively.
    Together, Matt and Martin dissect the complexities facing today's veterinary professionals. They delve into the significant trends that are shaping the industry, from the challenges of navigating economic pressures to the opportunities presented by technological advancements and the shift towards independent practice ownership. Their conversation, while deeply informative, also offers a roadmap for vets to strategize and thrive in an ever-changing professional environment. They discuss the uncomfortable truths of our profession with the precision of seasoned experts, yet also highlight the reasons for optimism, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats with a clarity that's both enlightening and actionable.
    This episode is more than just a dialogue; it's a strategic session that draws on Matt's deep understanding of veterinary economics and Martin's groundbreaking work in veterinary data analytics and software development. Their combined expertise presents a compelling narrative on why now is a critical time for veterinary professionals to embrace change, leverage technology, and fortify the foundations of independent practice ownership. It's a call to action for the veterinary community to navigate the challenges of today with an eye towards a more resilient and thriving future.
    Join us as we explore the insights of two absolute titans of knowledge and influence in veterinary medicine, offering a blend of practical advice, strategic foresight, and a vision for what the future of veterinary practice can look like.
    About the Guests
    Dr. Matthew Salois
    https://www.myvmg.com/
    Matthew Salois, PhD is currently the President of the Veterinary Management Groups (VMG),where he is responsible for enhancing the economic and cultural success of more than 2,000veterinary member practices. Most recently, Matt was the chief economist and head of the veterinary economics division at the AVMA between 2018 and 2022, where he applied his skills in economics, business, and communication to support the daily lives of veterinarians.
    From 2014 to 2018, he served as senior director of global scientific affairs and policy at Elanco Animal Health. Matt is also an adjunct professor of applied economics at the University of Florida, where he previously taught and advised graduate and undergraduate students. He earned his Ph.D. in Applied Economics from the University of Florida and holds an M.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Health Services Administration from the University of Central Florida.

    Martin Traub-Werner
    https://vetbooks.com/
    Martin dressed up as a businessman for Halloween when he was seven.  Since then, he’s spent more than 40 years refining his skills and honing his craft. He completed an undergraduate...

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Ep 73: Dr Chloe Buiting - The Jungle Doctor

    Ep 73: Dr Chloe Buiting - The Jungle Doctor

    Tune in to the latest episode of the Blunt Dissection Podcast, where we are honored to have the remarkable Dr. Chloe Buiting, an Australian wildlife veterinarian, conservationist, published author, and consultant for Fauna & Flora International, join us.
    With an impressive background as an Official Advocate for Kensington Palace's Earthshot Prize and a member of the Science Advisory Committee at Zoos Victoria, the world's first carbon-neutral zoological facility, Dr. Chloe brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to our conversation.
    Join us as we delve into Dr. Chloe's deep-rooted love for our natural world, cultivated during her childhood on the breathtaking Lord Howe Island. In this episode, she generously shares her early influences, veterinary heroes, and the transformative path that led her to become a dedicated conservation vet. Prepare to be inspired as she opens up about her book, 'The Jungle Doctor,' revealing the motivations, challenges, and profound insights behind its creation. Together, we explore the impact of conservation work and embark on a thought-provoking discussion about the effects of COVID-19 on wildlife, navigating existential crises, and more.
    In the end, we unravel Dr. Chloe's relationship with Instagram and dive into a rapid-fire round of questions, getting to know the real person behind the inspiring work she does. This engaging episode is brimming with invaluable lessons and advice for the next generation of veterinarians. Don't miss out!
    Outline of this episode:
    • [0:48] Meet Dr. Chloe Buiting: Discover the story behind the passionate wildlife veterinarian and conservationist.
    • [06:30] Early Influences on Lord Howe Island: Explore the formative experiences that shaped Chloe's love for nature and wildlife.
    • [09:00] Veterinary Heroes: Learn about the people who influenced and motivated Dr. Chloe along her veterinary journey.
    • [13:05] Path to Conservation Vet Work: Dive into the pivotal moments and factors that led Dr. Chloe to dedicate her career to conservation veterinary work.
    • [17:07] Navigating Existential Crisis: Discover how Dr. Chloe finds her way through a challenging phase in her life.
    • [20:30] Breaking Stereotypes: Explore the truth behind whether Conservation Vets have a penchant for breaking things and the deeper meaning behind their work.
    • [26:18] "The Jungle Doctor" by Chloe Buiting: Gain insights into Dr. Chloe's book, including its motivation, inspirations, and the challenges she faced during its creation.
    • [31:08] Balancing Act: Explore how Dr. Chloe manages the mental challenges of her work and maintains her well-being in a demanding environment.
    • [34:31] Motherhood and Purpose: Learn how becoming a mother has influenced Dr. Chloe's purpose and perspective in her conservation efforts.
    • [36:25] The State of Affairs: Get an update on Dr. Chloe's current endeavors and how things are shaping up in her professional journey.
    • [38:16] Stories, Learnings, and Highlights: Delve into the captivating anecdotes, valuable lessons, and standout moments from Dr. Chloe's career.
    • [42:31] Impact of Conservation Work: Discover the significant impacts that conservation efforts have made so far, including achievements and ongoing challenges.
    • [50:56] COVID's Wildlife Impact: Explore the effects of the global pandemic on wildlife populations, particularly primates, and the importance of addressing these challenges.
    • [55:44] Advice for Future Vets: Listen to Dr. Chloe's insightful advice and words of wisdom for the next generation of veterinarians.
    • [1:01:22] The Power of Networking and Mentoring: Understand the value of building connections and finding mentors within the veterinary profession.
    • [1:08:06] Loop Abroad Engagements: Learn about Dr. Chloe's involvement and experiences with the Loop Abroad program, facilitating international study abroad programs

    • 1 hr 31 min
    Change Makers - Making A Stand Against The Corporate Juggernaut with Caroline Collins & Matt Flann

    Change Makers - Making A Stand Against The Corporate Juggernaut with Caroline Collins & Matt Flann

    In this thought-provoking episode, we have the pleasure of speaking with veterinarians Matt Flann and Caroline Collins, the inspiring owners of Pennard Vet Group in the UK. They have challenged the status quo of selling their practice to corporations for large sums and instead forged an ethical path towards a brighter future for pets, their team, and the local community. By creating an employee-owned model and achieving B-Corporation certification, Matt and Caroline have become beacons of change in the veterinary industry.
    If you're curious about alternatives to selling out to private equity, passionate about leaving a positive impact on the planet, and interested in exploring new ways of engaging and caring for your people, this episode is for you. Matt and Caroline's leadership journey will open your mind to a different perspective on veterinary practice ownership and inspire you to consider the profound impact ethical choices can have on your team and local community.
    Join us as we delve into the story of Matt and Caroline's bold decision to create an employee-owned model for Pennard Vet Group. We'll explore the challenges they faced, the values that drove them, and the positive outcomes they have witnessed as a result. Discover how their employee-owned model has fostered a culture of collaboration, dedication, and commitment to providing the best possible care for their furry patients.
    We'll explore how years of commitment to growing fantastic leaders, and a sense of stewardship rather than ownership steered their choices.
    And we'll dive into Matt and Caroline's pursuit of B Corporation certification an standard that showcases their commitment not just to people, but to society. Lofty stuff indeed.
    Don't miss this engaging and informative episode that will expand your horizons and challenge conventional notions of veterinary practice ownership. Be inspired to create change and build a future where ethics and compassion mean more than dollar signs. Because doing so might be the only way we stand any chance of making life better in veterinary medicine at all.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Ep 71: Dr Robert Hilsenroth - Leadership, Community & Conservation

    Ep 71: Dr Robert Hilsenroth - Leadership, Community & Conservation

    On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Robert Hilsenroth. Dr. Hilsenroth was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1971!
    After a year in practice, he took the bold step of moving to Colorado and opening a small animal practice as a relatively inexperienced vet and businessman. Things clearly worked out, as he owned the practice for the next 19 years.
    There were highs and lows, including frustration with how the media handled veterinary issues. As such, Dr Hilsenroth was drawn to develop his media skills to better contribute to and improve the quality of reporting on important local and national veterinary issues. This investment paid off, and for a decade, he was employed by the ABC television affiliate KUSA as their “pet health expert,” producing weekly reports on pet and animal issues.  In addition, he hosted radio talk shows and wrote weekly newspaper columns.

    In 1991, his career changed course quite dramatically and sold his practice and began a 13-year tenure with the Morris Animal Foundation, an organisation funding health studies for dogs, cats, horses and wildlife. 

    Initially joining as the Staff Veterinary Communications Officer, Dr. Hilsenroth’s skills allowed him to be identified and successfully appointed as the Foundation’s Executive Director.

    When he began this role, the Foundation was funding only two studies in the Zoo & Wildlife Division, while there were 10 or more studies in each of the other Divisions. When he got done more than a decade later, the same division was funding more than 30 studies.

    Dr. Hilsenroth “retired” from Morris Animal Foundation in April 2004 and moved to northern Florida to enjoy fishing and the quiet life. Or so he thought… Talent, however does not often get the luxury of going quietly into the night… and it wasn’t long before the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, a group he had worked closely with while at the Morris Animal Foundation, came calling on his leadership experience. 

    Those calls, while initially rebuffed, were, in the end, effective and in 2005, Dr Hilsenroth was appointed to the role of Executive Director of the Association. A position he still holds nearly 18 years later! Quite possibly a record in delaying retirement.

    Aside from the enormous impact on zoo animals and conservation Dr Hilsenroth has made, he has made just as significant an impact on people -  amassing a wealth of learned and taught leadership experience during his career. Including completion of Harvard’s Executive Education program “Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management”.

    But before we jump into today’s episode, here is a quick word from today’s show sponsor…
    Introducing The Vet Career Concierge - the easy way to find your dream job. It's a brilliantly simple concept.
    Instead of wasting time searching through thousands of practice jobs that might be a good fit - but frequently aren’t. Let The Vet Career Concierge do the hard work. All you have to do is register, and tell us about your skills and what you are looking for from your next practice.
    Then your Career Concierge goes to work filtering, matching and approaching only practices that are a good fit. If you like the sound of a practice and want to meet, your concierge will coach you through the interview process, help with negotiations and work to ensure you have a smooth transition into practice when you accept a role. They'll even stay in touch with scheduled career check-ins to make sure you are happy.
    The service is open to vets and vet nurses with at least ONE YEAR in practice and legally able to work in the USA, Canada, UK, EU or Australia.
    To register visit vetxinternational.com/career-concierge. And all registrants will be entered into a

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Ep 70: Dr Ben Howitt - Conservation, Coastlines & Community - A Vet's Galapagos Journey

    Ep 70: Dr Ben Howitt - Conservation, Coastlines & Community - A Vet's Galapagos Journey

    On today’s show, we have the pleasure of being in the company of Dr Ben Howitt.
    Ben is the Founder & Managing Director of Pan Animalia Galápagos and is an International Veterinary Manager with Worldwide Veterinary Service.
    He was brought up in Singapore and studied at the University of Bristol Vet School in the UK. Following graduation, Ben spent three years of mixed clinical practice on the Channel Island of Guernsey before moving to the Galápagos Islands to manage a volunteer and charitable veterinary clinic run by a US charity.
    He completed this work in 2019, returning to the UK to start his own foundation called Pan Animalia and subsequently teamed up with Worldwide Vet Services as one of their project managers.
    Pan Animalia’s mission is to conserve endemic wildlife populations in the Galapagos islands by preventing competition, predation, and infectious disease transmission from the domestic animal population.
    This, in part, means working to educate local communities but also setting up local population control systems and preventive vaccination programs.
    The foundation is doing terrific work and in the past year since opening has completed more than 700 surgeries, attended more than 1300 animals, hosted 32 students and volunteers, visited 8 local schools and created one awesome team!
    In 2020 his efforts and ambition were recognised as he was nominated for the British Veterinary Association’s Young Vet of the Year award.
    Now, before we jump into today’s episode, here is a quick word from today’s show sponsor…
    Introducing The Vet Career Concierge - the easy way to find your dream job. It's a brilliantly simple concept.
    Instead of wasting time searching through thousands of practice jobs that might be a good fit - but frequently aren’t. Let The Vet Career Concierge do the hard work. All you have to do is register, and tell us about your skills and what you are looking for from your next practice.
    Then your Career Concierge goes to work filtering, matching and approaching only practices that are a good fit. If you like the sound of a practice and want to meet, your concierge will coach you through the interview process, help with negotiations and work to ensure you have a smooth transition into practice when you accept a role. They'll even stay in touch with scheduled career check-ins to make sure you are happy.
    The service is open to vets and vet nurses with at least ONE YEAR in practice and legally able to work in the USA, Canada, UK, EU or Australia.
    To register visit vetxinternational.com/career-concierge. And all registrants will be entered into a prize draw where you could win an apple watch, a magnum of champagne or an amazon gift card.
    Registration is free so head to vetxinternational.com/career-concierge to sign up today.
    Now, back to the show…
    Ben has been on my Instagram radar for ages as we both share a passion for animals and the ocean, but due to both of our seemingly outstanding efforts at not being timezones, it literally took about two years to get this interview arranged. I’ve not had a lot of guests from the world of conservation so it was great to hear about Ben’s passion for conserving utterly essential ecosystems, and the work he’s doing to help protect an area made most famous by Charles Darwin himself.
    So without further ado, sit back and enjoy this conversation with vet conservationist and lover of oceans, Dr Ben Howitt!

    • 1 hr 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
85 Ratings

85 Ratings

XfittersRun? ,

Sexy Voice, subtle humor, superb content

What more can you want?! I know us vet people do not have a lot of time, but make the time to listen to this podcast. It will make you laugh and smile and think very deeply. Absolutely love it.

JC Burcham ,

"How I Built This" for veterinary professionals!

Even though I'm a veterinarian, I tend to steer away from veterinary-themed podcasts. I like learning with a touch of humor (e.g. Ologies) or inspiring stories that speak to the power of resilience against adversity (e.g. How I Built This). Dr. Dave Nicol has a unique gift in his ability to connect with fascinating individuals in the veterinary field. I've only listened to the three most recent episodes, but Episode 48 with Dr. Molly McAllister has to be one of the best ever. I admit I was reluctant to give it a listen because what could I learn from someone who helps run the corporate giant Banfield? I was completely blown away by Dr. McAllister's humility and vision. Listening to her and Dr. Nicol talk about the unsustainable pressure our practitioners are facing during this pandemic really touched me: "Business is booming but our people are breaking." This is so true. And the need for mentoring programs to help support new graduates. This is something I'm so passionate about. I love having vet students come through our hospital and would love to engage in further dialog about how to help them be successful after graduation. Thank you for this well-done, educational and inspiring podcast!

Marisa J2 ,

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!

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