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 50: Dr Peter Dommett - an Incredible Farming & Transforming Ecosystems Story
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Pete Dommett. Pete graduated from the Onderstepoort school of veterinary medicine in South Africa.
A born adventurer with a lust for life, he now lives in Scotland managing an organic farm, literally ploughing a new furrow for ethical food production, and a move away from unsustainable monoculture farm practice. Something he firmly believes is detrimental to animal welfare, the planet and even the survival of the human race.
Peter’s convictions derive in no small way from a life lived to the full. Highlights include an entirely harrowing and tragic yachting trip in the wild southern ocean, the rehabilitation and transformation of Waterford Farm a beautiful, non-mechanised cattle farm. Located high in the Drakensberg mountains, his efforts were initially written off as impossible, yet he grafted, innovated and ultimately proved his values-led model of farming worked. One where animals, people and the ecosystems work in harmony.
Each remarkable step of these chapters of his life proceeding with a captivating mix of blood, sweat, laughter and tears. His is a story of one man's journey into the unknown which I'll warn you now, will frequently leave your jaw on the floor.
Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is the Leaders program for practice managers. If you are responsible for the management of a vet practice and people more accurately staff dramas are your biggest challenge then Leaders was designed for you. The program is the only complete leadership system developed specifically for veterinary practice that will help you transform your practice from 'Hot Mess', to 'Hot Rod'! During the course, you'll learn how to create a compelling vision, choose the right strategy, hire effectively and lead your team so you create a positive culture that brings results.
Leaders is a unique deep dive into the world of high performance and I will be your personal mentor throughout. This a four-module VHMA accredited training course supported by weekly live coaching sessions and detailed 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 www.vetxinternational.com/leaders.
Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join and learn with other practice managers who have changed their practices for the better. To learn more and apply visit vetxinternational.com/leaders today.
Now back to the show,
Unlike many of my guests, Pete is not well known, he does not have a CV crammed full of diplomas and he’s not yet published any books, nor, to my knowledge, won any glittering prizes. But his lfe experience inventory column is stacked in a way that few can rival and that, combined with his willingness to take on the issues many avoid make him one of my favourite guests ever. Sit back and strap in, no seriously STRAP IN and enjoy this conversation with Dr Peter Dommett.
Ep 49: Dr Lisa Lippman - Carving Your Own Path in Veterinary Medicine
On today’s show, I’m joined by the socially savvy Dr Lisa Lippman.
Lisa is one of the most followed and socially influential veterinarians in the United States. She is a regular fixture on media outlets such as Dr Oz, Inside Edition, and People Magazine as a go-to source for expertise in pet health and safety.
Whilst growing up in New Jersey Lisa developed a passion for animal care. After initially majoring in Public Relations, she was accepted into vet school and graduated from Western University. After graduation, she completed an internship in New York, the city where she currently resides. Keen to offer a ‘gentler’ veterinary service to her clients, Lisa soon embarked on creating her own house call business ‘vets in the city’.
When not treating some of the most influential pets in the world she sits on the board of Animal Lighthouse Rescue, whose mission is to help the homeless dogs of Puerto Rico, and is the co-host of a hugely popular podcast 'We Don't Deserve Dogs' with her partner, comedian Richie Redding.
Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is the Thrive professional skills course from VetX International. 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 RACE accredited professional 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 enrol visit vetxinternational.com/thrive today.
Now back to the show,
There is much to enjoy in this conversation, Lisa shares her insight into navigating a career less ordinary, how to do social media well, life in lockdown and much more. She is in many ways a bit of a renaissance women. She’s talented, optimistic and despite having her fair share of set-backs clearly sees life as a glass half full. A great example of what can be done when you mix a positive mindset, with a curious spirit and a sprinkle of self-belief.
She’s also a barrel of laughs. My only sadness was that we didn’t get to record this conversation on a park bench in Central Park Manhattan. Maybe next time.
And now, without further delay enjoy this conversation with the rather ebullient Dr Lisa Lippman.
Ep 48: Dr Molly McAllister - Leading & Living with Purpose & Humanity
On today’s show, I’m joined by one of the most senior vets in the United States, Dr. Molly McAllister.
Molly graduated from Oregon State Vet School in 2004, holds a BA in biology, and a Masters in Public health. After a brief stint in equine practice, she worked as a GP vet in Portland before life got tough and circumstances took her in an entirely different, but retrospectively serendipitous, direction.
It was 2009 when she began work within the Mars Petcare family, joining as Scientific Services Vet until her move to Banfield in 2014. Molly was initially appointed as director of research, a role where among other things she was responsible for producing the Banfield State of Pet Health Report, a fascinating insight into the disease incidence derived from analysis of more than 3 million health visits to Banfield practices each year.
Various other roles followed where Molly’s triple love of people, data, and medicine became evident, allowing her to contribute to, or drive many important initiatives within Banfield and beyond. In 2019 she was appointed the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, a role where she drives strategy and organisation of the veterinary teams while being accountable for the medical quality standard across the company.
Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is the Thrive professional skills course for vets. 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 likely contributing to many 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 RACE accredited, professional skills training course where members receive instruction, toolkits, and mentoring support to ensure success.
Membership is available for a super-small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed their careers for the better. Learn more and enroll at www.vetxinternational.com/thrive today and receive 10% off by using the promo code ‘PODCAST’.
Now back to the show,
If all you knew about Molly was her title, you might feel quite intimidated - surely someone who climbs to the top of the corporate ladder will be a fearsome beast indeed? Well, you’d be wrong. Molly is certainly driven and ambitious, but she’s also compassionate, humble, and utterly determined to leave her bit of the world better than she found it. She has carved out her career, driven by a sense of purpose and profound awareness that there is only one life, and the journey we take as we live it matters every bit as much as the destination.
Ready to hear more? I thought so, without further ado let’s get into the conversation with one of my new favourite people in vet med, Dr. Molly McAllister.
Ep 47: 2020 - Messages From The Year That Got Away
Today’s show is the 2020 end of year review. Normally it is my job to interview and tease apart the life of interesting people from around the world of veterinary medicine.
But in our traditional end of year review episode, I take the time to reflect on some of my favourite clips from my 2020 interviews and consolidate the wisdom. In this year, it was very poignant to reflect on how easy it was to meet our friends and families, and to a certain extent how for-granted we all took many elements of life before COVID.
So our theme for this episode is finding strength in the work and words of others, because although our sense of connection has been reduced it’s the fortitude and wisdom that can be found in the words and deeds of others that might inspire the strength within to endure and come through this toughest of years.
I loved listening again and want to thank my guests who were exceptional in both their talents and generosity in allowing us to peek through the window to their life. The clips I chose are a variety of insights that seemed to have relevance in today’s world and certainly gave me plenty to ponder. I hope you derive a similar pleasure.
If this is your first experience of the show then consider it a tapas plate of audio joy, and as such, I invite you to dip in and let the journey take you deeper into the minds of my guests as you see fit. Feel free to explore the 46 other episodes that currently exist!
All that remains is for me to wish you a wonderful festive season. Be sure to get some well-deserved rest whether with friends and family or in self-isolation. Thank you for listening and we’ll see you next year.
From all of us at VetX International to you, wherever you are… Be safe. Be well. And be happy. Dr D. x
Ep 46: Dr Caroline Murray - The Wilderness Vet
On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Caroline Murray aka the Wilderness Vet.
Caroline graduated from Liverpool University Vet School in 1997 and, in addition to her veterinary degree, holds a bachelor's degree in Zoology and a Master's in Conservation & Wildlife Medicine.
After spending the first few years of her career working in the UK, she took the opportunity to spread her wings and taste the combination of remoteness, veterinary medicine, and conservation (that became the hallmarks of her career) with a trip to West Africa to care for orphaned primates.
Wild adventures ensued, a pattern was set, and the Wilderness Vet was born. This spirit of adventure has since led her all over the globe caring for horses in the Mongol Derby - a 1000km horse race across the Mongolian Desert. Near-death experiences with injured Sled dogs in light aircraft above the frozen Alaskan tundra, as part of the Iditarod vet team. And more recently to New Zealand where she currently resides.
Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is the Thrive professional skills course from VetX International. 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 RACE accredited professional skills training course 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 their careers for the better. To learn more and enroll visit www.vetxinternational.com/thrive today.
Now back to the show.
There are many things to admire about Caroline. Maybe for you, it will be the opportunity her stories provide to recall or experience the thrill of travel and the excitement that exploration of this vast world offers.
Or maybe it’s her spirit of fearless adventure combined with affable nature that meld together to inspire us all to take a few more risks in pursuit of our goals.
Whatever, one thing is for sure, at a time of great uncertainty, Caroline reminds us all that those lucky enough to be in possession of a veterinary degree really do have the world at their fingertips and a passport to the front row of life.
So enjoy this lockdown conversation with the intrepid Dr Caroline Murray.
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.
"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!
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.