By Dr. Justine Lee, DACVECC, DABT
Director of Medicine / CEO, VETgirl
VETgirl’s New Year’s Resolutions
I’m a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions. It’s mentally my “new time” to be able to have a clean slate. Realistically, I should probably restart these to “monthly resolution” so they are more SMART goals. This would also allow me to cut myself some slack (see #3 below!). Regardless, I view this time of the year as an amazingly new time to “start all over.”
I’ve written about this before in my VETgirl New Year’s Resolutions back in 2015 here on New Year’s resolutions for this VETgirl. Things like:
- Better work-life balance
- 30 day goals
- Cut yourself some slack
- Get into fiscal order
- Run a fun book a month
- Cut back on alcohol
- Use your Fitbit/Apple watch
- Take the time to… self-care
- Drink 40 ounces of water a day
- Stop smoking (I don’t smoke and never have, but for the sake of your health, please quit!
Here at VETgirl, we’re such believers in New Year’s Resolutions that Jeannine Moga, MSW, LSW, our Chief Happiness Officer, also wrote about this in a beautiful blog on Resolutions Worth Making In the Year Ahead.
So, for me, the 5 New Year’s goals our VETgirl team has for 2022 are:
1. Continue to provide clinically relevant, practical online veterinary CE.
If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that we in the veterinary field are able to transition and pivot quickly. During the pandemic, we were able to move to curbside to keep everyone safe. We were able to use telemedicine and better technology to make things easier for a more contact-less or touchless process. While all of our in-person veterinary conferences were cancelled, we were still able to connect on Zoom happy hours and pivot to online veterinary continuing education. Well, after almost 2 years of COVID-19, I miss seeing my peeps. We were excited to be able to host our annual VETgirl U 2021 at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago from August 5th through 8th, 2021 and reconnect with fellow colleagues. It was so incredible to see everybody again. We’re definitely looking forward to continued future veterinary conferences in person, but our mission at VETgirl is to always be able to provide clinically-relevant, practical online veterinary continuing education. Because if you don’t have the time, energy, or bandwidth to travel to a veterinary conference, you can always learn from the comforts of home while drinking your favorite beverage in your pajamas, after a long day of work. In 2021, we closed out the year with a whopping 156 hours of RACE-approved CE. That’s a big different from the 12 hours of webinars that we offered in 2013!
2. Be a good boss.
We’ve all worked for really good and bad bosses at some point, right? We’ve learned what leadership skills we loved, and which ones we hated. Well, from 2012-2018, it was pretty much Garret and I driving the bus here at VETgirl. We’ve been so honored to bring along some amazing people as we continue to expand our VETgirl team… from amazing veterinarians who sought us out at VETgirl U (“I want to work for you and I’ll do it for free!” – Don’t worry, we pay them!), to some amazing veterinary technicians that we’ve had the honor of working a busy ER with to lecturing with, to amazing marketing gurus and veterinary industry partners. When I hired my husband for part-time work at VETgirl, I realized I need to be a better boss – especially to him specifically. As we pointed out to each other, we talk to each other the way HR wouldn’t normally allow… you know, working from home and all. (What crappy person left these dishes in the sink? Worst officemate ever!). That said, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to be a good boss. By being a good leader and elevating your team WITH you, you can only do amazing things together!
3. Have good family life.
I’m not sure how you and your family survived COVID-19, but my family really struggled with it. In March of 2020, life was really, really hard. My husband and I pulled our toddler out of daycare for 12 weeks, due to safety concerns. And what we discovered is that it is really, really hard to work from home while entertaining a young toddler. But after almost 2-years of COVID and pandemic life, I learned that family is my #1 priority. If COVID taught us anything, it’s that family and health are the two most important things in life. That’s why I’m committed to spending more quality time with my loved ones.
4. Grow VETgirl globally.
When it comes to this VETgirl, I’m looking forward to continuing to grow VETgirl as a # 1 online veterinary continuing education (CE) platform out there. As you guys have probably heard, my baby (VETgirl) was acquired by MARS / BluePearl in July of 2021. You can read about it HERE. Part of Garret and my goal was to make sure we had resources to take VETgirl to the next level, and we’re really excited about all the new things coming out. With the help of MARS, we’re going to take it to the next level… globally! In just the past 4 months, we’ve been able to add translation of our website into multiple languages, including Spanish, simplified Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, French, German and Italian. We were able to make out our website more ADA friendly. And we are currently working on getting closed captioning on our webinars and other content! Plus, we’re adding a veterinary technician certificate and a Spanish track in January 2022!
5. Change VETgirl U to every single year.
Who wants to go to the best, most boutique veterinary conference out there? If you’re sick of “throw-away-conference-bags” and cheap BPA plastic water bottles, you’ll want to go to VETgirl U. We hosted our first VETgirl U conference at the beautiful Radisson Blu attached to the Mall of America (MOA) in Minneapolis, MN back in 2018. As working parents, Garret and I understood how hard it was to balance being a working mom or working dad and trying to balance being a veterinarian at the same time… so we were honored to be the first-ever veterinary conference in the world to offer FREE daycare to kids! Plus, free passes to Nickelodeon Universe (the amusement park in the center of the MOA).
Initially, we were planning on doing this conference every-other-year, as our mojo is online veterinary CE. But, after some conference delays with that pesky virus (e.g., COVID-19), we had to delay our 2nd VETgirl U conference from 2020 to 2021. This amazing event was held at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago, IL. And now, we’re excited to offer this TED-talk-like, boutique small veterinary conference EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. We’re in the works for VETgirl U 2022, again in this VETgirl’s backyard of Minneapolis, MN. We’ll still be at the Radisson Blu/MOA, and we’ll still be offering amazing swag, free daycare, and Nickelodeon Universe passes to children. After all, we aim for family-friendly events. And what better way to tire out your kids and partner than walking around the biggest mall in North America? What’s exciting and new? For the first time ever, we’ll host a veterinary technician-specific track too! Stay tuned and book your rooms early, as this one is capped at 1,000 veterinary professionals!
What’s on you New Year’s Resolution list? And tell us what we can do to make VETgirl better for you in 2022! Weigh in the comment section below!