Eden Myers

commented on AVMA-IHS US Veterinary Workforce Study 2013-05-02 08:02:23 -0400 · Flag
“By all and any means bring your data, methods and suggestions to the table so that we can create the best solutions possible.”
In a word- no. That’s your job. I was all set to respond, especially about the NAICS data, when somebody pointed out to me a very basic fact. To abandon the baseball analogy and return to practice, where most readers will more easily connect: the clinic doesn’t prosper when the doctor cleans cages. Look, Mike, you’re skilled and you’ve got a good attitude. We just need you to apply it to the right task- which is generating and disseminating data that enables on the ground decision making by the people actually performing the work. That may be high school and undergrad students evaluating whether, where and when to attend vet school; it may be trainees evaluating what career path to pursue; it may be practitioners evaluating what business models and practices they need to enact; it may be researchers or regulators evaluating where they need to allocate their resources. To step into the doctor role for a minute in this analogy, we are asking you to practice evidence based management, just as we strive to practice evidence based medicine. The level of the evidence you are generating is weak- no matter how much of it you generate or how well. The tech tools and knowhow exist to generate qualitatively stronger and more useful information. Does the political will to do so exist?
It’s starting to. And so another practitioner and I are publishing some thoughts and aggregated extant data- not in the hope of influencing the established culture at the AVMA or other organizations- but of reaching like minded veterinarians, who may then feel empowered to contribute to that political will for fundamental change in the way we do things.

commented on Thanks again, AAVMC! 2013-03-03 16:23:03 -0500 · Flag
Thanks! One thing to think about- if in fact the only people missing are from those schools which didn’t participate, then I am much more impressed that these numbers represent the whole population.
Still have the problem of correctly reporting salaries and employment- including interns only in employment but excluding them from salary was part of why no one realized it was as bad as it was.
And even if we do count everybody in both categories, this data still does nothing to assess quality of employment. But it’s a start!
Good point about physicians- their residencies pay in the $40-$60k range where veterinary internships are in the $20-$30k range. Also that their starting salaries are 2-4x ours, as are their peak salaries.
If you like the analysis, feel free to spread it far and wide!

commented on Kudos Lisa Greenhill! 2013-02-26 13:32:00 -0500 · Flag
Awesome comments, Jennifer. Even though the report tries to acknowledge that, I’m not sure most people saw it as clearly as you did, especially the inability to assess quality of employment. Thanks!

commented on Should I go to vet school? 2013-02-25 06:20:46 -0500 · Flag
Julio, those are great comments. If you can’t find the answers here http://www.virmp.org/ maybe we can work together to get them. Interested? Let me know eden@justvetdata.com

commented on An Open Letter to the Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine 2014-12-06 12:18:22 -0500 · Flag
Multiple vets and veterinary organizations have both contacted Dr. Pol personally and contacted NatGeo to serve as unpaid technical advisors. Dr. Pol was ordered by the Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine, a state regulatory body, to get education and pay a fine in one case that resulted in death. They are prosecuting another case against him now.

A solution to this problem is to hold Dr. Pol accountable for upholding the standards he agreed to when he sought and accepted the privilege of a license to practice medicine in the state of Michigan. Contrary to your belief, Dr. Pol’s license being revoked would not leave the state of Michigan without access to veterinary care.

There are numerous other providers in his area- all of whom are able to meet the standards of care established by Dr. Pol’s own peer group.

Aseptic field operations, both emergency and routine, are done EVERY DAY on farms in Michigan. Farm animals are treated with kindness, skill and pain medication, in both emergency and routine situations , EVERY DAY on farms across Michigan,. The truly sad part is that Dr. Pol doesn’t even bother to adhere to aseptic technique or provide pain relief in the clinic with pets, much less on farms.

commented on OSU Budget Debacle 2013-01-28 22:57:56 -0500 · Flag
Hey, congratulations!

The person to talk to at OSU is the senior class president, his name is Matthew Weeman. Having been there four years, he can give you an on-the-ground perspective.

You are actually not as bad off as you think, in one way- OSU and Davis are two of the four US veterinary schools that reclassify nonresidents as residents after their first year. This means you only pay one year’s out of state tuition.

In a couple more ways, you are um… somewhat hosed. FIrst of all, you are still looking at debt of $280,000 (Davis) to $290,000 (OSU) even with the tuition break. And that debt gets you a degree that pays maybe $70,000 a year as a mid career associate (the most likely outcome). If you can even get a job, which only 30% of last year’s class could.

Second, Davis’ new Dean is trying to usurp control of the student led CE symposia there, meaning none of the student clubs will have any funding with which to function after this year- nor will they be making the sorts of networking contacts that lead to jobs on graduation :( So the financial management situation there isn’t any more student oriented than at OSU- or anywhere else, for that matter. All the schools are getting ruthlessly squeezed by state budget cuts.

Still, again, congratulations. You are in for a ride! Drop Matthew a line, I’ll send you his email privately, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions.


commented on Please cancel this horrendous show. 2012-10-27 23:13:09 -0400 · Flag
Thanks for your input, Mary. Keep it coming!

commented on The HBC Boston Terrier enucleation 2012-10-22 00:11:02 -0400 · Flag
Pain is a big one, Tracy. For a couple reasons- it’s CHEAP, safe and easy to relieve and it has really serious effects on the speed and completeness of an animal’s recovery. Does the dog recover either way? Sure looks like it.

Does that make it okay not to treat pain? Nope.

The cost of the drug and syringe for a dose of morphine for a dog that size might be three dollars. The client cost will be more like $15-20 to cover required licenses and equipment biohazard material handling, recordkeeping.

Free, no. Necessary? Yes.

The state thinks so, too- here’s the Michigan practice standard

“4) A practice shall use anesthetic agents, monitoring equipment, pain management and recovery protocol, appropriate for the procedures being performed and the patient’s condition.” http://tinyurl.com/MVMA-standards

Even if it weren’t in the standards, it’s in the oath I took when I became a veterinarian:
“Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for… the prevention and relief of animal suffering…”

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Veterinarian. I save lives and alleviate suffering. I think.