Nationwide®’s Linda Markland is one of the most recognizable people in the veterinary community. She can be found at conferences large and small, at trade group meetings, and at gatherings of veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary practice managers from coast to coast. (Even around the world: She recently presented in China!)
She’s a strong advocate for veterinary technicians, and she spreads the gospel of well-managed practices where everyone’s contributions are respected and honored. And of course, she is a vocal proponent of pet health insurance, speaking on behalf of Nationwide® (and before the name change, VPI®) for 24 years and counting.
She can always be spotted in “team colors” — blue now, red before — and has been known to joke that even her underwear matches.
Awards have come her way regularly over the years, all well-deserved. The most recent is the President’s Award from the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, the highlight of the VHMA’s annual meeting and conference earlier this month in Vancouver, WA.
I believe the members of VHMA are key to the continued success of our profession. Without professionally and successfully run veterinary practices, it would be difficult to practice high-quality medicine, while still keeping our compassion intact.
Veterinary medicine has many challenges that we must face. We must hire qualified team members who will work well together, helping them stay healthy both mentally and physically. We must meet client, owner and team expectations, while still practicing high-quality medicine.
Much of that falls on the you, the members of the VHMA. Being a part of this organization and sharing with each other helps keep us all informed and prepared for the challenges of an ever-evolving profession. That is why I encourage new managers or people wanting to transition into management to join the VHMA. There is no better training and support.
One last mention. There is more conversation about suicide and depression in our profession than ever before. Most of the conversation is about veterinarians, but others in our practices feel much of the same pressures. These challenges will fall on your shoulders and you need to be prepared for them.
Talk to your team, address issues you think might lead to challenges for them and direct them to someone who can help if need be. Work-life balance is everyone’s challenge, but yours most of all.
Here’s an edited version of the slide show that went with the presentation. Congratulations, Linda! We’re proud of you!