WELCOME TO SCRUB CHAT! SCRUB CHAT IS A PODCAST OF SHARING STORIES.
These stories are told by veterinary professionals for veterinary professionals. We are going on an expedition to hear first-hand experiences from veterinarians and veterinary technicians about their career, life, wellbeing and the balance between them all. We hope Scrub Chat inspires you because the spirit of sharing makes us all stronger.
Our hope is that these stories will give you a real-world idea about being a veterinarian or veterinary technician and integrating the other roles you play in your life. We will discuss wellness, student debt, career paths, veterinary medicine, compassion fatigue and work life balance. We will learn what has worked, what has not worked and how these professionals got to where they are today.
Season 1 Episodes
We chat with Ms. Garnetta Santiago. Ms. Santiago is a licensed veterinary technician and Manager of Academic and Professional Affairs for Zoetis. Learn how she followed her passion to become a veterinary technician from a very different early career. Then we will follow Ms. Santiago’s career path from traditional veterinary technician roles, to academia to industry. She speaks honestly about work -life balance overcoming health issues and encouraging others.
Learn the art of a successful career in veterinary medicine from Dr. Christine Jenkins. Dr. Jenkins is extremely accomplished and is boarded in internal medicine and serves at the Chief Medical Officer at Zoetis. Her interests in increasing diversity within the profession and developing young leaders via mentorship come across in this chat.
Dr. Kate Harnish is a practice owner of Anthracite Animal Clinic, leader in organized veterinary medicine, mother, wife and pillar of her community. She chats about how she balances all these accomplishments. Dr. Harnish poignantly explains how a mentor influenced her career and path to ownership. Learn about she builds a happy, thriving practice and gives back to the profession and community.
Chat with a veterinarian who is a true entrepreneur, Dr Apryl Horbal. Learn more about how she is president of a telemedicine business, VetNOW. Dr. Horbal is also an equine dentist and provides insight into equine practice and veterinary dentistry. Discussions about financial wellbeing and debt are highlighted in this conversation.
Ms. Charlotte Waack is a certified and registered veterinary technician and is the director of VSPN. Our chat with Ms. Waack explores the importance of well-being for a veterinary technician. Listen about her career choices, networking ability, and life advice.
If you are a veterinary technician and interested in learning more about specialty medicine and career growth, listen to our chat with Ms. Deb Blades. Ms. Blades is a certified veterinary technician and the practice manager of Blue Pearl VSEC in Levittown, PA. Ms. Blades shares interesting stories about her career to take us on a journey to learn about how to be successful, career paths, and what she looks for in hiring new technicians.
Season 2 Episodes
Learn how your veterinary career can have many twists and turns from Dr. Omar Farías. Dr. Farías progressed from working as an associate veterinarian in Philadelphia, to owning a veterinary practice to enjoying a career in the veterinary industry with Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Along the way he learned how to overcome new challenges and developed new skills. He also has a candid discussion about diversity in the profession and his personal experiences with being a non-traditional veterinary student and veterinarian.
Meet Deborah Reeder, a Texas-based Registered Veterinary Technician who transitioned from a 10-year career as a flight attendant to a successful career as an equine veterinary technician. Deb’s experiences reflect insights and life lessons she’s garnered during her more than 30 years serving in veterinary medicine, including working in equine rehabilitation, anesthesia and intensive care; and creating her own equine practice management consulting company in 2001. In 2003, she founded the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians and serves as its current Executive Director. Listen to her talk about the importance of having a network, knowing your value, refusing to be stuck and having a willingness to experience everything that comes with stepping out of your professional comfort zone.
Dr. Quincy Hawley is the co-founder of Get MotiVETed, a company that provides wellbeing solutions for all members of the veterinary community. Dr. Hawley is passionate about improving leadership, wellbeing, and diversity in the veterinary profession. In this episode, you will learn why he focuses on those areas and what he has done to enhance his interests.
Professional opportunities for veterinary technicians are endless, and the experiences of Melissa Supernor, a Massachusetts and Connecticut Certified Veterinary Technician, prove that to be true. Listen as she discusses her journey from obtaining her Veterinary Technician specialization in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 2008, creating her own consultancy company in 2009 and serving in technician leadership positions on both the state and national level. Melissa’s observations over her nearly 30 years in the field and background in psychology has led to her being a nationally recognized lecturer on personal and professional development topics. After the tragic suicide of a veterinary colleague and her own personal experiences with being bullied, she now gives back to the community by educating veterinary professionals on identifying and recognizing workplace bullying and understanding how to combat its impact on mental wellbeing.
In this episode, Dr. Deb Landis, discusses her career path and how she manages work-life balance. Dr. Landis started her career as a bovine veterinarian, currently owns her small ruminant practice, Landis Veterinary Service, and does small animal relief work. She has successfully learned the best strategies for managing her veterinary career practicing the type of medicine she loves, while being involved with her family and volunteering for her community.
Season 3 Episodes
David Sessum is a trailblazer in the veterinary profession. He’s an Associate Professor in the Veterinary Technician Program at Lone Star College in Tomball, Texas, serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, and is an ardent champion of veterinary technician utilization. Listen as David talks about his journey as a licensed veterinary technician and how “choosing to pull up your scrubs and go to work” has been a guiding principle in his career success.
Meet Dr. Carla Gartrell, a board-certified veterinary internist, licensed attorney, and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine in Glendale, Arizona. She shares words of wisdom about how the importance of intention and always looking forward to the next adventure were integral to making her Plan A work.
Melanie Hollis, a licensed veterinary technician in Texas, grew up in South Central Los Angeles and didn’t own a pet until age 15. Despite not having early exposure to veterinary medicine, her love of animals and their care propelled her to a career that has included companion animal and equine experience, veterinary technician education, and speaking nationally on a broad range of topics. Listen as Melanie shares insights from mentors who spurred her to overcome obstacles along the way; and lessons she learned from keeping her goals in focus always.
Dr. Venaya Jones is a pioneer. As the first women of color to own a veterinary practice in Cleveland, Ohio, she persevered through financial roadblocks, cultural barriers, and fear to achieve her dream. In this episode she explains how she navigated the balancing act of being a veterinary student at Western University with two children, after having spent eight years as a stay-at-home mom; and speaks candidly about challenges she experienced as an African-American in a profession where African-Americans are underrepresented. She caps this interview with a hilarious story recounting her husband’s attempt once at getting their cat to the vet for an appointment. It is not to be missed!
Imagine a 26-year career journey that has included herd health management, working with the USDA to stem the spread of Exotic Newcastle disease, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Tuberculosis and other foreign animal diseases, serving as a Federal Service Tribal Liaison working with Native American tribes in New York State, and teaching veterinary technician students at Medaille College in New York. Listen as Tara Woyton, a licensed veterinary technician, talks about how the power of vulnerability led to professional satisfaction and opened doors to non-traditional career opportunities.
Dr. Cara Horowitz has a lot going on – she’s a boarded veterinary internist working in specialty practice, and a busy mother of two young children. In this episode, she speaks candidly about her journey overcoming early career imposter syndrome and feelings of working-mother guilt to create a balance between family life and a veterinary career that works for her.
Season 4 Episodes
Chance encounters and accidental conversations often lead to big opportunities. That certainly is true for Paige Allen, an Indiana-based Registered Veterinary Technician whose professional journey has been filled with career altering adventures, including recently becoming only the second veterinary technician ever to serve as President of the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) Board of Directors. Listen as she talks about her work as Assistant Director of Academic Advising and Recruiting at Purdue University where she helps prepare the pipeline of future veterinary technicians by showing them the power of personal authenticity and relationship building.
Joe D’Abbraccio is a New York State DVM, practice owner and powerhouse who lives by the guiding principle of always ‘keeping life spicy.’ Joe’s non-linear professional pathway through veterinary medicine is fascinating! In this spirited interview, he guides us through his journey from licensed veterinary technician to veterinarian and explains how taking the road less traveled resulted in a richer hands-on educational experience. When not working on bears, goats or kittens, Joe passionately advocates for veterinary technician empowerment, and serves on various veterinary organizations. His excitement is palpable and contagious – take a listen!
Dr. Sandra San Miguel is literally a cape-wearing trailblazer. Her story weaves from being a first-generation college student to becoming a boarded specialist in swine medicine, Associate Dean for Engagement at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and creator of the League of VetaHumanz, a veterinary superhero group (yes, you read that correctly!) Listen as she talks about how a conversation with a third-grade student ignited her mission to increase representation in veterinary medicine and led to her developing children’s books that give young people exposure to all the possibilities in this field.
No one likes feeling vulnerable, but in this episode Erin Henninger, a Certified Veterinary Technician and Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians explains the power and value in allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Listen as she discusses how learning to embrace it and encouraging others to share theirs creates stronger bonds, and how this helped her navigate stressful situations as an Emergency and Critical Care veterinary technician. And if that weren’t enough, there’s also a funny maggot story included!
Representation matters and Dr. Christina “Tina” Tran has worked tirelessly to elevate and ensure that voices of underrepresented individuals in the veterinary profession are heard. A first-generation Filipino-American, Tina is Associate Professor of Clinical Relations at University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine and President of the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association and uses her platforms to encourage others to be confident in their capabilities. Her journey of learning to self-advocate and own her seat at the table is a compelling message, and particularly salient in a profession that is largely homogenous.
Meet Alyssa Mages, a Pennyslvania-based Certified Veterinary Technician and Chief Visionary Officer of Empowering Veterinary Teams. She knows the power of reinvention and reimagining her role as a veterinary technician, and shares what she’s learned about risk taking and staring down fear. Listen as she shares her experiences of defining and owning her professional journey through several areas of veterinary medicine.
SCRUB CHAT PODCAST
You are listening to: Demo - Episode 1: “Be Better, Not Perfect” Interview with Dr. Kate Harnish