Vetvance | ScrubChatPodcast
VetVance Logo
Scrub Chat Podcast


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.

presenterFullName, presenterCertification


©All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
2020 Zoetis Services LLC. All rights reserved.

Brought to you in collaboration with Corporate Partner
Current version 1.2.892.0 from 9/11/2020 1:07 PM