Veterinary Business Matters Podcast
Cal Lai From My Pet Doc and Ask.Vet

Cal Lai From My Pet Doc and Ask.Vet

October 4, 2019

I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion with Cal Lai of My Pet Doc and Ask.Vet on the subject of Artificial Intelligence in veterinary medicine. I was very impressed in his vision and creativity in terms of how technology and vet med meet. I knew I had to chat with him and I’m so glad I did. I am sure you will enjoy our conversation. We discuss his company Ask.Vet, as well as being an entrepreneur in the vet space and his thoughts on the future of veterinary medicine.

Katie Ardeline BA, CHRL

Katie Ardeline BA, CHRL

September 4, 2019

In today's episode, I sit down with Katie Adeline to discuss a topic that is near and dear to both of us.... the hiring process.

Katie Ardeline is a Human Resources professional with over 10 years’ experience in the Equine and Small Animal veterinary industry. Katie graduated from the University of Toronto in with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2003, and then completed a post-degree Human Resources Management certificate program at Mohawk College, culminating in the acquisition of her Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation.

Katie’s role at Oculus sees her working with a wide variety of clients and audiences in various capacities. She presents and conducts workshops on numerous aspects of HR Management including Employee Engagement in a variety of venues, including numerous Equine Business Management Summits in both North America and Europe. Katie is skilled providing HR support in various capacities, from consulting and customized support of targeted stand-alone initiatives to building entire HR programs for clients from the ground up.

Prior to working with Oculus, Katie was the Operations Manager at McKee-Pownall Equine Services, an equine veterinary practice that employs over 30 people, including 10+ veterinarians, across three practices in the Greater Toronto, Ontario and Wellington, Florida area that is recognized in the equine veterinary industry for its emphasis on employee care and work-life balance. Before working at McKee-Pownall, Katie was the Human Resources Administrator for a large accounting firm in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

While Katie is involved with all functional areas of Human Resources, her true passion lies in helping employees develop the tools they need to grow and flourish through a structured and collaborative system of coaching and goal-setting.

Dr. Karen Bolten

Dr. Karen Bolten

August 15, 2019

In today's episode I talk with a good friend,  Dr. Karen Bolten. Today, Karen shares her story of selling her equine practice to pursue her degree in business.

Dr. Bolten is a large animal veterinarian, with a main focus on equine, especially equine dentistry. She founded Myrtle Beach Equine Clinic in 2010, and during that time discovered that she truly enjoyed the business management side of  the field, that it spoke to many of her strengths and interests. She chose to sell her practice in 2018 to pursue a full education in business and is currently double majoring in Business Management and Marketing.

On the business side, she is interested in finding solutions for small-scale large animal practices that have difficulties in producing a reasonable profit, which is the situation she found herself in as a practice owner in a rural area.

Be a Better Negotiator

Be a Better Negotiator

June 25, 2019

In this episode Dr. Mike Pownall talks to Dr. Robert Magnus about the Negotiation Workshop coming up in Chicago next month from July 28-31.

You negotiate all the time, but you probably know very little about the strategy and psychology of effective negotiation.

This 3-day workshop will draw on current research in management and leadership to give you a deep understanding of negotiations and will help you master the processes and strategies to excel at them.

Your Instructors

Gail Berger MEd, PhD
Gail received her Ph.D. in Management and Organizations from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. She also holds an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from Loyola University and a B.A./B.S. in Psychology and Elementary Education from Boston University. She has blended her background in education, business and psychology to create a powerful approach to team building, leadership development, and executive coaching.

Robert P. Magnus DVM, MBA
Robert Magnus is an accomplished senior executive and thought leader with over thirty years in the veterinary health care and business consulting industries. In 2005 he founded Equine Business Management Strategies LLC, an executive business education program for the equine veterinary industry. Robert joined the business consulting firm, Oculus Insights LLP which has expanded business education and consultancy offerings on a global level to the veterinary profession.

Learning Outcomes Include: 

  • Confidence in making deals
  • How to apply negotiation tactics to craft optimal solutions
  • Improved tactics
  • How to build trust with others in order to sustain long-term relationships and reputations
  • New approaches to negotiation
  • Better strategies
  • New negotiation tools

Visit the website for more information OCULUS NEGOTIATION WORKSHOP

Reinventing Your Veterinary Business Strategy

Reinventing Your Veterinary Business Strategy

May 28, 2019

Dr. Joop Loomans and Dr. Mike Pownall of Oculus Insights discuss Reinventing Your Veterinary Business Strategy. 

Go on a journey to reinvent your veterinary business!

The veterinary marketplace is quickly being disrupted by large veterinary corporates that own an increasing number of practices. Working for one of these companies in a more traditional 8 – 5 job seems appealing to a lot of young veterinarians.

Can your business continue to be veterinary owned in a way that is appealing and sustainable for the next generation of veterinarians?

This full-day workshop will give you a strong and evidence-based understanding of how to update the clunky old-school business models that drive many existing practices.

Learn more by viewing the event information sheet here, or click here to sign up today 

Bullying and Shaming in Veterinary Medicine with Dr. Betsy Charles

Bullying and Shaming in Veterinary Medicine with Dr. Betsy Charles

November 30, 2016

About a year ago I began hearing more and more stories from students and young colleagues about some of the miserable ways they were treated at school, and in their first jobs. Meanwhile, for the longest time I have been disappointed by the way veterinary professionals treat each other on veterinary Listservs, and even at CE meetings; there is an obvious undertone of snarkiness, and sometimes disdain when colleagues share experiences about how they diagnose, and treat cases. This is not a new thing in the profession, because when I started thinking about it I realized that this tone has been present all through by vet school years and my veterinary career. I just finally recognized it!

Cue a meeting I attended this past summer where Dr. Betsy Charles,  was a guest speaker. She is the executive Director of the Veterinary Leadership Institute, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of veterinary leaders. During one of her presentations she discussed an undercurrent of bullying, and shaming within the profession. The light bulb went on and I knew I needed to have Dr. Charles on this podcast to discuss this subject.

This is a fascinating podcast with Dr. Charles because this is a complex topic. I must admit that by the end of our chat Dr. Charles brought up a concept that gave me a profound sense of optimism about our profession. It was almost the missing link that joins the challenges we have as a profession, and a solution to help steer us past these challenges. I won’t say anything more about it, you will have to listen to the end to find out.

This is a discussion we need to start and the profession needs to address.

Some of our conversation may be very controversial to some people so please leave a comment here, or on our Facebook Page. The more we discuss this the better we will be able to find a solution.

You can find our more about the Veterinary Business Institute at their website, and on their Facebook Page.


Bronwyn Zuchowski on Customer Profiles

Bronwyn Zuchowski on Customer Profiles

November 9, 2016

Dr. Pownall was fortunate to attend a workshop that Wynnie Zuchowski led to a group of veterinarians and practice managers on creating buyer personas. He had never heard anyone in our profession discuss this subject so well. It is a fundamental part of a marketing strategy and we never seem to do this as veterinarians.

This podcast is brought to you by Oculus Insights – Business Education and Training for the Veterinary Profession. To learn more about the educational programs offered by Oculus Insights visit there website at

Joop Loomans on the EBMS 2016 in Australia

Joop Loomans on the EBMS 2016 in Australia

November 9, 2016

Dr. Mike Pownall is very excited to be one of the presenters at the Equine Business Management Strategies (EBMS) program in Sydney, Australia, May 1-5 2016. In advance of the EBMS I wanted to have a chat with Dr. Joop Loomans, the founder of the program in Australia. It is the only time this year that equine veterinarians from Australia and New Zealand will have access to a program dedicated to veterinary business management.

Whether is is Pricing, Employee Engagement, increasing Practice Value, Digital Media, or Developing a Culture of Customer Service there is something for any veterinarian or practice manager. For more information check out the Equine Business Management website –

Thrive – Resiliency in Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Colleen Best

Thrive – Resiliency in Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Colleen Best

November 9, 2016

Dr. Colleen Best has been a past participant of the Veterinary Business Matters podcast because of her research on communication in veterinary medicine. Colleen was the person that taught me in our conversation that communication skills should be a core competency for veterinarians.

I had reached out to Colleen to see if she can join the podcast again to talk about her latest findings in this field when I heard she was involved in an interesting initiative going on at the Ontario Veterinary College. A student group started a group called Thrive, which stands for Teaching Healthy Resilience in the Veterinary Environment. Basically, this group is working to find a way for veterinary students to develop the skills and personal resiliency to thrive as veterinarians.

Resiliency is the key word here and once again Dr. Best has helped introduce a new phrase to veterinary vocabulary. Check out the podcast to learn more about this initiative and how Colleen is involved.

For more information about THRIVE check out their Facebook page.