I am a HUGE fan of Shawn MvVey's—I've been known to spend entire days at his lectures at conferences. However, I feel his
advice on smokers (January Ask Shawn) was off. Yes, I smoke. Yes, I am the office manager at my practice.
1. It is a bad, unhealthy habit. I'm just not ready to quit. Don't push, you'll just alienate me.
2.Because other employees don't manage to take their breaks is no reason to punish those who do just because you don't approve
of the reason. Smokers don't get "extra breaks."
3. There is no more opportunity to gossip when smoking on a break than any other time two or more employees are together. Those
who walk together at lunch or go for fro-yo or hang out after work have just as much opportunity to gossip.
4. The smokers usually go together because if they go with nonsmokers they have to listen to them gripe about the smoke.
5. I have a very small pool from which to choose employees. My staff works long hard hours without much complaint. To have disqualified
any of them because of a personal habit that does not affect their work would have been a disservice to the practice.
Yvonne Scott, Clearlake Veterinary Clinic, Clearlake, Calif.
Dear State Veterinary Medical Examining Board:
I have been in this field since 1991. Other than veterinarian, I have held every position that exists in a veterinary practice.
If it's so critical for one to be a DVM to be qualified for partnership, why haven't I met more practitioners who are? The
concern that a non-DVM owner will negatively impact medical judgment is an unfair assumption. Bad judgment is independent
of professional status—more than a few doctors have proved that. Non-DVM owners would prioritize the kind of decision-making
that would result in success for the practice. If you still can't see the logic in this reasoning, why not at least allow
non-DVM ownership up to 49 percent, leaving the final say in the hands of a majority shareholder that is a DVM? If I became
an owner of our practice tomorrow, nothing would change in my responsibilities. I regret only one thing: No part of the practice
can be officially and legally mine. You are missing the opportunity to lock me in. It's time.
Kyle Palmer, CVT Practice Manager at Silver Creek Animal Clinic Silverton, Ore.