Becoming indispensable by making what really matters what really matters
Keywords:paraprofessionals, vet technicians, practice management
In the name of being good service providers, many food animal practitioners focus mainly on the tasks they are asked to perform by a client. Meanwhile, many things occur on cattle operations that can adversely affect animal welfare and productivity, but the producer fails to recognize their importance or the possibility that the veterinarian could help improve them. Such problems can be overlooked by the veterinarian because the veterinarian is not asked to intervene. A pathway to becoming indispensable is to identify and improve such issues, working as a collaborator on the operation rather than simply as a service provider, striving for optimal animal health and productivity. Examples include evaluating and assuring animal welfare, evaluating why cows fail as a means to prevent failure, and educating to improve worker performance. Working on these issues may require using other methods to accomplish the technical tasks and changing the focus of the veterinarian. This presentation will discuss some of the urgent needs for veterinary attention in cattle production and ways to get them done, which in turn make the veterinarian indispensable.