The Next Normal: Pathways for Veterinary Medicine

The relatively staid veterinary profession has been truly uprooted and replanted over the last six months. VMAE invited three veterinary profession thought leaders – Drs. Karen Felsted, Matt Salois, and Peter Weinstein – to discuss and postulate on a direction that the veterinary profession may be headed. Starting with a look at the global economy, extending into the veterinary specific economy, and touching the micro-economy within the operations of a practice, the presenters encouraged attendees to continue thinking differently about the veterinary profession as the world around us continues to unfold.

The session probed topics including:

  • What long-term impact will the viral pandemic have on the way veterinary care is delivered?
  • What operational changes will remain to meet the needs and demands of the consumer?
  • What economic impact will the pandemic have on all businesses – and will veterinary medicine continue to thrive while unemployment grows?
  • What can attendees do for their practices and their teams to more than just survive but actually thrive in the next normal?

Presenters elaborated on their key take-home messages:

  1. Change is inevitable – Your practice before COVID-19 is not your practice now and will not be your practice in the future.  Learn how change is good.
  2. Cash is king – Focus on cash flow through operational efficiencies and monitoring your key performance indicators.
  3. Clients are in control – Know what your clients want and deliver.  As simple as that.
  4. Communication, communication, communication – The practices that will thrive are led by veterinarians and managers with a vision for the future and who communicates that vision to their teams.
  5. Care more than you ever have – Care about your clients, your team, and your profession more than the consolidators and you will control your destiny.

Program attendees were also able to participate in the chat stream and posed questions to the presenters.

The audio recording of the session is available on-demand by clicking the play button below.


Karen E. Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA

PantheraT Veterinary Practice Management Consulting

Dr. Felsted is a CPA as well as a veterinarian and has spent the last 20 years working as a financial and operational consultant to veterinary practices and the animal health industry.  She also spent three years with the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues as CEO.  She is active in multiple veterinary organizations, has written an extensive number of articles for a wide range of veterinary publications and speaks regularly at national and international veterinary meetings.  In 2011 and 2017, she was awarded the Western Veterinary Conference Practice Management Continuing Educator of the Year and in 2014, the VetPartners Distinguished Life Member Award.

Matthew Salois, PhD

American Veterinary Medical Association
Director of Veterinary Economics

Dr. Salois is passionate about applying economics, statistics and communications to enhance the daily lives of veterinarians. He worked in private industry, government and academia before joining the AVMA in 2018 as director of veterinary economics. From 2014 to 2018, Dr. Salois served as director of global scientific affairs and policy at Elanco Animal Health, supervising a team of scientists in veterinary medicine, human medicine, animal welfare, economics and sustainability. His group devised and executed scientific engagement strategy, and built collaborative partnerships with universities, non-profit associations and scientific societies. Dr. Salois earned his Ph.D. in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida and holds an M.A. in Applied Economics and a B.S. in Health Services Administration from the University of Central Florida.

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA

Southern California VMA
Executive Director

Dr. Weinstein attended Cornell University undergraduate and Illinois for his DVM. He worked as an associate for three years before opening his practice.  While working full time, he attended University of Redlands for his MBA.  Ultimately, he relocated expanded and sold his practice to a consolidator.  He has served as President of the Southern California VMA, California VMA and VetPartners, and co-authored with Michael E Gerber “The EMyth Veterinarian – Why Most Veterinary Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It.”  Presently he serves as chair of the AVMA Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee, provides consulting via PAW Consulting, and is the executive director for the Southern California VMA.