Finding the joy in veterinary medicine can sometimes be tricky, from burnout to imposter syndrome, the veterinarian news can at times look quite bleak. One man who’s changing that narrative and challenging the status quo is veterinarian and social media sensation Dr. Matt McGlasson.
In this article, we interviewed Dr. Matt, found out why he is using his social media presence to positively impact the veterinary profession, along with his likes, dislikes, and learning points in veterinary medicine.
What or who influenced you to get into veterinary medicine?
I grew up on a farm, so I was always around animals. In addition to being a farmer, my dad was a science teacher as well. I was fascinated with science, biology in particular, from a very early age. I had some really amazing pets growing up that made me realize the power of the human-animal bond.
Since being in a leadership role in general practice, what has been the biggest thing you have learned, and what is the biggest thing you teach?
One of the hardest things that I had to learn early on was that just because you are a “leader” on the org chart or because of your title, people will not necessarily want to follow you. To reach a higher level of leadership, you have to lead by example, you have to earn your team’s trust, you have to make them believe in your vision. Only then, will people WANT to follow you.
What is your favorite part of your job or your career highlight?
When people tell me that I had some positive influence on them and their decision to work in veterinary medicine, that is the greatest compliment for me. I get the most satisfaction from coaching or mentoring a younger professional. Our profession needs more leaders, and if I can help in some small way to inspire tomorrow’s great leaders – that is huge!
I absolutely love the TikTok and reels you create, could you tell us a bit about why you started creating them?
My kids created a TikTok account for me as a joke right when the pandemic started. I started making really bad videos for fun and before I knew it I had 100,000 then 200,000 etc etc now over 425,000 followers. People were calling to do interviews, podcasts, articles, etc. It was so funny that it happened that way. I adopted a special needs kitten for my youngest daughter’s birthday during Covid (RuPaul) and her videos are the ones that really went viral first. Her story is so inspiring (and the kitten-biscuit storyline that we created is completely ridiculous) – but people needed that. It made them smile. The goal of my videos is to celebrate the human-animal bond while “humanizing” the veterinary profession (and trying to educate a little along the way). I think there has been this growing divide between the veterinary profession and pet owners and that’s really damaging to our ability to work together for the pet’s best interest. I try to show people that we love their pets as much as they do!
As you probably well know, veterinarians don’t always have it easy, from compassion fatigue to burnout, I’m sure you’ve seen it all. What bit of advice would you give to young vets after they’ve had a hard day?
My number 1 piece of advice is “Celebrate your Wins!” We’re doing really amazing life-changing work every single day and we often forget that. We are literally saving lives! Not many professions can say that. Instead of focusing on that one client who was upset about the bill or the long wait, focus on that parvo puppy you saved or that painful cat that is now comfortable thanks to your diagnosis and treatment. Every night before you go to bed, write down 3 “good” things that happened that day. These don’t even have to be major events, just really specific. For example 1. I had a really great conversation with my practice manager 2. I unblocked a cat that wouldn’t have survived without my treatment 3. I went to my son’s soccer game….
Do this exercise consistently and I promise it will change your life.
Lastly, if you could change one thing in veterinary medicine to make it a happy and healthier profession, what would it be?
I think focusing on real-life skills, personal development, and overall well-being during the professional curriculum would be a great step. When I mentor new vets, they always know the differentials for a PUPD dog… but many don’t know how to set personal and professional goals, how to make wise financial decisions, how to communicate effectively, how to lead teams, and collaborate effectively. I truly believe that there are a growing group of us out here that are helping to change things for the better. I appreciate all that VetXInternational is doing! Hope to meet you all in person someday![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Dr. Matt McGlasson
Dr. Matthew McGlasson is a Chief Medical Officer at Noah’s Ark Animal Clinics, where he delivers medical leadership and strategic planning for a 4-hospital network, including 24 veterinarians within 2 states. He is one of only 34 DVMs who also hold a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) certification from the Veterinary Hospital Management Association. Outside of work, Dr. Matt utilises his huge social media presence to educate pet owners and ‘humanize’ the veterinary profession whilst spreading joy.