March 25, 2018: Communication in Veterinary Medicine - Dr. Andy Roark

  • 25 Mar 2018
  • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM (CDT)
  • Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis - 7730 Bonhomme Avenue - St. Louis, MO 63105


Registration is closed

Be sure to download the presentation notes a few days prior to the meeting. They will be available on the GSLVMA Website in the ‘Members Only’ section.


Andrew Roark, MS, DVM

Lecture Summary

Sharpening Your Axe
Remember the first pet you were able to help? How would you like to feel that way again? What would you do to improve your relationships with your clients? What would you do to improve client compliance with recommended care? When was the last time you sharpened your axe? Learn how to connect with clients on a deeper level by showing clients the passion you have for veterinary care. Learn how to make personal preventive care recommendations backed by your education and experience. Preventive care isn’t fun, it can, quite frankly be exhausting but it’s the core of connection with clients and their family members. The trick isn’t just to feel passionately, but act passionately. Commit to doing better, improving communication skills, and advocating for preventive healthcare with passion and sincerity.

Working With the Cash-Strapped Client
Abstract - The inability to pay for medical services is a problem we have all encountered in practice. From a pragmatic standpoint, it should be easy to address: “If you can’t pay for services then those services can’t be provided.” Most of us, however, can’t or won’t accept this approach to medicine. So where does that leave us? In this session, we will discuss the primary reasons for financial constraints in the exam room, the importance of personal and business guidelines, and a communication program for navigating these conversations effectively and ethically.

How to Drive Change
In this humorous session, we will discuss the dangers of “managing up,” or attempting to drive behavioral change in positional leadership. We will review the value of collaboration and partnership, empathy, anticipation, and personal investment. This session features numerous stories from Dr. Roark’s practice and career that beautifully illustrate complex material.

Objective Statements:
1. Review collaboration & partnership
2. Discuss personal investment
3. Learn effective ways to drive change in your practice

Diffusing the Angry Client
In this session, we will explore extensive studies conducted in the airline industry and how to adapt findings to the veterinary practice. Ultimately, we will learn 6 tools for managing angry and complaining clients that can be applied to nearly any situation.

Objective Statements:
1. Learn the six tools for managing angry and complaining clients.
2. Explore “Redress” – making it right with the client.
3. Understand communicating with empathy.
4. Learn how and when to apologize.


Dr. Andy Roark is a practicing veterinarian, international speaker, author, and media personality. He is the founder of the Uncharted Veterinary Conference and He has been an award-winning columnist for DVM360 and his popular Facebook page, website, and YouTube show reach millions of people every month.

Dr. Roark received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and was voted the Practice Management Speaker of the Year at NAVC (one of the world’s largest veterinary conferences) three out of the last four years. Practices where Dr. Roark works were named as finalists in the American Animal Hospital Association’s Practice of the Year Contest in 2013 and 2015.