WVMA Launches Small Peer Groups With Help From USDA Grant

Jun 1 | News, WVMA News

Veterinary Mastermind Beta Tests in June

By Jo-ell Carson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association

Large conferences usually feature knowledgeable instructors on relevant topics. Hours of opportunities to learn more, improve your skills and grow in your profession.

However, some of the most memorable moments often happen…where? In the hallways. Around the lunch table. Or, at the bar. It’s the one-to-one peer conversations that are often invaluable. Talking to someone in a similar practice, similar stage of life, facing similar challenges. These conversations spark ideas. Give new perspectives. Show positive outcomes and motivate change.

What are Mastermind Programs?

A mastermind group is essentially the hallway conversations – only planned in advance.

June 3-4, the WVMA will beta test its own Veterinary Mastermind Program – a three-year program funded by a USDA grant. The goal of Veterinary Mastermind is to reinvigorate like-minded veterinarians by connecting them in small peer groups. The groups are created to generate new ideas, solve challenges, and set clear goals to help advance participants in the veterinary profession.

How will Veterinary Mastermind work?

The WVMA will create and facilitate the Veterinary Mastermind groups. Our Veterinary Mastermind groups will initially be formed with veterinarians who are:

• In the same specialty (large or mixed animal);

• At a similar place in their career (less than 15 years out of school);

• In a similar type of practice; and

• Not in direct competition with other group members.

The first Veterinary Mastermind will be virtual with two groups of four veterinarians each. Our facilitator and program lead is Dr. Eric Rooker, a WVMA veterinarian and founder of Operators to Owners – a business focused on hosting successful mastermind programs.

Each Veterinary Mastermind group will follow this half-day structure:

• Warm-up lesson

• Group discussion on developmental topic

• HOT seat rounds (each member has dedicated time to share a unique challenge or idea)

• Group feedback on each HOT seat topic

• One-on-one time with Dr. Rooker to develop an individual goal with accountability

• Goal sharing by each group member

• Group commitment with solid plan to reconnect

The goal is for the groups to eventually self-facilitate and stay connected into the future.

How do I get involved in a Veterinary Mastermind group?

During the three-year USDA grant, Veterinary Mastermind is free to those who apply, are accepted and commit to the entire program. The June and August 2021 Veterinary Masterminds are currently full. The WVMA will be taking applicants for the November 2021 group shortly. Please watch WVMA emails for further information or email vetmastermind@wvma.org to be considered.

While the current USDA grant focuses on large animal veterinarians in practice for 15 years or less, the WVMA plans to expand Veterinary Mastermind into other specialties and clinic roles that span multiple stages in one’s career. Our goal is to learn and grow ourselves as we help members connect and grow their careers. Stay tuned for more on Veterinary Mastermind.

Upcoming Workshop Dates

June 3-4 (full)
August 6-7 (full)
November 5-6

March 4-5
June 3-4
August 5-6
November 4-5

March 3-4
June 2-3
August 4-5
November 3-4