by Dr. Maureen Noftsinger, DVM
I have to admit that I didn’t know much about Andy Roark or anyone else in the Uncharted community before being added to the Facebook page. I received an email about the conference and it appealed to me. I am in that stage of my life where I am trying to do things differently by embracing change and acknowledging that I needed to grow both personally and professionally. I have been on a personal development journey over the past four years. I didn’t feel there was anyone in veterinary medicine with this mindset. So, I signed up to attend the Spring conference with great anticipation.
Uncharted is an intense vibe. There are very strong relationships that have developed in the group. But I remained open and knew that I would get out of this what I put into it. I started participating a little bit on the Facebook page before the conference, but when I got here, I definitely felt out of place. Everyone seemed to know each other and I felt like the odd person out. I started looking for other people with the green Newbie ribbons and put on my extroverted hat and started to talk to people. Everyone I met was friendly and welcoming. The initial evening had a relaxed feeling and yet the room was buzzing with excitement. It seemed more excitement about being there with the group rather than for the actual sessions.
On Friday, the meat of the conference began. I was in a number of great workshops and realized that the speakers really had developed their own sense of identity within their practices and as individuals. This is exactly what I aspire to do so it was very encouraging to hear what they had done. Friday night we went to a baseball game and had a great time.
On Saturday, there were more workshops and lectures again all day. There was so much information and it is great to be around people that are so passionate about what they are doing. Saturday night there was a restaurant/bar crawl so you were able to visit four restaurants and talk with lots of different people.
On Sunday, there was a strategic planning session where we actually sat down and created measureable goals for ourselves that we want to achieve in our practices. I spoke with a lot of new people and I feel like there were a lot of us who felt exactly the same way. I also spoke with some of the people that were there from the first conference that brought forth some ideas for how to do things differently.
What I liked the most was being around people that love being a veterinarian or working in the veterinary field in some way. Each person that presented brought their own unique talents and personality into what they are doing and it was easy to see why they are so successful. There were so many entrepreneurs in the room I couldn’t help but be inspired.
I met some people that I know I will keep in touch with and we will be accountable with them for the goals we set. Having concrete, well defined, achievable goals is how I know I will get the money out of this conference that I put in. I decided to attend the fall conference as well as I know that this group is full of people getting SH*% DONE!
About the Author: Maureen Noftsinger is a small animal emergency and critical care veterinarian with Emergency Veterinary Services in Roanoke, VA. She has been practicing for 17 years and still loves being a veterinarian.