Member Spotlights are back! We invite you to take a peek into part of what makes the Uncharted Veterinary Community so unique: our members. We sat down to interview some of the amazing people who have joined us on our amazing journey since the first conference in 2017. Our latest interview was with Dr. Edie Best, a small animal veterinarian from Montana! Enjoy!
For anyone who doesn’t know you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up on a farm/ranch in Eastern Montana. I was horse crazy when I was a girl and participated in rodeo and horse shows. I attended a 2-room school through eighth grade and my high school class graduated 25 students. I was the runner-up Pole Bending Champion for all 4 years of high school for the state of Montana.
I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian from about age 10. I was fascinated by our doctors who would make farm calls to take care of everything from the cows to the kittens. I was sure at that time I wanted to be a mixed animal practitioner. After high school I attended Montana State University in Bozeman and got a degree in Biology. I had the opportunity to work in a small animal practice for a year before attending veterinary school and that solidified my decision to pursue a small animal career. I attended Colorado State University and got married the Christmas break of my freshman year to my best friend – now married 28+ years!
We returned to Montana, where we are both from and I began work at the same hospital I started my career in before school. After spending two years there I moved to the practice I now work at and own. I purchased the practice in 2008.
What were you looking for when you joined Uncharted?
I was looking for problem-solving, management advice, support. My first conference was GSD and that's exactly what I needed at that time. I was feeling overwhelmed with practice ownership, management and life. From the moment I arrived I felt the sense of community and friendship. I not only received all of the things I was searching for, but so much more.
Who is one of your favorite people you’ve met through Uncharted and why?
Katie Berlin – she is so fun and inspiring. Turns out we had something in common from long ago and it took a picture of her with a cowboy hat on for us to discover it! I love her energy, passion for helping others in fitness and in practice. She is everything Uncharted is about.
What is your current work related goal?
My goal is to make my practice someplace that nobody wants to leave and everyone wants to join – both clients and team members. I want to mentor my young veterinarians to love the work, the clients, the culture. I want to build relationships with people that will make me a better veterinarian and person.
What is one thing you believe all veterinary professionals can do right now to make Vet Med even better?
Educate the public about what we do, why we do it and how personally we all take this profession. We are all in this business to help pets and their people. We need to support one another. Support our colleagues when they are under a social media attack. Support our clients when they are struggling with difficult decisions. Support our staff in this world that has been turned upside down. And take care of ourselves so we can be the best version of US when we are called upon.
Tell us a story of how another Uncharted Member has helped you.
Becky Krull introduced me to a coaching group at a time when I was approaching burnout. I was overwhelmed with trying to be an owner, a manager and a full-time veterinarian. My life outside of work had taken a back seat and I was not happy. In the past year I have learned a lot about myself, I have grown as a leader and mentor, and I feel as though I have taken my life back. It's a continual process and takes a lot of work. But my coach and my group are always there to listen, be critical when necessary, offer suggestions. I am a much happier person now.
Where is one place in the world you would love to see?
Scotland – I am a huge fan of the Outlander series of novels and it is described as such a beautiful county. I love the idea of green, lush fields and castles.
Do you have a dream for your career? What is it?
I am in the back half of my veterinary career. I want to continue to build my practice so that I have something meaningful to pass onto someone – hopefully one of my younger doctors. I want to keep the idea of the small practices alive and well.
After retirement, I want to start an “old-folks home” for dogs, cats, and horses. I have 30 acres to build a sanctuary to care for these special beings who may no longer be desirable; they may have been abandoned in shelters or on the streets. I can't imagine not taking care of animals! It's who I am and always will be.
I will also take one month out of my life to volunteer at an elephant sanctuary in Africa!
You can join the Uncharted community and meet people like Edie by visiting www.UnchartedVet.com and registering to become a member!