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. This week, the spotlight is on Dr. Jackie Luckstone! Enjoy!
For anyone who doesn’t know you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian at 6 or 7 years old. I fell in love with horses first, and knew then that I wanted to work with animals as my career. In high school, I started working for a vet in my town as an assistant, cleaning cages and walking dogs, and eventually worked my way up to become a technician. Fast forward through vet school and I've now been practicing as a small animal vet for 11 years – I still can't believe it has been that long!
I'm at the point now where I am pretty comfortable with the medical side of things, but want to learn and grow in the management aspects of the field. I have been a managing veterinarian at my practice for the last few years, which brings new challenges every day – especially in the new COVID era. Outside of veterinary medicine, I enjoy photography, crafting, baking and I'm starting to dabble in gardening now.
What is one thing you believe all veterinary professionals can do right now to make Vet Med even better?
Look closely at your mindset. I have been unhappy in veterinary medicine at times, and in earlier years, I thought it was just my current job, my current boss, my current area, my current fill-in-the-blank circumstance. But even when I changed jobs, those same negative thoughts and feelings came with me. It made a huge difference when I realized I had a choice in how I reacted to certain people or situations. I could choose to let those things bother me, or I could choose not to.
What were you looking for when you joined Uncharted?
When I found Uncharted, I was sort of at a crossroads in my career. I was fairly new to being a manager, which was stressful and surprisingly, very lonely! I couldn't refer to the textbook on how to run a veterinary hospital like I could with a weird eye problem or a funky-looking x-ray. I watched several of Andy's videos that talked about issues in practice I was currently dealing with and realized, actually, I was not alone. I also needed a shift in my own personal mindset. I was bogged down by stress, frustration and just general negative thought patterns. I knew, for my own mental health and to lead my team by example, that I needed to change that. Uncharted has been the most positive and supportive group of people I could ever have joined – no matter how sensitive, awkward or difficult my issue is – there is no fear of judgment or harsh criticism.
What is your current work-related goal?
My current ongoing project is managing the huge influx of patients, how we are scheduling, how we continue to provide the best and most efficient patient care under curbside circumstances and make sure we are taking care of our team at the same time.
What are your 2 favorite groups in the Uncharted Workplace community and why?
It is hard to choose only two! I would say, VetMed Pet Parents – I am no longer a rational, logically-thinking vet when it comes to my own pets, so it is nice to just be a “regular” dog mom sometimes. Management would be my other favorite group as I always get great ideas or learn the most about my practice there.
What is your favorite hobby and how did you discover it? Would you recommend it to others?
One of my favorite hobbies is crafting. I've always enjoyed doing little art projects here and there since I was younger. I've done sewing, crocheting, cross-stitch, coloring, painting (paint by numbers are really fun!), paper crafts, card-making… Thanks to the invention of the internet, there is no limit to the types of things you can create just by watching a video and teaching yourself. I find I use the science part of my brain so much at work, that it is nice to engage the artistic side when I'm at home – it's very relaxing!
Where is one place in the world you would love to see?
Going to the Netherlands when the tulips are blooming is on my bucket list. One of my favorite things to do is take photos of flowers… I would be in heaven!
What is one thing you never thought you could do (or were afraid to try) that you’ve done since joining Uncharted?
I signed up to do a Mic Drop this year at the Uncharted conference. I never would have thought I'd work up the courage to speak in front of a large group of people, but Uncharted has taught me that my personal experience is valuable and has the ability to help others in our field. It is also about being part of a special community – it is less nerve-wracking to think about getting up in front of a group you know is going to support you and your message whole-heartedly.
You can join the Uncharted community and meet people like Jackie by visiting www.UnchartedVet.com and registering to become a member!