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’s interview is with the positively wonderful Dr. Keri Elliott from Southern California! As a newer member of the online community, Keri has already contributed fantastic advice and positivity to our group. Enjoy!
For anyone who doesn’t know you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I am fiercely loyal and very committed in all things. I am married to my best friend and partner in this adventure called life, and together we are navigating the uncharted waters of raising 4 lovely yet determined children. I am a small animal practitioner by profession and all things water (SCUBA, swimming, and just playing) by play. I am an extrovert with those who know me, but I get quiet in large groups. Spend enough time with me and you will know my next move –predictable at best. In my defense, I have recently begun driving different routes to and from work. I am full of joy and love to get to know people and understand what makes them who they are, this helps me understand how I can encourage them later on. I am a cheerleader in life and a runner in sport. I will always choose joy and forgiveness and happily ever after.
What were you looking for when you joined Uncharted?
I started listening to Stephanie and Andy’s podcast last January and the more I listened the more I realized, yeah that’s my kinda people. I joined in hopes of improving my skill set specifically in human relations (clients, staff, friends, family). In addition to learning more fun ways to engage with other souls on this planet, I have gained a whole gaggle of awesome new people I think of as friends here at Uncharted. And wait, there is more! I have found a plethora of resourceful and kind people that are more than willing to help in every situation and at any time! What an altruistic and encouraging group of people!
Who is one of your favorite people you’ve met through Uncharted and why?
Why can I only choose ONE?!? Everyone is so awesome, but Saye Clement has been extraordinary and AMAZING. She is so compassionate and humble and funny and willing to help others. She has helped me through some tough days and for that, I am eternally grateful.
What is your favorite hobby and how did you discover it? Would you recommend it to others?
Running is my favorite hobby, but yoga is a close second. I love to be outside and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature (no headphones for me!). My sweet doodle joins me too, so that is a plus. I started running in high school and ran through college and vet school. It is a great stress reliever and helps me to work through my thoughts, reduce those knee jerk reactions and to be more proactive, plus you really can’t beat that “runner’s high!”
What is one thing you never thought you could do (or were afraid to try) that you’ve done since joining Uncharted?
I was bobbing up and down in the ocean of chaos that is veterinary medicine before joining Uncharted. As a college athlete, I always had goals and clear cut paths to achieve those goals, but with veterinary medicine, my only goal seemed to be to survive the day. After joining Uncharted and going through the strategic planning masterclass I realized how to set goals for myself and the team in the hospital. I have a passion for client education and one of my goals was to start a YouTube channel for my clients to have access to additional information on common issues their pets face. So far I have 2 videos uploaded. So much encouragement from such a great community keeps me smiling.
What is your end-of-workday guilty pleasure?
A hot bubble bath and watch a little TV (The Office and ER are two of my favorites).
Tell us a story of how another Uncharted Member has helped you.
I was having an exceptionally hard day and I reached out to Saye Clement via Workplace chat. I was thinking she might get back to me within a day or two. She immediately responded and her first question was if I was OK. As the doctor, rarely does anyone ask if I am OK. That is what I needed most at that moment and Saye was there and ready to help with a virtual ghost hug. For that small token of kindness and compassion, I am forever grateful and will make sure that I pay that forward as often as I can! But wait, there is more! On several occasions Ron Sosa has been extremely helpful in sharing resources such as templates for job descriptions and other documents that are needed in vet med hospital management, I haven’t needed any spreadsheets, but he is the spreadsheet guru so just ask and he will share! Everyone is so supportive here!
Have you ever worked outside of the veterinary field? What was it like?
Before veterinary medicine, I had the pleasure and the joy of being a divemaster guide on dive boats in the Cayman Islands, specifically Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The beauty that is below the surface of the water is astounding and calming. I still try and get back there every 3-5 years to visit friends and the fish. Working with people on the dive boats taught me tons about making every interaction an experience to remember. The guests on the dive boat were on vacation, but they were also participating in a sport that has some risk involved. The skills I learned helping each guest enjoy their stay and have the best vacation ever, I have transferred to the exam room in helping each client and their furry family member has the best vet visit ever.
Is there anything we haven’t asked you about that you would like to talk about?
As homework for a recent class here at Uncharted, I was asked to look back at what I had learned. That sparked a thought about looking back to last year. Last year was tough for me for many reasons, but overall a hard year emotionally. I realized that a year ago, I often found myself crying on my to work and on my way home from work, too. The reason I realized this now is that here at Uncharted I have found a group of people who are going through the same issues (we all know how lonely it is at the top) and they are helping each other through these tough spots. This group is here to help each person grow, not to lay blame or tear down to further their own career or ego, they are truly here to help each other. This has been an avenue of positivity that I have needed and I am so thankful for it.
Since joining Uncharted I have found my joy for my job again. I laugh at work and laugh in the car, I sing and dance at work and fully enjoy myself, some of this has come from the liberation of a few toxic employees, but mostly understanding I can’t be all things to all people and that is OK. Uncharted has helped me to gain some skills to build a better culture at work, at home, and at church. The skills I am learning here are universal and humbling and enlightening. I love to learn so I love everything about Uncharted.
You can join the Uncharted community and meet people like Keri by visiting www.UnchartedVet.com and joining our online community!