Inside AAHA January 2023

AAHA secretary/treasurer Dermot Jevens, MVB, DACVS, offers tips for creating a positive culture. A Community highlight asks about core versus noncore vaccines. Log in to the AAHA Community to join the conversation with other AAHA practice team members.

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You’re Not Off the Hook When It Comes to Creating Team Culture

We’ve all been there. We join a team, and everything is going great. The team members get along; we’re using our skill sets; we’re getting things done; we see a future here; life is pretty good. And then suddenly things start to go off the rails. Maybe someone says something that rubs us the wrong way. Maybe there’s a conflict over how to do something. Whatever it is, we can’t help but think “What is going on here? I thought we had a good thing going.”

It’s easy to blame the team when things go south, but the truth is that we all have a responsibility in creating and maintaining team culture. Just because we’re not the team leader doesn’t mean we can’t have a positive impact on our team’s culture. In fact, every one of us impacts the culture of our team, every single day. So, what can you do to create a positive team culture? Here are a few ideas:

Be proactive about conflict resolution. If you see something happening that has the potential to turn into a conflict, nip it in the bud before it has a chance to get out of hand. This doesn’t mean being a tattletale; it just means being aware of what’s going on and taking action to prevent problems before they start.

Communicate openly and honestly with your teammates. This one might be hard if you’re naturally introverted, but it’s important, nonetheless. Letting your teammates know what you’re thinking and feeling will help create an open, honest environment where people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Additionally, it will help prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications down the road.

Be respectful of everyone’s time and energy. We all have a limited amount of time and energy, so it’s important that we use it wisely. That means not expecting people to work longer hours just because we might be available, not monopolizing conversations, and generally being considerate of others’ time and energy levels. We really do need to treat every one of our team mates the way we would like to be treated ourselves.

We all have a role to play in maintaining, protecting, and growing our team culture. By being proactive about conflict resolution, communicating openly and honestly with our teammates, and respecting everyone’s time and energy, we are doing our part to support positive, productive teams that are enjoyable to work on. So next time you find yourself thinking “Why can’t this team just get along?,” remember that you play a part in making that happen—and take action accordingly. A great culture is worth fighting for.

Dermot Jevens, MVB, DACVS, is secretary/treasurer on the AAHA board. A 1987 graduate of University College Dublin in Ireland, Jevens practiced in Connecticut and Pennsylvania before moving to South Carolina in 1997 to found Upstate Veterinary Specialists. He is currently CEO of AcharaVet.

This month in AAHA’s Publicity Toolbox . . .

01-01-mew-year-FB.jpgHere are the downloadable social media images available for AAHA-accredited members at this month:

  • Train Your Dog Month
  • Walk Your Dog Month
  • Happy New Year!
  • Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day
  • January 22

01-Jan-walk-your-dog-FB.jpg 01-22-cats-question-FB.jpg 01-Jan-train-your-dog-FB.jpg


Hot Topic Tuesday: Vaccine Edition

Q: In the 2022 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines, the task force states that some traditionally “noncore” vaccines may be considered “core” (meaning recommended for all dogs) in certain areas. How many of you recommend a Lyme vaccine for ALL dogs? What about lepto? And what state or province do you live in if so?

Log in to the AAHA Community to see the what people are saying!

Start the conversation with other AAHA members when you log in at



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