On Wednesday Aug. 12th, 2020, Dr. Adam Christman, Chief Veterinary Officer of fetch dvm360, the largest veterinary multimedia company in the country, joined GeniusVets Co-Founder, David Hall, for a wide ranging discussion that was both well attended and well received. For anyone who missed it, or wants to see it again, the replay is now available here:
How do you maintain the energy and the organization required to get it all done as far as any routines, healthy habits, or organizational discipline approach or tools?
I think a lot of it starts with discipline. I've always been disciplined since I was a kid. It's like one of those things that I've never really needed much parenting, because I had such great parents to begin with, but I was always organized and disciplined. That was always within me.
But my number one thing that I say to everybody is do something that you're most passionate about in the morning. To me, it's working out. If I don't work out at 5:00 AM, I know that sounds crazy, but that's how I start my day. And I make my bed. I make sure the dogs are taken care of. All that stuff is done, so that way it's organized. It may seem small, but it's a big accomplishment...making your bed, making sure the dogs are walked and fed, and taking care of yourself. Even though we're in a pandemic. I still get dressed and showered up and ready to work.
So I really do create that sense of routine, and I harness and celebrate my team. What I mean by that is everything that you just said is not because of me; it's because I work around a wonderful group of team leads that I have and friends that I help, and my family. Successful people build successful people. I really truly believe that. So they really help me achieve my goals, and vice versa. I help them achieve theirs.
I like to go to bed early. I've always felt like I'm the old guy when I was even a teenager because I never stayed up late, it wasn't my thing. Sleep is really important, so if you don't get your sleep, I feel like you can't be productive the next day. So I really sleep well, and I like to sleep well. I go to bed early because I get up early, but I make sure that I don't deprive myself, because if you can't take care of yourself, how can you take care of others and start your day? I really do believe in that.
I try to eat well. Life is all about enjoying the good pleasures in life, so it's nice. You can have some cool fun foods but then also eat healthy at the same time. But yeah, just exercising and keeping your mind right throughout the week. I think that's important.
Do you have any particular tools, or apps, or approaches organizationally that allow you to prioritize all of these things so that you're not overwhelmed by your schedule?
Well, here's a really fun fact about my morning and it kind of explains what I'm about to tell you. I don't know why, but I never use an alarm. I don't need an alarm. I know mentally that I'm going to get up and work out at 5:00 AM, or if I have an appointment to be at 8:00 AM, if I'm at a conference, I have to give a talk. I just mentally know that I need to get my head right beforehand. So I have a good mental calendar in my mind.
Though it has gotten a little crazy, I try to make sure that my smartphone device I really do swear by my calendar. I look to the events to make sure that everything is good. I've missed things, of course, because it just happens. You’re only human, but it really is myself that I hold myself accountable to those things. So if I do make a mistake, I own it. I forgot a time, or a meeting, or I was supposed to be somewhere else, but I generally file it away mentally. I do take good notes, and I plan out the next day to the T.
For instance, right now my supplements for tomorrow morning are already on the counter, my breakfast bowl is there. I know what needs to be done. I always look ahead for the next day to see what appointments I have or what meetings I'm supposed to be in. So I mentally get myself ready for the next day. I feel like that helps.
What happens if everything doesn't go according to plan?
I think being a veterinarian you really learn to get a sense to adapt very well, and this is why I was always the type of ... I was always the veterinarian, let's take care of it now before it becomes a problem, because let's see that owner now before five o'clock comes around because there's going to be more appointments that will be very similar to that.
I adapt well to the chaos, I really do. It happens. I think, like I said, being a veterinarian and having worked in the ER, an emergency medicine setting, you're just used to the chaos. Sometimes it's almost like a natural high for you. You're like, "Okay, this is cool. I can deal with this." Because veterinarians, we are so notorious for multitasking. I could be in room three and I could set a catheter in the treatment area, and then yeah, I'll have a snack and then I'll say hi to a phone call, and go in the waiting room and say hi to the client. So we have the ability to do that, and I think that's what has helped me kind of continue in my latter years of my career.
So in your role overseeing and organizing Fetch events, COVID-19 has forced you into the difficult decision to cancel the Indianapolis and the San Diego events that would normally be held in November and December and roll them into one big virtual event this November. Can you tell us a bit about the decision, how that came about for you, and how those events are being reimagined?
I assumed this role three days before COVID hit. So transitioning into this position, completely different career aspect of veterinary medicine, and then not knowing that this was going to hit. So it was really challenging because here I was being trained up, literally being trained up and showing how you work the conference, how to schedule, deal with key opinion leaders, talking to vendors and trying to make everything work. There are a lot of moving parts that happen to a conference, a lot of moving parts.
We thought of everybody's wellbeing, of course the safety, flying. So both from the attendees and the speaker standpoint, what's going to make the most sense? We don't want to be known as that conference that pushed the envelope to the point where we were putting people outside of their comfort zone. It just wasn't going to be good. Why should your learning be compromised when you really want to get the content? Of course, you're also concerned about your health. Right now like all of us, we have the unknown. We don't know what's going to happen, we don't really know.
So it wasn't worth it for the wellbeing of everybody, so we decided to cancel the live events, but we also consolidated them. Two separate conferences were going to happen, two separate experiences that were also going to happen. We still want to make sure that everyone tries to enjoy their continuing education while being home, and while also not getting that Zoom fatigue, of course, because that's a real deal.
The way in which we learn, one thing that I learned already in the short time is how we are going to learn continuing education. What is that going to look like? What's that landscape looking like? It's very quick. It’s changing very quickly because veterinarians and the veterinary support teams, they're getting a little Zoomed out. It literally is a real thing. So how do we go about engaging the audience, and making sure that they feel valued just as much as we treat our pet parents? So I think we’ve gotten something figured out. The one going from August 26th through the 31st is almost 250 hours of continuing education. It's a mega one. What's nice is that we're going to be keeping it open for two weeks, because not everybody is going to be able to make it during those certain times. So they'll be able to binge watch as much of it as possible.
I always try to find a silver lining in life, and that's my biggest takeaway I tell everybody—always find a silver lining. Amongst this tragedy of a pandemic come some great opportunities too. One of those is the fact that you don't have to take time off of work with your learning; you can learn at the convenience of your home. You'll still be able to interact and engage with your colleagues. It's still going to be great content and it's going to be delivered in the same format, and in fact, it's going to be a little bit more one-on-one.
I didn't think that I would be doing Instagram and Facebook Live with all the Fetch faculty speakers, but we're doing it throughout the week. We've been doing it for the past several weeks, actually, but we're getting that engagement of people that are watching us. We would not have done that had that been the live event setting. So you really are getting to chat one-on-one with some of these faculty speakers, which is fantastic.
I’ve definitely had to delete a lot of Excel sheets. A lot of changing, copy, paste. One big thing is communication. It's so interesting. For instance, we have the hospital design conference that's within the Fetch conference next month. In the live setting, you just tell the guys, all the team (architects, financial planners, etc.), "Team, whenever you're ready, just go into the other room because I want you to hear everybody's talk so that way when we do the final closing remarks you can all kind of get a sense of what everyone was talking about." Well, now this is one big accident that I made. I said the same thing, and I said, "Oh, that's right, they need the Zoom link access to get into each and every single body's room in order to see each other's content." So it's so different in how you communicate. You should over-communicate rather than under-communicate when it comes to this kind of thing.
You mentioned Facebook Live and panels so you can have the Q&A. Is the 250 hours of content available for two weeks? On day one is it a library of everything that people can go and choose a subject and just go watch that one or are there things happening live throughout those two weeks? Are there some things you won't have access to until later? Is it supposed to be sequential?
Great questions. When you have a virtual conference, it's open to the world. So another fun fact is everybody is on different times. So it's going to start 8:00 AM on Eastern Standard Time, but that could be 2:00 PM the next day in Australia. We have attendees from Australia that have signed up and registered. So we have to be mindful of all these different things. So the past couple of weeks we have done recorded sessions. I would say about 60% of the sessions are recorded, and so they're locked and loaded, and right now they're in production. We have a studio that's doing all the editing to make it look nice and fancy. Then remember that all these classes are RACE approved, so there has to be a certificate that's going to be generated for the attendees. We have to make sure that that's all ready to go.
Then we have live events. So throughout the day there are going to be live talks. We’re going to have these three times a day—late morning, late afternoon, and then in the evening we're going to have a live Q&A where the Fetch faculty members will be in a virtual lounge setting. There'll be two to three of them that'll be there in case, so it will be just as if you and I were at the conference and you say, "Oh, I had a quick question about lymphoma in dogs. You mentioned this study. What are your thoughts on using this kind of a drug instead of that, Dr. Ettinger?" And so they would be able to kind of write and text that away. I'd be in there moderating it.
So they're going to have that, and then we're going to have literal live events, and we’re going to have some really fun ones. I don't want to steal too much thunder away from them, but there are going to be some live conversations that are going to be happening. Then we're also taking care of your mental health and wellbeing. So we have one on meditation, and then we also have comedy. So we have a comedian that's going to be giving a great spiel of what it's like living with a veterinarian. Then myself, I'll actually be teaching a live bootcamp because I'm big into fitness. I was a kickboxing instructor, so I'm going to give a good class too. It’s going to be fun. So that's all live.
And then we have a virtual exhibit hall. So you're going to have your own little avatar thing where you could be kind of moving into and out of these booths essentially. So if you want to go to X exhibit, you can click on the link and then somebody will be able to help provide you with any assistance or talk further about things. They can send you some swag. When you go and enter these rooms you can develop some points. So you get 100 points for going into this exhibit hall, you get 200 points for going in here, 50 points for going into any lecture hall. By the end of the night and the end of the conference in the live setting you're going to have so many points where you can shop and get X amount of these prizes, and they're nice gifts too. It’s really cool and it tracks how long you've been in the room for. So the longer you're in the room, the more points you accumulate, so you can get a gift card of prizes and things like that. So that's really cool.
We also have to make sure that we capture the engagement from the audience. We had to do a cross section from veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, hospital managers, veterinary students, and then hot topics that are really relevant and important. So from medicine such as CBD, to inclusion and diversity, to legal matters. Then from infectious diseases, and what it's like doing virtual medicine. So we kind of hit all the marks so that way everyone has a good experience.
How will veterinarians be able to use this experience to also get exposure to products and services from vendors that they might be interested in?
Let's use pharmaceutical reps as an example. They can’t go into their hospitals right now to do any kind of interactions because of COVID. So they're usually, I don't want to say cold marketing, but phone calling, Zoom interviews, and things like that. A lot of veterinarians just don't have the time because we are so busy. Our profession is super busy. Veterinary medicine is up 150% in certain areas. This gives you that opportunity where you actually could have that one-on-one interaction with a potential veterinarian, technician, or practice owner.
We want to make sure from an exhibit standpoint that you get a good ROI on your investment as well, because it's hard to kind of mentally think how this is going to look. Is this added value to my business? When is that going to happen? So we wanted to make sure that we hit all the marks. Even with some of the sponsored talks, there'll be certain branding calls to actions and websites for them to go to. This is virtual multitasking in the virtual space for a conference.
Is registration still open?
Yeah. Another fun thing about registration, again, virtual space. Usually they'll say, "Oh, registration ends a couple of weeks beforehand." You can register the morning of August 26th and you still can get in. So August 26th through the 31st is when it is. The first two days are hospital design, which, by the way, is amazing. I've seen some of these talks. And it’s so cool because a lot of these people wouldn't be able to fly to Kansas City for hospital design. So now I'm telling everybody, it's like watching HGTV for veterinarians. For example, one architect has this great talk on design for social distancing. Who would've thought we'd be having to have this discussion about designing your veterinary practices that have to have six feet of distance? This has done an incredible talk about designing for social distancing. I think it's just worth the price of admission just seeing her talk.
Then we have these international attendees. So then what got me thinking is, you know what? We're not hitting all the marks where we're hitting everybody's diversity and culture in terms of their languages. Let's get some Spanish speaking talks going on in November, which we’re now going to be doing. We're going to try to see if we could do a couple other languages as well.
So it's going to be fun. I love trying to be inventive like this. I love seeing the veterinary community of the world come together for these conferences. Don't get me wrong—I love the live events, but this is one thing that we've learned is, wow, we really have hit all these different countries that are interested in coming to our virtual Fetch conference. Now we have to come to them and make sure the language is happy for them, you know?
Where do people go to sign up?
They go to fetchdvm360. You can register there and it'll click you right on over to registration. So yeah, it's good stuff. You’ve got to join us.
Want to register for the upcoming fetch dvm360 conference? Go 👉🏻 here
Would you share some of your perspective regarding what we've learned so far during this pandemic as far as what's temporary, and what do you think is here to stay in regards to the changes made in response to COVID?
That’s why I really do want to continue practicing, because it just shows me, as a chief veterinary officer, the credibility that I'm still living and breathing it. I get you guys, and I feel you guys. That has helped so many conversations that I've had over the past several months because I feel their frustrations, and I see it. I see what's working, and I see what's not working. The big thing that veterinarians were behind on was telemedicine and telehealth, and there’s nothing like having a pandemic to light this match under us to say, "Okay, I think we need to do something about it."
Two-way messaging apps are really popular from the pet parent perspective to the veterinarian. And curbside check-in is something that we never thought we would like, but some actually do like it. They're finding the fact that you can get some greater compliance with it, with the fact that they're just so happy that you're seeing them. “Thank you so much for seeing me. By the way, while I'm here, let me get a year's supply of heartworm prevention.” This is the type of conversations we’re having because they want to minimize the risk of traveling with their fur babies.
One of the things that we've noticed with curbside is the fact that, for me, as a veterinarian, if I'm working in the ER and I need something timely in terms of an answer, we would have what's called a runner. They also in this instance a veterinary technician who really knows what's going on and what the veterinarian and pet parent need. So they would relay the messages. They’d bring the dogs or cats back and forth to help out if necessary.
Having that extra person, or if you want to call them a floater, for instance, can really help facilitate the flow, the workflow. That was helpful from what we're finding, because initially it was a phone call. Oh, they’re not answering, for whatever reason, and the person needs to make another appointment. So maybe having that floater or runner to facilitate that conversation has enabled the veterinarian’s capacity to see another patient that needed to be triaged.
That's like a runner who goes back and forth between you and just makes sure that you're continuing to do this stuff that only you can do. Then they’re delegating, making sure that you're delegating to somebody who can off-load that stuff.
It's a full circle of communication. I let this person know that invoices are in, charges are in, we're ready to go, meds to go home, and discharge instructions are written up. All we need to do is I tell reception to get them checked out, and this floater will say, "Okay, check it." Done, next. Who else? Who is staying? Who is getting admitted into ICU? Who needs a catheter placed in? And then that way this person can delegate that to someone on the technician team.
If they see a doctor that's overburdened with too many cases, they will help make sure to help facilitate all of it. Dr. Christman's got too much on his plate. He's got a dog hit by a car, he's got to stabilize. He's got a dog he has to euthanize, we're going to have Dr. X see this one because he's too busy, we're going to have her see this, whatever it is. So it's great having that person that has another pair of eyes to see what the flow is looking like. Because you’ve got to realize that the pet parents don't know what's going on behind the scenes. All they care about is their fur baby. Everybody wants to feel like they're VIP and valued.
I feel like we’ve successfully executed this well. I think that this floater is a really good idea, and I see that being implemented around the country in different ways. Whether it's a receptionist that's a runner, or you hire an extra receptionist or veterinary assistant is up to you. But it should be someone that understands the medicine, the why behind what's being done, and then just correlating that communication over to the pet parent. This really has been monumental.
You should also make sure you have good practice software. Making sure your
practice software is up to date, and that you're utilizing the best of that software, whether it's through inventory or through your marketing tactics. I think that really does help your practice overall.
What would you say is a way for a veterinarian to come to terms with the fact that their software is not as efficient as it should be?
I could speak wholeheartedly on this—if there is too much clicking and if you have too many windows that you have to open up, that's a really bad thing. I'm sorry, but if you have to click here for an Rx and then go back to the patient history, that’s inefficient. You want to find something that is one big view, where you can have accessibility to see the medical record, their vaccine records, or history, and prescriptions. So having a good home base is really important.
Also, utilizing the inventory software system in there. So you're not paying somebody extra to do your inventory because it's already included in your software system. I think that's a big thing, and making sure you're utilizing your schedule. You should have a whiteboard, for instance, where you can see who is in the practice in terms of the flow and which patients are coming in. Use those things because that way everybody is communicating on every terminal, you can see it everywhere, and you don't have to have extra things hanging. Then also if it can link up to telemedicine, telehealth, teletriage, AI technology (artificial intelligence with radiography), I think those are great platforms to enlist.
Would you be willing to say which systems may be not quite as up to date as others?
I’ve got to tell you, there are a couple. I don't want to badmouth any of them, but I will say that I still have yet to find the one that I love. I have spoken to many veterinarians over the past several months and I can tell you and anybody that's listening, there is not one veterinarian that I know that says that all that I just spoke about is there. So if we can find a system that be easily integrative, that can have artificial intelligence, telehealth, teletriage to a messaging within your software system that can alert and you can communicate to a pet parent via text, and then also have the medical records and no breach of data security, that's a home run.
There are pluses and minuses to every software system. So I haven't heard anyone be like, "Oh my god, Adam, you've got to have this one. This is the one to have." I'm also not going to be the guy who says, "Oh yeah, you definitely need this one." Because I have yet to see one that really wowed me.
Workflow is number one right now. I mean, you probably hear this with what you do too. I mean, workflow is everything throughout your day. If you can make the doctors' lives and the team's lives easier and more efficient, that would be fantastic, you know?
How do communications between a veterinarian and their tech and staff help to streamline things and create a more efficient practice?
Making sure that you set expectations for your team is important. I think communicating everything and being very transparent is crucial. For instance, if you know that you're going to be hospitalizing a case, and maybe a veterinarian technician is not comfortable or not able to set a catheter or maybe something as simple as putting a treatment plan together. When you're in that moment, you can easily get a little PO'd because you want them to be, and you wanted it to be done yesterday. My big thing that I always say is, okay, we have a moment—let’s sure that we get you trained up on this, because I would love to show you how to set a catheter for this dog too and, in turn, become more useful. How awesome would that be? So you turn it into a positive by making sure you communicate all the way through.
This also includes talking to the pet parent. I know sometimes it may seem like we're over-communicating things, but simple things such as when you have to do eye medications. Is it the left eye, the right eye? I'll even draw like a get well card and I'll put on there a note to indicate the left eye, noting that the drops go in three times a day.
We'll even do certain things on two-way messaging apps. So you could be like, "Hey, this is Dr. Christman. I hope Fluffy feels better. It's the left eye that you just need to put that drop in three times a day. Let me just show you really quick." And I'll have the cat on the table and I'll do the first drop for them, because again, we can't see them. So I'll have somebody videotape me or I'll do a selfie really quick and show them like this is how it is. You just want to gently put your arm around them, or hold their head up a little bit, and then one drop in the eye twice a day, and I hope to see you in three to four days. Make sure you schedule that today before you leave. That's just so much more personable, right?
Here’s another fun thing that we do that I really recommend. These are just for your wellness appointments because, again, they may not be with you because of COVID. So go on Instagram and use the “boomerang” feature to snap your dogs, cats, or exotics. Boomerang is just a cute little couple seconds of them going forward and backwards, but it's always us hanging with the puppies and kissing them. We send them a message and say, "Just so you know, this is what we're doing right now with your dog." And we're kissing them and loving them. They'll send out a reply like, "LOL, LMAO, this is so adorable. Thank you so much. Can I share this?"
You're just putting them at ease but you're also making them feel valued and giving them that really special attention that everybody craves with their fur babies. It’s just going the extra mile and it really ... it doesn't cost you anything. The only thing it costs you is maybe 10 to 15 seconds of your time to do it and that's it.
So you're talking about actually posting that on Instagram and tagging them? Or are you talking about texting it to them? What's the actual delivery to the client?
When they get asked for their appointment they also get asked, “Do you happen to have an Instagram handle and would you mind sharing that?” And nine times out of 10 people would say, "Yes, oh my gosh, yes."
Are you doing that as they check in?
Yes. Then the other thing that I have the receptionist do is to ask them if they happen to have a couple of friends. We tell them that we're going to take a really cute photo, and we want to share it, so make sure to ask if they have friends that might be interested in seeing it. And so they'll give us the at (@) symbol so we can do the tagging.
So for instance, if it's a new dachshund puppy, we'll tag them plus their friends. Usually, they say something like, "Oh my god, my mom is on Instagram. She's going to love this." So we tag her. Then you go to tagging like the other most popular and relevant accounts, so like Dachshunds of Instagram, and then people that the person works with or whatever. It just happens to take a life of its own and you're creating a culture within your practice right there. Sometimes they want the original file, so we're like, "Yeah, we don't mind, we'll just email it to you, no big deal. What's your email address?" But there are also certain two-way messaging apps you can use, so that makes it easier too.
So if I'm talking to you, for instance, I'll say, "What's your Instagram or your screen handle?" And then I'm just like, "Oh, I'm going to send you a message or picture of your fur baby, and meanwhile it's something really cute, like, "Hey." Holding the baby, give them a big hug. Then we could give suggestions. So you might want to use these hashtags, Mom, if you really want to get this up and loaded.
I'm also really big on TikTok. I think TikTok is where it's at too. So you ask them, "Are you on TikTok?" And nine times out of 10 they're like, "Yes." Well, dogs of TikTok is a huge thing, we'd love to have you on there. At the end of the year, what you do is you do a holiday celebration and you put all the dogs that you used on TikTok and on Boomerang and you send it to video and, boom, there's your holiday party with your clients right there. Even better, it's a virtual party.
And you could do it monthly if you wanted to. You could do ... I think I was talking to you offline about having a monthly or a weekly yappy hour with the pet parents, and it's certainly easy. Just post it on your social media and you can say, "Friday at five o'clock Eastern Time Dr. Christman is going to be hosting a yappy hour. Here's the Zoom link to use if you're interested. We're going to give you a $10 gift card to anybody who has the cutest pet photo contest, or the cutest costume." And then we'll do a scavenger hunt for five minutes. Who is the first one that can find their dog's water dish or bring it to the camera? So really try to get them engaged and feel empowered, because right now we have no live events that we could do with our fur babies. So why not make it fun? We could do like a yappy hour every Friday.
Walk through your steps to your virtual yappy hour. What's the network that you're hosting it on? How are you promoting it? What are the specific things that you're using to fill the time and to make it an entertaining thing?
All you do is you post it on Instagram, Facebook, or your website. You post it also on your invoices. Let's just say August 1st at five o'clock Dr. Christman is going to be going live. Here is the Zoom link if you're interested. Please RSVP and let us know. On the day, have your receptionist check to see who has RSVPed or who has signed up, so that way you know who is going to be in the “room”.
Then you just open it up. So you're there for like 20 to 30 minutes. Some may ask you questions. So they click on the link and you say, "Hello everybody, happy yappy hour. Let me see everybody's fur babies." You can have a new cat parent that's like, "I just wanted to join because I've heard that there's going to be like a feline Friday thing that we're having." You go around, tell everybody who you are. You can ask them to tell you one fun thing. Why do you love her so much? What is it about Molly that you? So you're building that emotion right there. Then they'll bring them up to the camera and shake them a little bit, show them off or whatever. I think it's adorable, and you just have to just go gaga over it all. You’ve just got to eat it up. Listen, this is why we became veterinarians. We love them.
Sometimes you get so busy—you're in surgery, dealing with the technical things, making scientific decisions. But then you see this cuteness and then they come to the camera and they're like, "Oh my god, I just woke up. What are you doing?" It's so funny and also it makes you more relatable. So for instance, I bring my dogs to the camera, too, and show them I'm a dog dad and a pet parent just like them.
Then I try to do one little piece of education for that one. So I’ll just say something like, "Hey guys, we're approaching the first of the month. I hope everybody has their flea, tick, or heartworm preventative on." You don't talk about which one, but you just talk about the reason why. Heartworm disease, you guys, mosquitoes are out there, it's hot out. Mention the precautions they need to take to prevent heatstroke. I’ll ask them, “What are some things that you guys can do to keep your dogs cool?” So you try to have a little bit of a conversation about that.
Then you try to reward them with some prizes too. So it could be like an eGift card for something like a complimentary nail trim, ear cleaning, office visit, or whatever else you want it to be. But who has the cutest dog out there? We are going to do the cutest pet photo contest. Any of those kinds of things are great just to get them engaged in the virtual space.
The other thing that we do is we use Kahoot. It's a polling app. It's free to do, but you can pay more if you want to go further. But when I teach at the college too, it's fun polling but you can also put pictures in. So you ask them to name the breed, for instance, and then you figure out who is the quickest to answer it. You can use it from your phone as well as your desktop. So you're using multiple devices, you're getting the engagement, and they just hit A, B, C, or D. I think those are fun things for engaging them.
Can you tell us how you're going to address the staffing shortage in the veterinary field, particularly during this crisis?
Again, if you told me six months ago that I'd be hosting multiple virtual recruiting events, I’d have said, “You have cats to be kitten me…” You can steal that one, it's a good one. One of the things that I like to do is I have Instagram live with the vet students. So I've been chatting with them. Every night I try to find a vet student and we just chat and just get to know one another. What I found in March was that these fourth-year students who were about to graduate were getting their offers rescinded because of COVID, and so they're out of a job. I kept seeing these posts like, "I'm looking for work. I'm looking for work." I can't get in because of COVID, I can't physically see anybody. So it got me thinking like, I wonder if we have like a live virtual recruiting event, how would that look? And so we did. We had one that had over 400 attendees actually. So it took some work to make that happen. I'm the moderator, and it's open to everybody. So not just veterinarians, but also hospital managers, veterinary technicians, etc. These practices are really looking for everybody essentially.
I'm happy to say that we had over 400 that attended. We had one person from India that is actually moving to the United States because of the virtual recruiting event that scored a job here in the country. So he's super happy.
So there are some other jobs and networking events. It just gets you more exposure to the attendees … being able to send resumes and associate names with faces. We also have conversations about how to interview, and what your resume should look like. What are some questions you should be asking your employer? Because you want this to be a marriage on both ends. So it's not just like a recruiting event, like this is me, this is our practice, but a little bit of that engagement too. You can actually have that live Q&A and ask the recruiter or whoever is representing the practice some information and questions. This is your time to interview them as well.
So we're having another one next week and we're probably going to have another one in the fall, too, just because the demand has been great. So we're really happy and excited about it. We're proud to have this kind of unique opportunity in the sense that it is live. It's pretty neat, and we give some cool benefits.
I’ve gotta tell you a funny thing. I don't know if you saw our graduation video, by the way, that I put together. You’ve got to take a look at it. It's on my YouTube channel. So I reached out, I said, "These poor guys are not having a graduation full on." And I know in light of COVID it puts things into perspective. These guys have been fantastic. I said, "Our profession needs to give back." So I reached out to everybody, and I said, "I need you to give a shout-out to the graduating class of 2020." I said, "George Stephanopoulos from ABC, Good Morning America, get over here, say hello to us. Jane Lynch, get over here, congratulate them for me." So we have celebrities that are in the video.
Before you go, I’d like to get to know you just a little bit better. The way that we do that on Webinar Wednesday is by asking you what you would rather. So I've got a few “Would You Rathers” questions that I'd like to ask you. We get them from this book of 3000 Would You Rather Questions. They're a bit random. What I'm going to do here is I'm going to flip through and find a question and ask you.
Would you rather be extremely smart or extremely lucky?
Oh, I think I'd rather be extremely smart, why not? Because I ain't it. I would love to know what that's like. I'm either one of those, lucky or smart, but I would love to know what it's like to be super smart.
Would you rather be better at understanding other people or be better at expressing yourself?
I think I'd rather be better at understanding people because the older I get, the harder it's been. I think I'm good at expressing myself, but yeah, understanding people would be great. It's a gift to understand people, but I think really, really understanding them and all cultures would be amazing, you know?
Would you rather have a private concert from your favorite musician or-
Yes, I don't even care what the other question is. What was the other part though?
Would you rather have a private concert from your favorite musician or a private dinner cooked for you by one of the world's best chefs?
No, musician, absolutely. Just so you know, I'm really unhealthily obsessed with Mariah Carey. There's always that one person, somebody that gets you through things called life, and she was that one. From me being young and traveling all through my years of college, undergrad, vet school, and in surgery. She was just the one. I don't know what it is, but that's her. I call her Mariah Christman. She just doesn't know her last name is Christman.
Would you rather vacation in a natural paradise or would you rather vacation in one of the world's cities with culture and history?
That's a good one. I think paradise would be nice. Just tranquility and just enjoying nature. As I'm such a science and I love nature, period. It's just so cool. So it'd be nice just to chill, kind of decompress from any of the electronic devices, and just take it all in—the nature and beauty of things. That sounds nice. When are we going?
Do you have any specific things that you'd like to promote or that you think that the people out there in the veterinary profession should be paying particular attention to as far as upcoming events and/or organizations?
Well, let's see. So you can find me at my own website, DrAdamChristman.com, follow me on Instagram, @adam_christman, YouTube Channel Adam Christman, LinkedIn Adam Christman. I’m obviously really, really creative with my names. We have our virtual career fair that's happening next week, and then we obviously have the Fetch conference at the end of August, and then November 12th through the 14th is the second Fetch conference. It's going to be so fetch.
Do you have any parting advice for other veterinarians?
My advice to veterinarians out there is to be you and stay authentic, because we need it now more than ever. I think it's fun just to be yourself and, with all of the not knowing whether everything is going to be okay, it’s good to have others in your field that you know are willing to be there for you. So I say that all the time—just be you.
Signing off, everybody. Check out Webinar Wednesdays, as we’re going to be doing these every week. We've just got so many great guests that are coming up. So thanks to everybody and signing off.