MJ Wixsom: Resolving to do better this year

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2023

New Years is a big holiday for me!
Not New Year’s Eve, that seems too much gluttony, excess and lateness for my age, but the start of a new year.
A time to reflect on where we have been and where we and especially I am going.
The whole staff will get together next week and define Guardian Animal goals, but as the leader I have already made some.
Closing out a record year, we look forward to the possibilities of the new year.
This will be our 33th anniversary of the opening of Guardian Animal Emergency Clinic.
After two years, we opened full time as Guardian Animal Hospital and moved to our new, spacious site 13 years ago.
I don’t know what we will be doing for our anniversary, but I think it should be something fun!
We will be setting up tours and hosting some elementary classes (as usual) and some scouts and homeschoolers.
In January, I will be learning some new knee surgery techniques this year.
People are paying $4,000-$7,000 at a specialist and cannot get in for weeks to months. I think I can do a good job for less without the extreme waits.
I will also return to the NAVC Institute to a week-long course to update some orthopedic skills. At I time when others are thinking of retiring, I’m updating skills and learning new tasks.
The team will be working to come up to speed on advanced dentistry.
Proper dental care allows pets to live longer and do better.
Next to vaccines and preventing car accidents, dental cleaning may be the most beneficial thing for quality and quantity of life. Dental x-rays are a game changer, but good radiographs require knowledge and practice.
Growth is good, but it does require work.
We need an additional receptionist. Hopefully, a new practice manager will take over more of my office manager duties.
Working with a budget should help cash flow, raises, monthly taxes to be filed on time (oops) and provide for the 10 percent increase in property taxes.
I will do my best to keep up with accounting on at least a monthly basis.
Client communication is an additional area of focus this year.
Five years ago, we shifted to email reminders. Now it is time for text or other digital reminders.
I will continue to work on Dr. Wixsom’s Wednesday Wixsom videos.
Last year is an AAHA inspection year. The American Animal Hospital Association is a voluntary organization of hospitals who agree to meet higher standards and be periodically inspected.
The huge value in this is not the inspection, but the introspection that goes into preparing and making sure that we really are state of the art.
This preparation was excellent, but we have a new staff that missed the preparation, so we will be doing a trial prep.
I am setting a target date for April 28 for Dragon Flame to be published.
I am still working on getting “It’s Not Just Puppies and Kittens” more exposure.
That would leave me time to work on “In Defiance of Tradition” about my time in the Coast Guard Academy.
All team members commit to twelve hours of Continuing Education online or in person.
Some of us will head to Florida for VMX the largest vet conference in the world.
Some of us will go to the Ohio Mid America Veterinary Conference in Columbus. I would also like to try to go to another national conference.
On a personal level, I want to use the climbing wall more often, garden, walk in woods weekly, complete (not compete) a 5K with my daughter, and prepare to trek in a foreign country, perhaps base camp Mount Everest.
I think that New Years is an exciting time of year!
Every year I, and by extension GAMC, have progressed. Not that we are perfect. No one ever is.
But that it is exciting to sit down and contemplate the tremendous possibilities for the New Year!
And I am off to a good start,
I even drank 18 ounces of water today!

MJ Wixsom, DVM MS is a best-selling Amazon author who practices at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. GuardianAnimal.com 606-928-6566

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