The Shape Of Things To Come: What The Future Holds For The Profession

Anthony ChadwickPresenter – Anthony Chadwick BVSc Cert VD, MRCVS, dermatology referral consultant in the north west, and founder of ‘The Webinar Vet’.

It’s very easy to keep working the same way day in day out, especially if your business is thriving. However in this rapidly changing world, our clients needs and expectations may be very different in a few years’ time. It’s important that we continually adapt the way we work to match these expectations, or risk the reputation of our profession and success of our businesses.

As the founder of ‘The Webinar Vet’, Anthony Chadwick has done exactly this by changing the face of veterinary CPD by moving veterinary education online and providing a more affordable and convenient service to vets across the globe. This makes Anthony the perfect speaker to lead last week’s webinar discussing what the future could bring for both the veterinary profession and other industries, including education and medicine.

Anthony started the webinar by stating that changes in the next five years are likely to be greater than those we have experienced in the last fifteen years. The undeniable power of the Internet and the overwhelming success of technology companies are some of the main factors driving these rapid changes. Technology giants worth over one billion dollars are termed ‘Unicorns’ and perfectly demonstrate how using the internet and thinking outside the box can push some businesses into the stratosphere in terms of success.

For example, Airbnb has taken the concept of the hotel and turned it on its head by providing a platform for people who are looking for rooms in a particular place to contact people who have available rooms to offer. As a reflection of their success Airbnb is now valued at a higher price than the Hilton hotel group.

The veterinary profession needs to keep abreast of these technological advances and other changes so it doesn’t find itself out in the cold. Anthony discussed his attendance at the Vet Futures Conference in Cambridge last year which is one step taken by the veterinary profession to take control of its futures, after all, as quoted by Anthony, “the best way to predict the future is to create it”. Six ambitions and recommendations were formulated as a result of the Vets Futures Conference and are as follows:

  • A leading force for animal health and welfare
  • Valued for our wider roles in society
  • Confident, resilient, healthy and well supported
  • A broad range of diverse and rewarding career paths
  • Thriving, innovative, user focussed businesses
  • Exceptional leadership

Having a set of objectives helps the profession shape its future, but consideration also needs to be given to the huge advances in technology which could eventually benefit and ultimately change the face of the veterinary profession. This advancing technology will lead to the automation of a number of human activities and will place pressure on job security across a range of industries. For example the introduction of driverless cars could have a real impact on the livelihood of taxi drivers who will effectively be replaced by machines. On the flip side, driverless cars could offer some benefits to the veterinary profession, where forward thinking vet practices could offer an additional drop off and pick up service for owners and their pets. Computer software is also being developed to aid vets in diagnosing their patients. This in itself could apply pressure to the veterinary job market as this software is designed to allow vets to be more time efficient meaning a five vet practice of today could become a three vet practice in the future.

Anthony discussed a number of technological advancements which could have significant impact on the future of everyone. Medical advances include the use of miniature microscopes during surgery to determine if cancerous cells have been completely excised. Educational advances include the development of translational software making global learning possible and could of course be of real benefit to companies such as ‘The Webinar Vet’.

The veterinary profession cannot help but be swept along by this wave of change and if it doesn’t keep up, the goals set by the Vet Futures Conference will be difficult to achieve. Anthony’s webinar delivers a wider view of advances across a number of industries and by understanding and learning from the success of others, vets are more likely to be able to ride this wave of change and succeed in whichever direction they choose to go.

 The Stethoscope (MRCVS)

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