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Blunt Dissection Ep36: Dr Betsy Charles - Leadership & Living with the Tension Between Good &amp

On today’s show, which was performed and recorded in front of a live audience at Fetch Kansas City 2019, I am joined by an incredible woman, who is genuinely making a difference in veterinary medicine, Dr Betsy Charles.

Betsy is the executive director of the Veterinary Leadership Institute (VLI), which allows her to combine her passion for veterinary medicine, leadership development, teaching, and communication.

After graduating from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003 and completing an internship with an equine referral hospital, Betsy joined a performance horse practice as an associate vet. She went on to become the Imaging Centre Director and also developed the practice’s extern program.

In 2009 she completed a master’s degree in Organisational Leadership, where her thesis dealt with the implementation of change efforts within organisations, specifically veterinary practice.

She is also an adjunct professor at Washington State University and a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners Leadership Development Committee and Student Programs Task Force.

Now before we get into the interview instead of a sponsor, I’d like to dedicate this episode to all of those brave souls fighting to save animal and human lives in Australia as the worst bush fires in recent memory rage. And in particular highlight, the plight of many of our veterinary friends whose business and livelihoods are under threat as the have either lost their client base or are expending precious resources helping to care for injured wildlife.

And let’s not forget the horror of having to see and deal with so many injured or dead animals.

This fire is not like the rest and our friends down under need our help, so if you want to specifically help your colleagues then please go to and give what you can to the benevolent fund. Thank you.

Now back to the show…

Betsy is passionate, honest and authentic which really comes across in this podcast.

We cover an incredible range of important topics from the “bullying culture” of education in medicine to why fear of failure is crippling the industry. But most movingly she shares her story of love with her husband Drake, an incredible figure of light, who she lost to ALS (Motor Neurone Disease) in January 2019.

For many reasons, this podcast will move you. To call it one of my favourites would be crass, the subject matter is heavy and I’ll warn you in advance, you are going to need tissues. But if you need proof that even during the darkest of nights, there shines the light of hope. Then this episode is for your soul.

So sit back and prepare for this, my conversation with the brave, inspiring, smart and funny Dr Betsy Charles.

(The audio recording we received was sadly not up to our normal standard, so we've done everything we could in post-production to improve it. While it's not bad, it's not quite where we normally shoot for. But trust me, it's still well worth sticking with it. Betsy shares some incredible things.)

Listen on iTunes here. Listen on Soundcloud here. Listen on Stitcher here. Listen on Spotify here. Be safe, be well, be happy.

Dr. D

Connect With Dr. Betsy Charles

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Be safe, be well, be happy.

Dr. D

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