On today’s show, I’m joined by Dr Lisa Radosta.
Dr Radosta graduated in 2000 from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. After completing an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Coral Springs Animal Hospital, she worked as a primary care veterinarian for 2 1/2 years. She then completed a 3-year residency in Behavioral Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. During her residency, she was awarded the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists Resident research award two years in a row.
Dr Radosta is contributing author for chapters of many well-known textbooks including The Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat; Blackwell’s Five Minute Veterinary Consult and Small Animal Pediatrics.
She has published research articles in Journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science, The Veterinary Journal and the Journal of Veterinary Behavior and written review articles for Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Compendium, Clinician’s Brief and AAHA Newstat. Plus she is the section editor for Advances in Small Animal
Medicine and Surgery.
Dr Radosta also serves on the Fear Free Advisory Board and the AAHA Behavior Management Task Force.
Now, just before we jump into the episode, a quick word from today’s show sponsor which today is the VetX:Thrive community. If you are working in practice and clients or colleagues are making you miserable then I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you are probably the source of your problems. The good news is that you are also 100% in control of changing things and having a great career. You are missing some skills and they are NOT clinical. Enter VetX:Thrive. VetX is a RACE accredited, non-clinical skills training course/community where members receive training, toolkits and mentoring support to support the development of these skills. Paul, one of the community members says joining was the best decision of his life and went from being miserable to being energised and happy in his work.
Membership is available for a small monthly fee where you can join hundreds of other vets who have changed they careers for the better. To learn more and find out if the class is a good fit for you visit www.drdavenicol.com/vetxthrive today. And is yuou use the promocode 'podcast' when you sign up you'll get a further 10% off your monthly membership.
Now back to the show, I thoroughly enjoyed this interview and we dived deep into many subjects including from how Dr Radosta developed an unbreakable attitude and considers herself a rule-breaker, to busting wide open a few of her favourite behaviour myths with much to ponder and learn in between. So without further ado, I give you this my conversation with the unbreakable, Dr Lisa Radosta.
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On today’s show I’m joined by Dr. Lisa Radosta, owner of Florida Veterinary Behavior Service. She is also the co-author of From Fearful to Fear Free: A Positive Program to Free Your Dog from Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias (2018), as well as an instructor at The Dog Nerds, an online training platform for pet parents. A Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist and highly sought-after international speaker, Dr. Lisa unloads a treasure trove of wisdom and best practices that vets and their teams can (and should) adopt to create a fear free environment for pets and their owners.
Dr. Lisa laments the reality that the most important subjects for vets to master—nutrition and behavior—happen to be the least taught subjects in veterinary school. And while she thinks that the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) needs to put a spotlight on this often overlooked issue, vets themselves need to assume the responsibility of emphasizing the importance of nutrition and behavior.
Asked about common behavior-related myths, Dr. Lisa begins with the “alpha myth”, which she also refers to as the “it’s-not-all-about-you myth”. When a dog is misbehaving, the tendency is to think that they are not respecting them, their owner. According to Dr. Lisa, the truth is that “your dog is behaving that way because something internal to him is motivating him to behave that way.” Another myth is that behavior is moldable like Play-Doh. The truth is, behavior is genetic, with some studies pointing to 87% heritability for certain behavioral traits.
Dr. Lisa discusses The Fear Free Movement which, beyond being an education program, is ultimately an attitude that vets everywhere ought to adopt. Fear Free is all about “creating an environment where the emotional health of your veterinary healthcare team, the patient, and the pet parent are all considered. It’s an environment where communication is accepted and encouraged, and where every member of the team is actually listened to.” In short, Fear Free reduces stress, eliminates ego, and puts a great deal of trust in each individual team member.
Says Dr. Lisa, “To the general public: Your animals have the right to say ‘no’. To my veterinary healthcare family: Behavior is not a choice. It’s neurochemistry. It’s medicine. I believe that dogs and cats and cows and horses should have more joyful lives. You can be tough, but still care.”
● [0:36] Introduction to Dr. Lisa Radosta
● [10:04] Why Dr. Lisa refers to herself as “unbreakable” as opposed to “undefeatable”
● [12:24] How Dr. Lisa builds resilience
● [16:23] Overcoming “Imposter Syndrome”
● [24:38] Dr. Lisa on the gender pay gap and the importance of knowing your worth
● [32:26] How to hustle effectively
● [34:33] Why you are good enough
● [38:37] The topics that vet schools need to place greater emphasis on
● [42:11] How vets can conduct better physical exams with pet owners
● [47:50] Common behavior myths
● [53:08] A primer on The Fear Free Movement
● [56:29] Which existing practices should be eliminated
● [1:02:59] Places in which adopting telemedicine is most beneficial for practices
● [1:06:36] Quickfire questions for Dr. Lisa Radosta
Episode Links & Resources
Book: From Fearful to Fear Free
Distance Learning for Clients: https://therealdognerds.com/site/
Connect With Dr. Dave
Be safe, be well, be happy.