The Concept of Decade One
As the managing partner of a fairly big equine referral practice, I interacted with many interns over my last decade in practice; Rhinebeck Equine had four interns each year by the time I retired from clinical practice. Especially during and after the recession of 2008-2010, I began to feel that new equine practitioners really needed a “leg up” in order for their careers to be successful. As I transitioned into a consultant role and left clinical practice, my focus and passion became helping those that will be the future leaders of the equine veterinary profession. My experience as a member of a VMG group for 10 years made me very cognizant of the value of having a group of peers as an advisory board, because talking with veterinarians experiencing the same challenges can be invaluable. Based on this experience, providing networking with a group of colleagues became the cornerstone of the concept as I developed the Decade One groups.
The Decade One groups are designed to be broadly regional, with 20-25 members living and practicing within the area. This is meant to help keep them affordable and local. The curriculum is designed to be workshop based and interactive, with opportunities for the members to explore their personal careers, aspirations, and practices. The business meetings provide some didactic content but include many workshop elements. Helping each other is a core element of the program. Each meeting is evaluated afterward through an online survey, allowing members to shape future content. A Facebook page limited to the members (plus the facilitator) is set up for each group, and the members interact throughout the weeks between meetings, asking each other questions and reporting on changes they have made to their practices as a result of the meetings. Pre-meeting assignments are given from time to time to allow preparation for upcoming meetings.
All of us at Decade One are dedicated to the future success of equine veterinarians, and have partnered to provide support of the Decade One groups. We are excited to have the opportunity to help make the careers of equine veterinarians more satisfying and sustainable.
Amy L Grice VMD MBA