SAGE Veterinary Centers provides advanced care for companion animals from a network of 11 specialty hospitals. Working as a veterinary oncology specialist, Dr Ashley Bennett has an incredible job, one that’s equally challenging and rewarding. We caught up with her to talk about her clinical workflows, her love of animals, coping with stress, and her passion for veterinary oncology.
How did you end up working in veterinary medicine, Ashley? Especially in such a challenging area as oncology?
I have been drawn to animals right from a young age. At any family function, you would have found me with the family pet!
I really enjoy how oncology combines the best of two worlds – I can be a part of an ever-changing field of cancer biology and also have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with patients and their families. I am lucky that I get to focus on the quality of life of my patients every day in the clinic.
Tell us about your role and how you help patients through a very difficult time in their lives.
Almost every family who brings their pet to see me has had a recent diagnosis of cancer, and that can be a very scary thing for them. Our mission at SAGE is to improve the lives and outcomes for the pets I see and for their families.
It is hugely important to provide a support system for families, who are generally deeply attached to their pets. I aim to improve the quality of my patients' lives and help each pet feel its best for as long as possible. I take a lot of pride in having that focus.
How do you handle the stress of your work? What systems have you got in place?
My husband is a vet too, so he knows the stresses of the work and is very supportive. On a practical level, however, it’s the systems and processes in the hospital that make a big difference to the smooth functioning of my department.
Before ezyVet, one of the biggest challenges was the repetitive nature of all the medical record-keeping. We receive information from our referring vets and we also have to send them a lot of very detailed notes and records. With ezyVet, we are able to customize all of our record-keeping and clinical notes. Thanks to the shorthand functionality and customizable templates within ezyVet, I don’t ever have to repeat my communications with these vets. These functions, which are all part of ezyVet, allow me to be much more efficient, and the ability to communicate easily and efficiently saves a lot of time.
What advice can you share with fellow veterinary professionals?
Possibly the most vital thing I have learned as a vet is the importance of having a support system for families and our staff. Being able to communicate clearly and well ends up being one of the biggest parts of my job. ezyVet makes this very achievable.