Prioritizing Employee Well-being in New England
Director of Veterinary Quality, Dr. Megan Kilduff, DVM, understands the value of support both inside and outside of the workplace. With more than a decade of experience at Banfield, she knows how to prioritize work-life balance and is helping doctors in New England South do the same.
Walk us through your journey with Banfield?
I graduated from Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences in 2006 and began work as an associate DVM at a charter practice in Columbus, Ohio where I worked for four years.
My husband then received a job offer in Virginia, so we moved (very quickly) to the Northern Virginia area in 2010—we were not familiar with this area of the country at all, so moving was a scary prospect for us. It was all made easier, though, when my Medical Director put me in touch with market leadership in NoVA. They were able to transfer me to a hospital in Sterling, VA. This hospital quickly became my home, and after one year as an associate veterinarian, I was promoted to Chief of Staff. During my time as Chief of Staff, we grew the hospital from a three DVM practice to a seven DVM practice.
In 2016, I became interim Medical Director of Northern Virginia, and by March of 2017, I had interviewed and officially accepted the position (now titled Director of Veterinary Quality or DVQ). I transferred to Boston when the DVQ position for New England North opened up, so my husband and I could live closer to our families in the Northeast. My family and I moved to the Boston area in August of 2020 and six months later, after realignment, I started in my current assignment as DVQ in New England South.
Outside of work, what are your favorite activities to do in the Boston area?
My husband, three-year-old son, and I enjoy hiking and outdoor activities. We love exploring different neighborhoods and all the history in Boston. My husband is a musician, so attending live music events (pre-COVID) has always been important to us. We are also foodies and love exploring all the different restaurants this area has to offer. Additionally, I am an avid cook, love to read, and am learning how to garden.
What does a typical day look like for the average doctor you support, inside and outside of work?
Most of our doctors work a four-day schedule. They’ll be scheduled a mix of surgery, well patients, and sick patients. We strive to surround our doctors with a well-trained, engaged team so they can all provide exceptional care to their patients and clients. My goal is to ensure that their free time is their own. I know many of my doctors enjoy winter sports (skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing); in the fall, there’s awesome hiking, foliage tours, and corn mazes; and the beach in the summer. There are lots of family-friendly activities as well as nightlife and culture in Boston and Worcester.
How does the field support their associates’ health and wellbeing? Do you have any specific practices that are encouraged?
We emphasize the importance of work-life balance—come to work and work hard, but please leave work at work. With our ability to provide flexible scheduling and ensure that our associates are known for who they are as people, not just doctors, we try to meet their individual needs as doctors and people outside of work.
Additionally, my Field Director and I have focused a lot on team hiring, training, and development. By creating a network of doctors and offering coaching and mentorship, we can help our teams through the hardships in this field—we are never alone, and it’s important that we create environments where our associates know that. We also encourage having fun at work. There’s always room for some laughter. What we do is important, but it’s also super fun! In some of my hospitals, I’ve lead meditation sessions during the huddle or deep breathing exercises. Ensuring my teams know that their mental and emotional well-being comes first is of utmost importance to me.
You have been with Banfield for over a decade. What has kept you here, and what has evolved with the practice since you started?
What keeps me here is the practice’s ability to evolve and be innovators in our profession. I believe in what we do every day—pets are important to people, and I love that we are constantly looking for ways to make our pets’ lives longer and better. I’ve also loved that I can give back to the people who give back to pets through coaching and mentorship. It’s a passion of mine, and this company “allows” for it in spades. I’ve seen everything evolve from the way we see our patients (from walk-in only with wellness hours to appointment-based and drop-off scheduling) to our focus on the individual associates. I have always appreciated how our practice keeps striving for better—not only for its associates but for our entire profession.