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Onboarding and Mentoring with Banfield Pet Hospital

Since her summer as an extern, Dr. Tiffany Riser, DVM, knew Banfield was the place she wanted to practice veterinary medicine. We had a wonderful conversation with her about onboarding during the pandemic, her experiences mentoring with an Area Chief of Staff, and what kind of animal she’d like to be.  

Tell us a little about yourself and your journey with Banfield:

I started with the Banfield Student Externship program at the Glendora Hospital during the summer of my 4th year of veterinary school. After my experience with the team, my heart was set on working with the company in the future. It seemed like the perfect fit for my personality. I officially began working as an associate veterinarian in June 2020 in Glendora. I grew so much as a veterinarian, thanks to the amazing staff and colleagues there. In July of 2021, I started working with the Chino Hills Banfield as an interim before transitioning to Banfield Upland Town Square in November of 2021. My experience at each hospital has been so transformative for me as a new doctor, and I am very excited to continue promoting Banfield and our mission for many years to come! 

What did onboarding look like when you started? How did it feel to start practicing as a DVM?

I started my onboarding process at a very unconventional time in June 2020, just months after the pandemic had officially begun. Social distancing, masks, and health screening were a part of my first few months. However, throughout all the pandemic ups and downs, my team welcomed me with open arms and helped me ease into my new position as a veterinarian. I was nervous about taking on such a big role, but I knew that my schooling had trained me for this. I was ready to learn and grow in my career as a veterinarian! I enjoyed the caseload, promoting preventative care, spay and neuter surgeries, dental procedures, and my own personal growth and development. I was lucky enough to be trained by Dr. Jayme Van’t Riet. She is an amazing doctor and colleague. After 12 weeks of training, I walked into my new role with newfound confidence. 

How has your Area Chief of Staff (ACOS) helped you in your career as a DVM?

I started out working with Dr. Miriam Harvey and consider myself very lucky to have been under the supervision and training of such a skilled and knowledgeable doctor.

Dr. Harvey not only encouraged my growth as a veterinarian in a clinical aspect, but she also encouraged my personal and professional growth as a woman in the work field.

Dr. Harvey helped guide me in my clinical case decisions, surgical procedures, as well as helped me take care of my mental health during the pandemic. I appreciated every 1-on-1 that we had and all the advice and encouragement she gave me. She has continued to be a valued friend. 

When I transitioned to Upland Town Square, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Lisette Farve. She, too, has been not only an amazing ACOS but also a great friend. Dr. Farve has encouraged me to take on challenging cases and be involved in brand new surgeries. I can come to her with any question or concern, and she is always there to give me advice on how to navigate my day-to-day situations. She reminds me that work can be fun, that we never stop learning as a veterinarian, and that teamwork makes the dream work! I am so blessed to be working alongside her.

What does your day-to-day look like?

I come into work at 8 am, take my lunch around 12-1 pm, and get off work around 6 pm. I see around three to four surgeries per day, including dental cleanings, oral surgery, spays, and neuters. I also see roughly 15 additional appointments per day. These appointments range from vaccines and routine wellness visits to urgent care visits. Throughout the day, I perform physical exams, complete medical records, talk with owners, respond to emails, assist my veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants, and take as many pictures as I can with my healthy pets! I love to share my photos and my daily work life on social media! 

What do you look forward to the most in your work with Banfield?

I am always looking forward to learning something new! Every day there is an opportunity for me to make a diagnosis on a patient that I have never made before or to perform a new surgery to grow my skills. Being a young veterinarian makes for a world of new experiences and challenges. My job is constantly changing, and it keeps me on my toes! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do you have any tips for Veterinarians just starting out?

Here are my tips:

  • Have a life outside of your work life. Balance is crucial to prevent burnout!
  • Take time for self-care. 
  • You are on a continual learning journey—you won’t know it all.
  • Be easy on yourself.
  • Take one day at a time.
  • And remember, you can do whatever you set your mind to.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? 

If I could be any animal, I would be an eagle. It has always been a dream of mine to be able to fly—weightless in the air. There’s something about the freedom that ensues when you lift off from the ground. Birds have an amazing gift! 

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