Welcome back to the Pick the Brain interview series! In these interviews, we talk with some of the (many) incredible people who make Instinct possible—from our talented team members to the passionate professionals using Instinct software in their hospitals.
Happy Veterinary Receptionist Week! It's a great time to spotlight the CSRs and front desk staff in your life who make that crucial first impression with pet owners and keep information flowing long after they go home.
For this installment of our interview series, we sat down with Staci Welsh, CVPM, CVT, LVT, our director of business development, who spent 15 years working as a client service representative and brings a heaping portion of patience and people skills to her role here at Instinct.
We sat down with Staci to ask her about her path through veterinary medicine and how it led her to Instinct. Let's dive in!
Tell us a little bit about your veterinary and professional background!
I started back in 1988 working at an animal shelter (America's first animal shelter, founded in 1874 in Philadelphia!). Even after receiving a bite from a feral cat that left me hospitalized for a week, I knew working with animals would be my life's mission.
I later relocated and took a job as a veterinary receptionist at a small animal general practice in San Diego. After working as a CSR for 15 years, I expanded into other roles and became a CVT in 2010 and CVPM in 2017. I've worked as a regional operations manager and even spent 10 years at a pet insurance company developing their veterinary services department.
Where do you live?
Just north of Charlotte, North Carolina—in the Lake Norman area. I moved from the Philly/NJ area almost 4 years ago and am enjoying the milder winters and lots of lake time.
Where would you live if you could relocate to anywhere in the world?
Anywhere near a beach with sunny/80-degree weather year-round. 🌴😎
What was your dream job as a child?
I knew I wanted to work with animals in some capacity, and I've always enjoyed working with people and organizing an office. So I guess that was a natural progression to start my career as a veterinary receptionist.
How did you first learn about and connect with Instinct?
I have known the amazing Director of Sales at Instinct, Stacy Milazzo, for over a decade. Our paths have always crossed professionally in our previous veterinary roles. She was so passionate about Instinct's software, and it was easy to see why—Instinct was changing the entire landscape of veterinary medicine. Once I learned more about the company culture and the support Instinct provides to the veterinary community, I knew it was a great fit for me. I've been here since July of 2021 and haven't looked back.
What is your favorite feature currently live in Instinct Treatment Plan or EMR?
I love having Plumb's integration, drug calculators, and automated safety warnings. This is such a long overdue concept in veterinary medicine. Features like these help maximize patient safety and allow our teams to be as efficient as possible when caring for patients. The more we can enable efficiency and safety, the healthier we can all be—patients and team members alike.
I also (can I pick two?) love that we have built-in 24/7 chat support. Our response time is under 2 minutes, and our support team of veterinary professionals is AMAZING! It's nothing like the old days of putting in a ticket and waiting 3 days for a response.
What is the future Instinct feature that you're most excited about?
Our anesthesia treatment sheet! If you've read any installments of our interview series, you probably know we're all pretty excited about this one. You can get a little bit more information about it in our recent EMR update.
What is your favorite Instinct swag?
Our Instinct t-shirts. They are the softest "soft-wear" ever! 👕
What is your favorite veterinary software or app, other than Instinct?
I really like all of the telecommunication apps that allow better communication between the client and the veterinarian. Being able to discuss a problem virtually or just video conferencing an exam during curbside protocols was game-changing to maintain personalization and elevate communication during COVID.
How about non-veterinary software or app?
I have been enjoying Evernote for organizing my work life.
What is one book/TV show/movie/album from the last year that we should check out?
I loved Yellowstone and especially the prequel 1883—those women were tough!
What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy hiking with my dogs, boating, reading, enjoying live music, and exploring new breweries in my area.
Where can we find you online?
I'm on LinkedIn! Always happy to connect. You can find my profile here.
What is your favorite animal?
I'm probably more of a dog person (just don't tell my cat!). That said, my heart cat was an orange Maine coon named Riley, and he was the best boy ever!
Tell us about your pets!
I have two rescued Lab mixes (Jaxon and Lilah) and a DSH orange tabby (love my orange boys). My "pandemic puppy" Lilah is likely to make an appearance and/or bark loudly during Zoom calls. And if she isn't present, that means she's destroying a pillow somewhere.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about veterinary medicine, what would it be?
I would want more pets insured so veterinary professionals could practice the gold standard of medicine with each patient, rather than having to content with economic euthanasia and the stress of providing quality care within the financial constraints that pet owners often have.
I think this would go a long way to improve the mental health of our profession, allow pets to receive the best possible care, and ultimately improve the financial landscape (ie, so veterinary professionals can be paid what they are worth).
If you could go back and give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Everything happens for a reason, and although things may not always go as planned, sometimes a detour can lead to a learning opportunity that you didn't know existed!
What is a common myth about your job or field of expertise?
We play with puppies/kittens all day—of course!
Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow along for more installments of our interview series in the coming months.
Think your hospital might be a good fit for Instinct EMR (or any of our solutions)? Request your demo today.