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.
Here at Instinct, we’re serious about customer support. We firmly believe software companies are only as good as their customer support teams. Even the most intuitive tools need a responsive, knowledgeable team to help you find your way around, solve problems, and customize the tools to their unique needs.
And who better to help you onboard new software and solve your workflow challenges than a team staffed by veterinary professionals? This week, we’re spotlighting one of our hospital support veterinarians, Amanda Benton, VMD, who came to us from the hospital where Instinct first went live.
We sat down with Dr. Amanda to ask about her path through veterinary medicine and how it led her to Instinct. Have a read!
Tell us a little bit about your veterinary and professional background!
In undergrad, I considered applying to veterinary school but realized I had no clue what veterinary medicine entailed. I knew absolutely nothing about large animals. I started working as a customer service representative and veterinary assistant at a small, mixed animal practice in rural Pennsylvania with 4 veterinarians.
From that experience, I understood the passion and love needed to survive in this profession.
After finishing veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, I moved to south Florida for an internship at Coral Springs Animal Hospital, a 24-hour specialty, referral, and general practice. I have been there ever since, working as an emergency veterinarian.
I have always had a passion for emergency medicine because of the variety of cases, fast-paced environment, and the opportunity it presents to help pets and owners in difficult situations.
Where do you live?
Currently, I live in the Fort Lauderdale area of South Florida.
Where would you live if you could relocate to anywhere in the world?
In the US, I would probably choose a more moderate summer climate. Florida summers are too humid and miserable! I have always liked North Carolina and Colorado.
What was your dream job as a child?
I always loved animals as a child but didn’t want to be a veterinarian because you have to perform euthanasia.
I remember wanting to be a dog groomer at one point. I gave my shih tzu some pretty bad haircuts and even accidentally cut his tongue once!
When I went to undergrad, I thought I wanted to major in something medical and eventually decided to apply to veterinary school.
How did you first learn about Instinct?
Coral Springs Animal Hospital was Instinct’s very first hospital! Caleb came to CSAH to do an internship two years after I started working there, and we have been friends ever since.
I’m not a “tech” person, but Caleb always had a gift with technology and practice workflows. I remember him trying to get us to use treatment sheets he made on the computer instead of our handwritten ones. How far we have come! Instinct turned out to be amazing, and I can’t imagine practicing without it.
How long have you been working at Instinct?
I joined the team in October 2019.
What is your favorite feature currently live in Instinct Treatment Plan or EMR?
As an emergency doctor, I only have a short amount of time to digest the critical information about what has happened over the last shifts. I love the vitals screen because it gives you so many trends all in one place. It’s a huge time-saver!
What is the future Instinct feature that you’re most excited about?
I’m excited about 2-way texting! It will be so nice to use one program to update owners. It’ll make a world of difference to be able to send a quick text or picture to a pet owner to ease their mind while their pet is in the hospital.
What is your favorite Instinct swag?
I love my gray Instinct fleece. Lots of pockets!
What is your favorite veterinary software or app (other than Instinct)?
Having organized and CPR-trained staff is critical at any emergency hospital. The Recover CPR app makes recording information quick and easy, and it’s much more efficient than getting the paper and timer out.
How about non-veterinary software or app?
Probably Uber Eats because I hate to cook!
What is one book/TV show/movie/album from the last year that we should check out?
I’m a huge sci-fi nerd. I especially like comic book movies and Star Wars. I loved the Disney show Loki, and I’m currently watching Obi-Wan Kenobi.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I am usually at home relaxing and binge-watching Netflix with my pets on my days off. I have enjoyed getting out of town to downhill ski and vacation on the beach since COVID-19 restrictions have relaxed.
What is your favorite animal?
I’m definitely a dog person! I gravitate towards small dogs—especially shih tzus—but I also have a golden retriever.
What is the coolest animal you’ve ever interacted with personally?
I worked at a wildlife rehabilitation center in high school that was rehabilitating a spider monkey. It was really cool to see how interactive and intelligent she was. I did get a little nervous when I was in her cage cleaning up her toys, and she would get really mad and jump around.
Tell us about your pets!
The oldest is Lilly, a 12-year-old domestic shorthair cat. One of the nurses brought in a pregnant stray cat that ended up giving birth at the clinic. Lilly was one of the kittens, and I adopted her.
Dorie is a 5-year-old Maltipoo. She is a yappy little dog and wishes she was an only pet. She will sleep in bed all day if you let her. She is my husband’s favorite.
Mac is an approximately 5-year-old golden retriever that I adopted from animal control. He’s the perfect dog—except for being afraid of large boxes and umbrellas.
Ellie is the baby. She’s a 3-year-old shih tzu with lots of attitude. She loves her big brother Mac.
What is a common myth about your job or field of expertise?
People assume euthanasia is the worst part of our job, but for many of us, it really isn’t. In many circumstances, it is an act of compassion, providing a peaceful end for a faithful companion who is suffering. The family gets to be there while the patient passes without pain, surrounded by people they love.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about veterinary medicine, what would it be?
It would be magical if everyone had pet insurance! Dealing with finances in the veterinary world is not something I was taught in veterinary school, and it gives most of us veterinarians stress daily.
What is your favorite job you get to do with Instinct?
I love to go to Instinct go-lives at universities. Seeing all the different workflows and coming up with suggestions and solutions is so exciting. Plus, I love seeing a new generation of students use this program; they usually catch on quickly. The technology-averse employees are always hesitant, but by the second or third day, they often admit it’s better than they had expected!
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.