“The Team of Two approach has been fantastic. It’s helped our communication style with our team members and our effectiveness in serving pet parents and driving our initiatives.” — Tosh Strewin, PetIQ District Manager
We spoke with District Medical Director Dr. Charron Bryant and District Manager Tosh Strewin, a PetIQ Team of Two, on how the approach is working for them — and their team members.
The Team of Two approach was implemented by PetIQ to help support our veterinarians across our network. In our Community Clinics and Wellness Centers, responsibilities are divided between two team members who manage different aspects of the practice. Veterinarians manage pets’ medical needs, handle medical decisions, and advise pet parents on pet well-being. Practice supervisors ensure the practice’s day-to-day operations, provide logistical support and manage the practice staff. This helps divide responsibility and ensure that each member of PetIQ can focus on doing what they do best!
The Team of Two approach extends beyond the practice level into directorial and managerial roles. District Medical Directors are paired with District Managers. These higher-level Teams of Two support each other in much the same way as the Teams of Two in Wellness Centers or Community Clinics. The team works together to help keep the district under their supervision running smoothly. The District Medical Director works with veterinarians and medical concerns, and the District Manager works with practice supervisors to ensure that practices run smoothly and staff feels supported.
How does the Team of Two approach benefit veterinarians?
“We start doctors and supervisors in a Team of Two from day one so that they understand who owns which questions and responsibilities in the clinic, and so that they can work in parallel to become a really strong, functional team.” – Dr. Charron Bryant
The Team of Two approach helps keep veterinarians doing what they love and do best — providing best-in-class care to pets and pet parents. By taking some of the practice management and administrative tasks off of veterinarians’ plates, they can focus on the care they provide to pets while also being supported by the practice supervisor. The Team of Two approach helps with alignment; by creating a close working relationship between practice supervisors and veterinarians, the in-practice teams operate more smoothly, learn from each other and support each other at every step. The approach creates an environment where everybody, whether operations or the medical team, can know where we stand each day coming into work and what we’re looking to accomplish.
Having the Team of Two approach operating at both the practice and directorial levels allows for vertical and horizontal alignment. PetIQ veterinarians and practice supervisors are represented across the hierarchy of our organization and have direct access to their District Medical Director or District Manager, respectively. While the Team of Two approach drives alignment in the practice, and we rarely see disputes, they can occur. Having the system reflected higher up in PetIQ’s hierarchy helps to handle practice disputes. Each party has a representative in upper management whom they have communicated directly with, who understands their position, and who has an open line of communication with their Team of Two partner.
How does it impact the work-life balance of PetIQ veterinarians?
“That’s one of the big places that we serve as a Team of Two, helping the group that we manage to have a better work-life balance.” – Dr. Charron Bryant
The Team of Two approach connects PetIQ veterinarians to our national network and provides support within the practice, often taking tasks and responsibilities that veterinarians aren’t prepared or trained for off their plates. This allows veterinarians to focus on doing what they love — caring for pets and helping pet parents. The approach also builds supportive relationships, both within the practice and between team members and their directors and managers. These relationships provide knowledge, experience, support, and guidance to veterinarians and supervisors alike and ensure that all team members benefit from a healthy work-life balance and a happy workplace. After all, happy vets mean happy pets!