A Survival Guide to Veterinary Trade Publications
"It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so." – Mark Twain
Let’s focus on the problem here: we are overwhelmed with the various ways to stay abreast of the latest in veterinary medicine. Veterinary journals, newsletters, and magazines abound. Add in conference proceedings, local continuing education opportunities, email pearls, and some newer (awesome) digital offerings (heard of VetGirl yet?), and it is hard to know where to start.
Circa 2008, like a good little budding veterinarian, I entered my veterinary internship and promptly subscribed to all the trade magazines and research journals I could find. Then I kicked back and watched them pile up under my desk.
One night I heard a tiny squeak from the corner of my bedroom. You guessed it. I found my newly adopted kitten buried in a pile of crisp unread JAVMAs. It was time to pare down my subscriptions to a more manageable level!
The following survival guide will help you focus on some of the most useful of the magazines out there.
What is a Veterinary Trade Magazine? Call them what you will – trade magazines, journals, news magazines, conference publications: most are free, peer-reviewed, and almost all of them have digital (techy!) versions.
Including research journals (think JVECCS or JAVMA), according to industry sources the average veterinarian subscribes to 6-8 trade publications.
Who Has Time to Read These!? No one does! Not in the traditional sense of the word “read” anyway.
Like a renegade mother allowing her children to play ball in the house, I’m advocating for you NOT to read: instead skim with a purpose and make smarter use of your precious time. Orthopedic medicine bores me so I rarely read full articles on the topic. Immune-mediated disorders in the emergency room? Now we’re talking – I seldom miss a word. (sound the nerd siren).
Combine this browsing technique with your newfound use of Google Drive (VMD Tech’s 2-Part Series on Using Google Drive) and you have a reading plan that will leverage technology so that all that reading is for a purpose.
That purpose? Building your own digital library! Now up-to-date articles are at your fingertips when you need them for your cases.
Ready? Below is your survival guide to our profession’s trade magazine offerings (excluding research journals for now).
Top 6 Medical Resources for Doctors
1. Clinician’s Brief This is the official publication the North American Veterinary Community (they run one of the largest veterinary conferences on the planet – the NAVC Conference). The peer-reviewed Clinician’s Brief is one of my favorite journals.
Clinician’s Brief covers a broad range of small animal and exotic topics in a current, evidence-based, and, best of all, very visually appealing manner.
What really sets Clinician’s Brief apart? The ability to read (and download) their articles in PDF format. Sound the nerd siren again: easy building of that Digital Library!
Published monthly, Clinician’s Brief is FREE both in print and digitally for most veterinarians.
Find Clinician’s Brief online at www.cliniciansbrief.com.
2. Compendium Headquartered in VMD Tech’s backyard, the Greater Philadelphia area, VetLearn publishes this terrific journal. Compendium has 30 years of reputation as one of the most high-quality and peer-reviewed trade monthly trade magazines for veterinarians.
Unfortunately for my barn-frequenting compadres, Compendium Equine has been discontinued. You can still find archived Compendium Equine articles online here: www.vetfolio.com/vetlearn.
Compendium articles cover a broad range of small animal topics and can also be downloaded as PDF files for you digital library freaks. The monthly publication is very manageable – usually only containing one or two articles.
What makes Compendium different? While the articles are FREE, they are only published in digital format at this time. That’s right, no pile of old magazines squashing kittens. Win!
You can get email alerts when new articles are posted by signing up for their free newsletter.
Find Compendium online at www.vetfolio.com/vetlearn.
3. Standards of Care This little-known but excellent resource was produced by a collaborative effort of Compendium and the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society.
The key word here: “was”. It has unfortunately been discontinued.
So how could this possibly make the list? The archives (in PDF format to boot) are still relevant and available on a variety of emergency and critical care topics.
What sets these articles apart is that they are evidence-based, authored by experts in their field, and are focused on the most clinically relevant parts of each topic formatted into an appealing “cookbook” style.
Find Standards of Care online at www.vetfolio.com/vetlearn
4. Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Medicine is another peer-reviewed monthly publication covering a broad range of small animal clinical content. Their articles are also very well done and FREE (both print and online magazine).
The online content is found on the DVM360 website, which is admittedly a bit harder to navigate than some of the other magazine websites. Also, they have elected NOT to provide PDF versions of the articles for download (boo, hiss).
The good news? This magazine can be accessed on the new awesome DVM360 iPad app. Phew!
Find Veterinary Medicine online at www.dvm360.com.
5. Today’s Veterinary Practice
Also based out of the Philadelphia area, Today’s Veterinary Practice is the new kid on the block.
Their content is similar to Veterinary Medicine and Clinician’s Brief but Today’s Veterinary Practice aims to be well-rounded, containing both clinical and practice management content. They also have fewer articles in each edition (think more manageable).
Subscriptions are FREE in both print and digital formats to all veterinarians, technicians, and students.
Find Today’s Veterinary Practice online at www.todaysveterinarypractice.com.
6. Veterinary Focus This quarterly publication from Royal Canin is over 20 years old, published in several languages, and can be accessed digitally for FREE on the IVIS website.
The articles contain a more international approach and are only published quarterly (think manageable). They are visually appealing, peer-reviewed, and available in PDF format online.
For all of you budding techies: Veterinary Focus now has their own Android and Apple app that allows you to view this magazine on your tablet devices!
Find Veterinary Focus online at www.ivis.org.
Have You Seen VMD Tech’s Top 15 Veterinary Websites? »
Top 4 Practice Manager and Technician Resources
1. Veterinary Economics Vet Economics, commonly known as the issuer of the industry’s “Hospital of the Year” title, is a practice management staple. It is an overall excellent magazine on all things business in veterinary medicine.
Like DMV360’s other digital resources, Veterinary Economics online is harder to navigate with no PDF versions offered.
With that said, it can be accessed on the new DVM360 iPad app.
Find Veterinary Economics online at www.dvm360.com.
2. AAHA Trends
Trends Magazine is the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) top-notch practice management magazine for veterinary professionals. It is published eight times per year and is useful for associates and practice managers.
Why do I love Trends? Their articles are well written and often cover innovative ways to use technology in practice. Score one for the techies! They also highlight clinical topics from time to time.
Unfortunately, their digital content is limited to a digital version of the magazine, with no ability to download their useful articles in PDF format.
Trends is free for AAHA members but non-members can subscribe for $60 per year.
Find Trends Magazine online at www.aahanet.org.
3. Veterinary Team Brief
This is Clinician’s Brief’s sister magazine aimed at improving the entire veterinary team through practice management, team training, and human resource topics. It is currently sporting a new name and a new visually appealing format. This is one publication to watch – the fine folks at Brief Media are laser focused on making this a top publication for our profession, including a growing list of clinical topics.
Veterinary Team Brief is FREE both in print and digitally to US veterinary practice employees. It is available free digitally for all veterinary professionals worldwide.
Find Veterinary Team Brief online at www.veterinaryteambrief.com.
4. Veterinary Technician
Veterinary Technician is another industry staple earning 30 years of reputation in continuing education for veterinary technicians.
The articles are top-notch, cover a wide range of species, and the topics are peer-reviewed.
Find Veterinary Technician online here www.vetfolio.com/vetlearn.
Top 3 Veterinary News Resources
1. DVM Newsmagazine
I’ll start by saying that I’ve been reassured that this magazine is for practicing VMD’s as well.
Another offering from DVM360.com, this is one of the leading news publications for veterinary medicine. Here you can find a range of both species and topics. Few other magazines provide veterinary articles meant to give clinical content, industry updates, practice management articles, and entertainment.
DVM Newsmagazine is published monthly and is FREE for all veterinarians in print, digital, or over the DVM360.com iPad app. Broken record alert: no PDFs are offered here.
Find DVM Newsmagazine here www.dvm360.com.
2. Veterinary Practice News
Veterinary Practice News is another leading veterinary news magazine published. Like DVM Newsmagazine, this contains a range of topics from clinical content to industry updates to practice management articles.
Veterinary Practice News is FREE to US or Canadian veterinary professionals.
Find Veterinary Practice News online here www.veterinarypracticenews.com.
3. VIN News Service
Launched in 2008 as a free online news source for veterinary professionals everywhere, the VIN News Service aims to cover topics specifically relevant to veterinarians and veterinary team members.
I like it because it is not published too frequently and sticks to topics I don’t often hear about elsewhere (such as a recent article about the FDA Hetastarch warning and how it applies to veterinarians).
While there is no official publication, their website (and Twitter feed) is a great way to keep up with pertinent industry news not covered by other sources.
While there, don’t miss the related Drug and Food Recall Center.
Find the VIN News Service here news.vin.com.
About the Author
Dr. Caleb Frankel is an ER veterinarian, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He currently divides his time between two roles: emergency veterinarian at VSEC, a 70-doctor referral hospital in Greater Philadelphia, PA (USA) and the founder of Instinct Science, a new animal health company helping the world’s state-of-the-art veterinary practices streamline their care through medically-driven invoicing and thoughtful automation.
He served as Director of New Product Development at Brief Media for 4 years where he lead the development and launch of products such as Plumb's Veterinary Drugs and New York Vet. Follow Dr. Frankel on Twitter @VMDtechnology.