We are grateful to our faithful clients for trusting us with the care of their pets.
In commemoration of our one year anniversary, we thought it would be appropriate to share some insights of our owner and Medical Director, Dr. Tiffani Witten. We think you'll find her story interesting and inspiring, and give you a good idea of what we think makes our practice so special.
Dr. Witten, when did you decide you wanted to be a veterinarian?
I've been interested in caring for animals for as long as I can remember! Once I started college and worked at a veterinary hospital, I became interested in the medicine aspect of it, and I have always loved science. Combined with my passion for animals, it seemed like the perfect fit for me.
Describe your education.
I am originally from Texas and did all my education at Texas A&M University. I received a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Science in 1996 and completed my Masters of Science in Nutrition during my second year in Veterinary school. I earned my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. I completed certifications in Canine Rehabilitation in 2013 and Veterinary Acupuncture in 2014. I am dedicated to enhancing patient care and improving patient outcomes, and thus continually searching for opportunities to expand my knowledge to better serve my patients and clients.
What inspired you to create Back on Track?
In addition to all the traditional veterinary services and wellness care we offer, I wanted to offer integrative services such as the rehabilitation and acupuncture which can help so many patients. Comprehensive and compassionate care of the patient, and their owners, is important to me. We are also committed to low stress handling, using treats and praise, and keeping the atmosphere soothing, positive and caring. Our mission statement is always at the core of our practice — "To partner with pet owners as advocates for their pets in providing high-quality, ethical and compassionate whole pet care to enhance the human-animal bond and quality of life for both pets and their owners."
Describe the process for creating the practice.
There was some soul searching, and once I made the decision, I assembled my team to make it happen. I have been fortunate to have fabulous mentors who encouraged me and put me in contact with some great people to help me execute the plan. I created our mission statement early on and it hangs up front so that clients know what we are about.
Additionally, I was intimately involved with the aesthetic design of the practice from the floor plan to achieve the flow I wanted, to the color scheme and overall feel of the practice space. It was important for me to convey a calm, yet welcoming and warm atmosphere for not only clients, but our staff as well.
Ultimately, in creating this practice, the support I received from family and friends is immeasurable and humbling.
How did you build your team?
Our employees have been working with me for years. They supported my vision and wanted to be a part of our practice. Their patient care and skills are top notch and they are a key part of why our patients are so well cared for! They embrace our core principles of compassionate patient and client care and help to make it happen every day. I value their input and abilities and appreciate them in ways I can not express. I always love to hear clients brag on them as I feel the exact same way!
What were the early weeks and months like for the practice?
Because we offer some novel services and wanted the customer experience to be different, it was a dynamic and learning experience to meet all of our goals. It was also exciting and challenging. We were also dealing with some new software which took an adjustment.
Describe your first year in practice.
Gratifying, dynamic, exciting, and at times, tiring.
Were there any pitfalls or lessons learned?
I am not afraid of "failing" and I subscribe to the mindset that within every failure there is a lesson to be learned and an opportunity to make myself, or our practice better. That's how you learn and grow. I will be the first to admit sometimes that is easier said than done, as my expectations are high and I am demanding of myself and our staff. What's uppermost in my mind? Always the intent behind the action — I believe if you put good out you will get good back. That applies to life as well as work.
How is Back on Track different from other veterinary clinics?
Because I have worked in several practices from the time I was 19, and worked with some great people, I had a clear idea of what aspects I liked and what I didn't want to bring in to the new hospital. Compassionate patient and client care always comes first, whether we are dealing with a regular vaccine appointment, a sick patient, educating clients to better care for their pets, working with our rehab and acupuncture patients, or grooming pets.
We like our clients to be involved with their pet care and realize they are a vital part of their pets quality of health. We also want to have a truly tailored approach to each patient that addresses that particular pet and owner's lifestyle and needs.
How do you measure success?
Let me count the ways I measure success in my practice: dogs who come in wagging their tails and happy to be in the hospital, cats willing to come out of their carriers in our cat-only room, clients who are happy to see their pets having a better overall experience, seeing sick patients get better, seeing rehab and acupuncture patients get stronger and feeling less pain, bonding over a commitment to better health for their pets with clients, and appreciating and loving our staff.
How does it feel to be celebrating your first year?
It's honestly gone by so fast — its surreal and I'm looking forward to growing the practice and continuing to make it better.
What do you see in the future for Back on Track?
We are continuing to grow and develop our various programs and making the client and patient experience comprehensive while always keeping our core principles in mind. It is important to me to improve efficiency, enhance client education, and manage our time well.
What final message do you have for your clients?
To continue to meet our objectives to do the things our clients love, as well as grow the practice, we tremendously value input about how we are doing. I invite our clients to use our Customer Comments form and social media accounts to let us know how we're doing and what we can do to improve service. We also love getting pictures of all our pets that we see!