Dr. Justine Lee is a presenter of the popular VETgirl podcast series that offers advice to veterinarians. She’s also an emergency critical care specialist, toxicologist and part-time criticalist at the Animal Emergency & Referral Center in the Twin Cities.

In other words, she’s rather experienced when it comes to animal care and the veterinary industry and she kindly agreed to take some time out from her busy schedule to share some of that knowledge with us. Read on to see what how she’s grown her social media following and what some of the most common mistakes she sees among vet owners are.

Q1. To start with, could you please tell us a little about VETgirl the podcast? What sort of things do you cover?

VETgirl, a subscription-based podcast and webinar service, offers online veterinary continuing education (CE) to veterinarians and veterinary technicians.VETgirl is designed for veterinary professionals who have time poverty and are “on the run.” With VETgirl, veterinarians can learn clinical veterinary medicine when they have time. For those who can’t afford to spend money on conference fees, flights, hotel, travel, airport food, and to hire a relief veterinarian to cover their hospital, this is a great option for getting online veterinary continuing education. For just $199/year, veterinarians can get over 20+ hours of CE a year. VETgirl ELITE members can download the podcasts that they want to listen to or watch the webinars when they have time.

Q2. You also have a very popular Twitter account. How did all this get started? What do you think is the secret to your success?

Our Twitter account @VetGirlOnTheRun isn’t quite as active as our Facebook page.

By just posting interesting veterinary content, we’ve been able to grow it quite a bit! It’s a fun way of being able to help teach and educate through our posts and tweet!

Q3. Do you also practice as a vet?

Yes, I’m not a traditional veterinarian – I’m an emergency critical care specialist and toxicologist and work as a part-time criticalists at Animal Emergency & Referral Center in the Twin Cities.

Q4. What are some common mistakes you see pet owners making?

The biggest one is not taking the time to focus on preventative medicine – it’s always healthier for your pet and less expensive for you when you can implement it before your pet gets sick! Making sure that you provide a safe environment for your pet, making sure your pet visits your veterinarian annually, is up to date on vaccines, and is heartworm and flea and tick medication is key! Also, making sure that your dog gets 30 minutes of exercise a day is key. The next mistake? Not getting appropriate dog training – I believe every dog owner – even the experienced should always do two courses of “puppy” obedience with their dogs. This is important to help prevent behavioral problems (and secondary surrenders to shelters for these problems!)

Q5. Finally, do you have any other exciting upcoming projects you’d like to mention here?

I’m passionate about delivering clinically relevant, practical veterinary lectures, and am excited to be lecturing all over the world in the next year on emergency, critical care, and toxicology. I’m also excited to continue to grow VETgirl, as I think that online veterinary continuing education will be the wave of the future. It’s convenient, it can be done from home, and with VETgirl, it’s practical and real medicine!