A dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Mary Gardner is able to draw on a wide range of career experiences and life lessons to educate and motivate diverse audiences. Her presentations cover a variety of topics, and encourage both professional and personal growth within the veterinary industry and beyond. Ironically, veterinary medicine was not her first career choice.
After graduating from the University of Miami, she began working as a Technical Business Architect for an order and supply chain management software company. Her innate talent for understanding logistics in a client-centric organization developed a unique skill set for a veterinarian. After 10 years in software she found herself longing for something different and more meaningful – the path she selected was to become a veterinarian. She completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2008 from the University of Florida.
After spending two years in general practice, her friend and fellow UF graduate, Dr. Dani McVety, reached out to her about partnering in Lap of Love, which offered end of life services for pets and had been flourishing in the year that she began its service. Together they took the company from one veterinarian in Tampa to over 130 veterinarians around the country.
Dr. Mary leads development for Lap of Love's proprietary web-based practice management software called Sunshine. The program is specifically designed for veterinary hospice and euthanasia services and also dynamically ties to the Lap of Love website to allow families the ability to locate the veterinarian closest to them. Throughout the years, she has also developed The Pet Hospice Journal, an online Quality of Life Assessment program, as well as the first Quality of Life App (Grey Muzzle), both of which are free to the public. She received the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Florida in 2016 and was voted the veterinarian to watch in 2018 by Fetch/DVM360.
Geriatric medicine, the aging process in animals and teaching family’s practical ways to care and manage their elder pets is Dr. Mary’s passion. Dr. Mary is on the advisory board of The Grey Muzzle Organization as well as Prized Pals.
Dr. Mary writes and speaks for professional and lay audiences on geriatric medicine, assessing quality of life, hospice, and end of life care. She has spoken at VMX, AVMA, WVC, Fetch, state VMA's, IAAHPC, professional sales meetings, veterinary schools and animal hospitals around the country. She was also honored with presenting the keynote address to the graduating Class of 2014 Oregon State Veterinary Medicine students and gave the keynote at Ontario VMA in 2017. Dr. Mary was voted the Veterinarian to Watch in 2018 by Fetch/DVM360.
Upcoming And Recent Events
Get Your Veterinary Grove Back The Art of Euthanasia Body Language for the Exam Room Verbal Impact Don't Upsell ... Up Serve
Body Language for the Exam Room | Marketing Trends for 2017 | Assessing Quality of Life | Veterinary Geriatric Medicine | Post Mortum Requests | Aggressive Pet Euthanasia
Drs. Dani McVety and Mary Gardner receiving the Gator 100 Award for the 3rd time.
What Matters Most in the End - Geriatric Medicine Assessing Quality of Life Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul - Pet Loss The Art of Euthanasia Body Language UpServe don't UpSell
The Old and the Restless - Caring for the Geriatric Patient
Veterinary Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and End of Life Care
Get your veterinary groove back
Being in the veterinary world is amazing and the dream of many people. But the reality and statistics are not so wonderful with many facing burn out, client compliance frustration, compassion fatigue and even much worse. We must not let our dreams become buried under stress, discouragement, rejection, fatigue and negative voices. Instead learn how to find fulfillment, passion and love for veterinary medicine again – regardless of the path you take in this industry. Your dream may be buried, but the good news is that it’s still alive. (1 hour)
Mapping and Building an Amazing Client Experience
The best way to earn the trust of your clients is to build an amazing client experience regardless of what your 'product' is. What is your differentiating attribute that sets your client experience apart from the competitors? Learn ways to map the client experience in your organization and not just gain complaint clients but committed evangelists. (1 hour)
Motivate your Staff and be an Effective Leader
Motivation is a combination of factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job. Employees that are motivated work with a sense of pride, energy, drive and are less likely to seek work elsewhere. On the flip side – an unmotivated employee can be toxic to the entire practice and will lead to attrition. Learn what it means to be a motivated and effective leader in your clinic. This presentation is good for all staff members from receptionists to the veterinarian. (1 hour)
Publications and Interviews
Join Lap of Love co-founder, Dr. Mary Gardner, and Seth as they to share with us a huge lifestage in our patients that, to be honest, we don’t pay much attention to… but we should. Dr. Mary is one
"Treatment and Care of the Geriatric Veterinary Patient" offers veterinarians a complete guide to treating and managing geriatric canine and feline patients.
"Chronic Disease Management for Small Animals" provides a complete resource for the long-term care and therapy of canine and feline patients with incurable conditions. Offering practical strategies for successful management of chronic disorders, the book presents expert guidance on handling these ailments and the animals that they afflict.
Written by leading experts in their respective fields, Chronic Disease Management for Small Animals takes a multidisciplinary approach to the subject, covering chronic diseases across many categories, including mobility, dermatology, ophthalmology, internal medicine, and more. The book is not meant to replace existing textbooks, but is designed to be used as a practical guide that educates the reader about the many therapeutic options for chronic disease management. Coverage encompasses:
"Chronic Disease Management for Small" Animals is an essential reference for recently qualified and seasoned practitioners alike, supporting clinicians in making decisions and communicating with clients regarding long-term care. It is an ideal book for all small animal practitioners and veterinary students.
Dr. Mary also recommends the following books:
"Dr Gardner is engaging and hilarious and her passion for geriatric and end of life medicine is so obvious during her lectures. She is one of the best veterinary lecturers I’ve ever seen, and I always catch her series at conferences when she’s there." VMX 2018 Attendee
"I never knew I could laugh and cry so much in one lecture!"
Dr. Mary is a dynamic, engaging speaker and she delivered a fantastic keynote that resonated with our delegates! I’ve seen many keynote presentations but I’ve never seen someone captivate a thousand plus people, the way she did. Her energetic style created amazing rapport with the entire room and she had people laughing and shedding a few tears. A full day of sessions dedicated to one speaker passed quickly and everyone wanted more! Dr. Mary is adept at handling a wide variety of topics - all pertinent - with thoughtfulness, humor and grace as she tackles some sensitive but essential topics. Our delegates walked away feeling inspired, empowered and ignited about their future and career path while gaining some practical skills they could put into action immediately. She is definitely on the top of our list (and our members’ list) for any speaking event for our organization.
Ontario Veterinary Medical Association
I recently attended the NAVC in Orlando Florida earlier this month and I attended the lectures put on by Dr. Dani McVety and Dr. Mary Gardner. First let me start by saying how truly amazing they both are! I have to be honest, I had decided before the conference that I was going to attend the whole day on Veterinary Hospice and I thought to myself "how depressed am I going to be after a full day of listening about death"? To be honest, it was the complete opposite! I left feeling inspired, touched and ready to go home, sit down with my bosses and discuss with them how we can incorporate a hospice program into our hospital! I've always said "a bad end of life experience at the vet, can end a long term relationship between a veterinarian and the client"! I've seen it happen!
They gave me so many great ideas and you can tell just by listening to them that they love what they do and that they are passionate and amazing at it!! I have pages of notes to over with my bosses who are very open and eager for me to getting the ball rolling in this process! I also want to say how great the website Lap Of Love is! It has so much information for clients and for us! Dr. McVety or Dr. Gardner, thank you both SO VERY MUCH for everything you do to help our furry friends and us! You are both truly amazing and inspirations to me!"
Renee Hotaling LVT
Sand Creek Animal Hospital - Albany, NY
“As a veterinary student, it is very easy to be so overwhelmed by school such that I forget why I work as hard as I do. Two women that constantly remind me who I am and who I want to be as a veterinarian are Drs. Mary Gardner and Dani McVety, whose sound advice and leadership has been invaluable. I have had the pleasure of taking part in several of their numerous motivating lectures including diversifying from mainstream career tracts and how to communicate what I want without words in less-than-ideal situations. I have even completed a resource project for them to help families with terminally ill pets through difficult times. These amazing women continually remind me that the only limitations we have are set by ourselves and anything we want bad enough and work hard enough for can be realized. These inspiring women have formed from scratch not only an amazing business but a new discipline in our field. Even more than that, they are paving the way for future doctors like myself to become more that what we would have been had they not been a part of our lives.”
Ashley S. Pott
Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine
“Dr. Gardner spoke to a group of veterinary students this year about how we could make an impact as future leaders. She had no difficulty capturing the full attention of the audience right away, and her warm, vibrant personality and humor engaged us throughout the entire presentation. Although it was a large lecture hall setting with quite a diverse group of people, her sincere passion for veterinary medicine and for people definitely resonated with each of us. I was very impressed by how effectively she communicated her message, and it was an experience that left me feeling inspired and empowered.”
University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine AAHA Team Leader
“I have never been so encouraged and intrigued by any presenter so far, Dr. Mary's positive energy is something refreshing that we need here at PennVet. It was a huge change of pace to hear her talk about grades and test scores versus what you feel truly matters for a practicing veterinarian and for a new grad seeking employment. Dr. Mary was honest with the students and didn't make us feel in anyway inferior for taking any specific path that we desire in our careers. She truly made me believe anything is possible for my future even though I am not top of my class and made me feel more confident in my abilities as a clinician despite not getting an A on that test. Dr. Mary came in with an agenda unlike any other speaker, she did not try to sell us on doing an internship or specializing, she simply helped us realize that whatever we want to be is good enough.”
“Dr. Gardner came to talk to us about the reasons why we need to find our passion in our career in order to truly appreciate and find happiness in what we do. She stressed the importance of constantly finding challenges in our life in order to grow as doctor. She discussed how she started her own business and gave us advice on how to become a successful entrepreneur. Overall, her talk was motivational and gave us inspiration to find our own niche within the veterinary field.”
Oregon State University - College of Veterinary Medicine
“Dr. Mary Gardner is more than an inspiring innovator in vet medicine. With her background, she has no trouble bridging veterinary medicine and technology. She’s fantastic at condensing an overwhelming and seemingly unapproachable topic like internet marketing into easily achievable goals. She provides relevant, innovative information to a student audience while maintaining a great level of engagement and fun. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to know this wonderful woman and leader in the field!”
“When it comes to speaking engagements, I believe that Mary is truly the best of both worlds- she combines a true mastery of social media, technology, and veterinary medicine with a witty humor that keeps her audience entertained and engaged. In “Finding Your Niche,” Mary shared relevant and interesting details of her life which made her relatable and likable to our [student] audience. In her “30 Free Marketing Strategies” talk, Mary revealed the tips and tricks of online search engines to can make my website or webpage more relevant and accessible almost instantly. Her humor, friendly disposition, and humble intelligence all lend to her ability to make me feel as though she already knew me and the rest of the audience on a personal level.”
"Mary Gardner presented what could have been a sad, emotional topic with such enthusiasm, humor, and compassion that I learned so much and will bring that knowledge to our clinic. It will improve our handling of euthanasia tremendously."
Oregon VMA Attendee