034: Making The World Less Mean w/ Dr. Cyndie Courtney


It’s easy to look at the news every day and feel like the world is quickly becoming a meaner, more dangerous place. Whether it’s clients, co-workers, bosses, or other people in our lives, it often feels like we’re surrounded by jerks, and are powerless to change things. However, as Dr. Cyndie Courtney shares today, we have incredible power to reshape our view of the world and to make our practices, communities, and the world, friendlier, and more inspiring places.

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Show Notes: 

Dr. Courtney practices at Grand View Animal Hospital in Missouri, as well as hosting the Veterinary Viewfinder Podcast and working on her passion project, The Jerk Project. She is an expert in more areas than one and is sharing her techniques on how to deal with disenfranchised grief, as well as her tips on her ability to respond to negative reviews with confidence, competence, and compassion.

We take a humble look at ourselves, our flaws and how we can work together to build each other up on today’s episode, which we recorded on the floor of the AVMA Conference in Denver recently.

What do you do in your daily life to make your world a better place? We’d love some new ideas, so let us know in the comments below!


In This Episode

  • A peek inside Dr. Courtney’s passion project: The Jerk Project
  • How to help your peers grow through open communication and feedback
  • Dr. Courtney's path to achieving balance by stopping saying yes to everything
  • Tools to deal with challenging people in your life
  • How to know if you are being a total jerk and need to change your behavior



“Knowing that the information I found can help other people, one of my taglines is ‘making the world less mean’. And if I can make the world a less mean place for [my son] to live in too, I think that's also something that's really worth doing.” (22:52)

“I feel like every time I turn around one of my classmates is doing something awesome. And I honestly think that a huge part of why that is, is because we had a critical mass of very positive people. And actually I’m not sure I was one of those people, but we had this critical mass of positive people who really believed in lifting each other up and if we were successful we would help each other be successful.” (25:51)

“I know its hard, but get up early on Saturday morning and go to that wet lab. I know you want to sleep in, I know you are gonna worry you might not have enough time to study, but that hands-on experience is worth its weight in gold and it's really hard to get it, especially once you graduate.” (26:43)

“We often blame, we say ‘that person is toxic, that person is a jerk, they are just a bad person, and more often than we know, its the situation that person is in, or sometimes they just don't have the same expectations.” (37:41)



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Veterinary Viewfinder Podcast

Veterinary Viewfinder Facebook Page

Vet Changes World Blog

Follow Vet Changes World on Facebook | Instagram

The Jerk Researcher

The Voices of Veterinary Medicine Podcast

The Social DVM

Cyberbullying Support for AVMA Members


Book Recommendations

Mastering Civility by Christine Porath

The Cost of Bad Behavior by Christine Pearson and Cristine Porath

The No Asshole Rule by Robert I. Sutton

The Asshole Survival Guide by Robert I. Sutton

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson



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