MEET THE TEAM

Communication training that is practical, realistic and effective

The Veterinary Dialogue Trainer merges academic knowledge with practical implementation

Think of it as a flight simulator for veterinary communication.

Pilots learn to fly in a flight simulator before captaining the cockpit, while in contrast, veterinary professionals often have to learn the ropes in practice. Veterinary Dialogue Trainer helps veterinary professionals worldwide practice their communication skills in a safe environment.

  • Veterinary Dialogue Trainer functions like a video game in which the player (veterinary professional) interacts in real-time with a character (a pet owner or livestock producer)
  • Scenarios cover typical topics of conversation between a veterinary professional and client, including those identified as being most challenging
  • As the conversation progresses, the ‘player’ choosing from a set of responses based on what the ‘character’ asks or says
  • At the end of the session, the player receives a score and feedback on what they did well and what they could improve on

A qualified team behind the training

Veterinary Dialogue Trainer is led by a select group of veterinarians and communication experts with a profound interest in helping veterinary practitioners become the best possible communicators. They have published scientific research and books on communication (see below), taught communications skills training in the classroom and in the field and have given presentations on communication skills and training at leading veterinary conferences. You can be confident that the training you receive from VDT is based on years of relevant study, learned skills and experience. 

Roeland Wessels

Dr. Roeland Wessels is a veterinarian and communication strategist. He is the founder of St. Anna Advies, where he combines 15 years of communication expertise with 20 years of veterinary practice experience. Roeland graduated as veterinarian in 1995, with differentiations in farm animal medicine, livestock production and tropical veterinary medicine from Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Utrecht. In 2000, he made the switch from the veterinary world to the business world. Firstly, working as a senior communications consultant for seven years at Schuttelaar & Partners, a consultancy firm based in the Hague, and thereafter at Imagro. In early 2008, he created St. Anna Advies above the successful companion animal veterinary clinic run by himself and his wife in Nijmegen.

Michiel Hulsbergen

Michiel Hulsbergen is the CEO and founder of DialogueTrainer, the platform behind Veterinary Dialogue Trainer, developed together with the University of Utrecht. Michiel is a schooled psychologist and organization scientist and has published on emotions in organizations, emotions in education and mediation. He is also author of De Emotiekaarten/The Emotioncards (Management Impact – BOOM – Face Your Emotions), which promote a constructive view of emotions in organizations.

Jolanda Janssen

Dr. Jolanda Janssen is an experienced trainer, speaker and communication consultant with a focus on behavioural change. Her presentations and workshops for companies, veterinary practices and educational institutions are inspiring, both nationally and internationally. Jolanda studied Animal Sciences and Communication in Wageningen and obtained her PhD in 2010 focusing on effective communication strategies to improve the udder health of dairy cows.

Tessa Plagis

Dr. Tessa Plagis is a communication advisor at St. Anna Advies and is responsible for marketing and communications for Veterinary Dialogue Trainer. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Utrecht as a companion animal veterinary surgeon. Thereafter, she lived and worked in various companion animal veterinary practices in London for 3 years. During this time, she also kept herself busy as a Technical Policy Assistant at the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) in the UK and she co-authored the English version of the Veterinary Cookbook for Clienthusiasm (see below).

Steve Kirton

Steve Kirton is the President of Circa Healthcare, an animal-health focused marketing and communications agency based in the suburbs of Philadelphia, USA. Steve has spent over 20 years helping animal health companies and organizations connect with veterinarians, pet owners and livestock producers for the betterment of animals’ and peoples’ lives.

Mickey McDermott

Dr. Mickey McDermott is the Head of Content and Engagement Strategy at Circa Healthcare and has spent over 30 years in marketing and communications roles with animal health and pharma companies and at marketing communications agencies. He completed a PhD at the University of Nottingham with a research focus in veterinary communication skills and training.

Jacinthe Moreau

Jacinthe’s goal is to create a healthy and happy world for pets by leveraging and promoting those who cater to them.

Jacinthe is veterinary business professional with broad international experience and she held a variety of positions at prestigious animal health companies and veterinary hospitals. She has the ability to combine strengths in science and innovation to create effective means of communications to engage with veterinary professionals and pet owners through both traditional and novel communication means.

Publications from VDT team members:

Cookbook for Clienthusiasm

30 recipes for the veterinary clinic 3.0

A veterinary cookbook to increase, improve and finesse clients’ enthusiasm for your practice. Our collection of 30 recipes aim to expand the service, strategy, repertoire and customer experience of your own veterinary services. This is an inspiration book for practical innovation. With ideas and suggestions to turn clients into fans. A book that contributes to a future of healthy animals, happy customers, happy colleagues and a valuable practice that is ready for the challenges of the future. Available in multiple languages.

Communication in Practice

The manual specially designed for veterinarians to improve clienthusiasm

This book helps you become a more well-rounded vet, nurse or assistant. Allowing you to become a person who is excellent with animals, and even better with people. The result? Clienthusiasm! In addition to healthy animals, you have delighted clients, content co-workers and a practice prepared for the challenges of the future. That is all part of the fun of being a veterinary professional! Available in multiple languages