Go With the Flow

What about now?

When in ‘flow,’ or fully present, goals are clear. Concentration deepens when someone is in a state of ‘flow.’

Erin Kramp was one of those rare people who had it all together all the time. Whether playing the role of a successful businesswoman who served on boards of directors by her 20s, in her marriage or as a mother to her young daughter, Peyton, Erin exuded a joy of life, a sense of ease […]

VetPartners Corner

Time to revise your mission statement?

If yours doesn’t elicit an emotional feeling, try again.

Mission statements are dull, boring and useless, and so are annual performance reviews. Now that I have horrified my fellow VetPartners members, let me explain. The issue with most veterinary mission statements, which is the subject of this article, and annual performance reviews, which is not, is that they typically are done poorly. Over the […]

Money Matters

Using EBITDA can be tricky

The popular financial metric is not the most accurate method for calculating profitability or a veterinary hospital’s value.

You may hear about veterinary practice sales where the purchase price was some multiple of EBITDA. EBITDA (pronounced: ee’ bit dah) is an acronym for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. In other words, EBITDA represents net income with certain accounting expenses, namely depreciation and amortization, income taxes and interest expense, added back in. […]

Take Charge

Plot a career path in practice management

Networking, education and certification can help with professional advancement.

Like the parade of preteens who shadow our doctors each summer, I too wanted to be a veterinarian at that age. Growing up in my parents’ practice, where my mother was the owning veterinarian, my father managed the business and I pitched in wherever needed, I experienced the realities of the field. And unlike many […]

Getting Technical

Learn drug security basics

Vet techs play a key role in oversight of controlled substances.

Managing controlled substances can be a daunting task that usually falls squarely on a veterinary technician’s shoulders. Issues arise when a technician does not understand the regulations or when the hospital lacks good systems for preventing the illegal acquisition, diversion and use of controlled drugs. Federal, state and local governments regulate controlled substances. The U.S. […]

Talk the Talk

Ask the right questions at the right time

Getting to know a pet owner on a more personal level can build trust.

Imagine a 12-year-old pet diagnosed with an operable brain tumor. Most clients would struggle to decide whether to proceed with surgery. Now imagine having to make this decision twice. I know how hard these decisions are because I was that client in 2013. My beloved Papillon, Chloe, came through her first craniotomy with no complications. […]

H.R. Huddle

6 steps to effective worker discipline

Don’t rush to judgment, adhere to the employee handbook and be consistent in your follow-through.

When you see the term “problem employee,” what comes to mind? Perhaps someone in your practice makes negative comments about virtually every situation, whereas someone else may disappear whenever an unpleasant task needs to be done. Or maybe someone believes she has the correct answer for every situation, and she doesn’t follow procedure when it […]

Protect and Defend

Are you underinsured?

An introduction to the nuts and bolts of properly insuring your practice.

Finding the balance between too much and too little insurance coverage can be a challenge. How do you know where you stand? Asking your insurance company after you suffer a loss is not the way to find out. As a veterinarian now specializing in veterinary insurance and risk management, I’ve seen many cases where practice […]

Selling Points

Compete and profit on product sales

Squeezing revenue from retail isn’t that hard if you know what you’re doing.

I was traveling through the Salt Lake City airport in July 2003 when my flip phone rang. My colleague on the other end insisted that I run to the nearest newsstand to pick up the most recent copy of Consumer Reports magazine. I reluctantly complied.   There it was: a cover featuring an adorable, heart-tuggingly […]


Less pet stress and anxiety leads to better medicine

Satisfying a patient’s emotional needs requires buy-in from most or all of the veterinary team.

Our ever-changing veterinary industry has seen strong momentum toward the removal of fear, anxiety and stress in patients at general and specialty practices. While I was immediately intrigued by this initiative — popularized by Dr. Marty Becker’s Fear Free campaign — some unknowns initially presented themselves. Among them: How would this seemingly common-sense way of […]