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associate veterinarians

The Balance of Power

Take Charge

Cooperation is better than conflict, so engage an associate veterinarian in respectful conversation to achieve the practice’s objectives.

When non-DVM practice managers are tasked with supervising associate veterinarians, determining who holds the authority in certain circumstances can be tricky. Above all else, managers and associate DVMs must develop a working relationship built on trust, respect and boundaries. Their different skill sets and perspectives present opportunities to create synergy instead of competition, ultimately achieving […]

COGS

COGS Myopia

Financial Wellness

Dollars and percentages can tell different stories about the cost of goods sold. Higher numbers aren’t necessarily bad.

Nineteenth-century American humorist Josh Billings said, “It ain’t ignorance causes so much trouble; it’s folks knowing so much that ain’t so.” Three decades on, I’ve listened to practice owners, hospital managers, consultants and advisers bemoan a high cost of goods sold (COGS). Lower practice profitability is often attributed to a high COGS. But is a […]

boundaries

Trying to Keep Everything in Balance

Discharge Notes

Veterinary professionals walk a tightrope anchored at one end by work duties and at the other by life. Sometimes, it’s OK to turn around.

As I pull into the parking lot at work, I mentally kick myself. “What am I doing here? It’s my day off.” I spent the past three hours talking on the phone, driving to a client’s house, putting a pet to sleep and now unpacking supplies from my car. I had family plans for this […]

marketing

How to Streamline Your Marketing

Socially Acceptable

Identify what you aim to achieve with current and potential clients, and then set out to get better results through less effort.

Marketing is one of the last things that team members want to do when a veterinary practice is stretched thin. But remember that marketing allows you to provide clients with the information they need, facilitate online or asynchronous actions like booking an appointment or processing an online pharmacy request, and, best of all, reach a […]

digitization

The New Dawn of Digitization

Innovation Station

We are at the earliest stages of a shift of where, when and how diagnostics are used.

Diagnostics are a critical component of patient care, enabling veterinary teams to uncover information that can strengthen or refute a particular direction for diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Historically, diagnostic devices have been limited to hospital use, a model that limits access and raises the cost for significant portions of the pet-owning public. That’s what the […]

lawsuit

When Clients Sue

Legal Lingo

Empathy and communication go a long way in heading off veterinary litigation. Unfortunately, a New Jersey case shows what can happen in their absence.

If running a business isn’t difficult enough, veterinarians often worry about getting sued for malpractice or negligence. One reason they are fearful is obvious: A well-publicized lawsuit can quickly ruin a veterinarian’s career and practice. Another reason is less apparent: No one, not even an attorney, can predict the outcome of a lawsuit with certainty. […]

charitable

All for a Good Cause

Practice Smarter

Being charitable is honorable, but don’t overdo it. Consider giving each veterinarian an annual budget to spend on clients and nonprofit groups in financial need.

Every veterinary practice wishes to be charitable with nonprofit groups and disadvantaged clients, but the benevolence sometimes becomes a financial burden. In addition, having to turn down a charity or pet owner can be uncomfortable and stressful. So, let’s deal with these situations in a smarter, not harder fashion, devise a way to be generous […]

millennials

Gen M

Talk the Talk

Millennial clients aren’t too different from you in that they want the best for pets. Learning to engage them and their preferences can help seal the deal.

Not only are millennials the largest pet-owning demographic in the United States, but they recently surpassed baby boomers in veterinary spending. As you probably know, Millennials were born from 1981 to 1996, so they are now 25 to 40 years old. The generation is more educated than any other, and among bachelor’s degree holders, women […]

management

The Next Step

Getting Technical

If you fear you’re in a dead-end job, start enhancing your skills and experience so that you can move into management or pursue other veterinary opportunities.

The idea of career advancement is particularly troubling for veterinary nurses because of the perception that becoming a team leader or supervisor is the limit. That might be the reality in some veterinary practices, but it couldn’t be further from the truth in general. Pathways to advancement are numerous for people willing to invest the […]

veterinary school admissions

Stuck on the Outside

Diversity Toolbox

The veterinary school admissions process mistreats Black and brown candidates. We can do a lot better.

American poet and social activist Langston Hughes asked in his iconic poem “Harlem,” “What happens to a dream deferred?” Published in 1951, the poem spoke to the fragility and combustibility of the dreams of marginalized groups — a side effect of chronic disinvestment in their communities and, by extension, their humanity. Dreams left vulnerable to […]

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