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Calling All Superheroes

Creative Disruption

The veterinary profession isn’t doing enough to keep pace with the skyrocketing number of pet owners. We need more DVM graduates, and we must make better use of technicians and technology. 

The demand for veterinary services is growing and the supply of veterinary professionals is not, which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing for millions of new pet owners who benefit from a fur baby’s unconditional love. A curse in figuring out how best our profession can deal with the growing need for […]

real estate

Unfinished Business

Financial Wellness

Veterinary practices are fetching record sales prices, but what about the real estate itself? You have a few choices if you also own the property.

The veterinary profession is seeing record-setting revenues as the percentage of households owning small animals continues to grow. In addition, surging demand for quality veterinary care has pushed practice valuations to record highs. Corporate consolidators and private equity investors realize that now is an excellent time to purchase veterinary clinics and earn solid long-term returns […]

artificial intelligence

Open Your Mind to AI

Innovation Station

Thanks to technology and the power of artificial intelligence, more of yesterday’s referral patients can be diagnosed at today’s primary care practices.

The son of a veterinarian, I grew up in a clinic and, like many of my colleagues, knew from my earliest memory that I would become a veterinarian. My recollection of companion animal practice revolves around large shifts in the industry. I remember hearing the word “parvovirus” in the late 1970s, when I was a […]

hazardous waste

Risky Business

Getting Technical

How you handle, store and dispose of medical waste is strictly regulated, so make sure to do your homework.

Processing medical waste can be an overwhelming responsibility within a veterinary practice. Team members should be aware of and follow specific guidelines when dealing with infectious waste, biohazardous waste, and anatomical or pathological waste. Questions we often face and must know the answers to include “What constitutes hazardous waste?” and “How do we handle, store […]


Think Outside the Box

Socially Acceptable

All your marketing doesn’t have to come from within the four walls of your practice. Experienced, knowledgeable service providers are ready for hire.

Doing all your marketing in-house is great if you have the time, personnel and skill, but outsourcing at least part of it can improve efficiency and deliver new ideas and strategies. Here is some guidance. Q: When should I consider outsourcing my marketing work? A: I’m a firm believer that the best marketing content is […]


The Gift of Gab

Talk the Talk

A well-trained CSR team will confidently and knowledgeably engage clients. The return on investment is greater efficiency.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the question, “Do you want it done fast or right?” You might respond, “Both!” Here’s another question: Would you rather have a client service representative (CSR) spend three minutes or six minutes quoting fees over the phone to a potential client? Given how busy your practice is, you’d prefer three minutes. But […]


How Healthy Is Your Cybersecurity?

Innovation Station

Veterinary telemedicine providers aren’t doing enough to protect themselves and their clients from hackers.

Are you considering implementing or expanding veterinary telemedicine? Are you concerned about the security of the information transmitted back and forth? You should be. Cybercrime is on the rise in incidence, severity and sophistication. Stories about ransomware continuously dominate headlines. Health care is increasingly at risk of cyberattacks that can cause significant losses, both operationally […]

pandemic future

The Next Chapter

Practice Smarter

At some point, you might want to roll back changes you made because of the pandemic. In the meantime, remember to update your fees regularly and re-engage clients with whom you lost touch.

I often wondered over the past year when I would be able to write this article, but today I see signs of optimism. What will life look like when we are out of the pandemic, and how must we adapt to the reality that follows? First, let’s take a quick look back. Although COVID-19 took […]


Take the Fear Out of Injections


A series of small steps will pay off with a happier pet, a relieved client and stress-free return visits.

One of my clients used to joke that she did more shopping when she saw me at the veterinary hospital than she did at the grocery store or on Amazon. She’d buy food for all four of her pets, chronic medications, heartworm and flea/tick preventives, treats, toys, harnesses, toothbrushes, and even ID tags and collars. […]

veterinary boss employee

Hunger Pangs, Bad Behavior and Equipment Envy

Opening Shots

Opening Shots columnist Dr. Ernie Ward answers your questions.

Q: We’re super busy and probably understaffed. I’m OK that we never get to eat lunch, but my boss gets frustrated when I sit down to grab water and snacks in between appointments. What can I do? A: I feel your pain and hunger. Tell your boss that I’m frustrated by the number of veterinarians […]