What Makes a Veterinary Practice Financially Successful?

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Alan Robinson, BVSc, MRCVS, DMS, director of VetDynamics UK Ltd, explains that a successful veterinary practice is not an overnight sensation. For most veterinary offices, it is a 3- to 5-year progression.

In making the shift towards becoming financially successful, Dr. Robinson says veterinary practices must improve their pricing models and reinvest their profits into control mechanisms, such as better communication systems. He also says it’s important to put structures in place that make different people responsible for various parts of the business – the marketing, finance, clinical and human resources.

Successful veterinary practices also have key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure their business, client care, patient care, team harmony and finances.

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Qualities of a Successful Veterinary Leader

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Dawn Burdette, executive director of sales, leadership and development at Henry Schein Animal Health, talks about the qualities of a successful leader in a veterinary practice.

A leader in the veterinary practice needs to understand that they do have a lot of responsibility, Burdette says. Practice leaders are responsible for creating the culture and vision in their practice, and they are responsible for inspiring those in the practice to follow them.

Being a leader in not innate, Burdette says, it’s a skill you actually have to work at and hone.

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Is the Veterinary Profession Diverse?

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“It’s been stated, and I think the New York Times had an article and they declared that the veterinary profession was the whitest profession in the country,” says Joseph Taboada, DVM, DACVIM, professor and associate dean at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, “and there’s definitely truth to that. We have a diverse profession in one way, we don’t have a diverse profession in terms of ethnicity and races, and it’s improving.

If you look at the statistics that the AAVMC has put out, the number of underserved minority students is increasing and with that the number of underserved minority veterinarians is increasing. But it’s still much lower—much, much lower—than the population at large, and we’re a profession that serves the population at large. We can’t serve it to the best that we can unless we look more like it.

So, it’s an area that we have to make inroads in, and we have to do through the development of the pipeline so that our pools that we’re drawing our students from looks more like society as a whole. And we also have to figure out how to make our cultures more inclusive so that when we do get especially these people that are coming now where they truly are much more of a minority within the school than they are within society as a whole, that they feel that that’s a very welcoming environment to them. So, those are the things that we really have to work on—making our cultures and our environments more welcoming and more inclusive, while at the same time increasing the pipeline so that the pools of students that we’re drawing our students from just looks like society and therefore will reflect society more than it does today.”

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