Keeping it all in the veterinarian's family

Keeping it all in the veterinarian's family

Dr. Griffith hired his son as his practice manager, and it's one of the best choices he made during the launch of his new clinic.
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Oct 01, 2011

Dr. Scott Griffith (pictured right) has launched several practices in his almost 30 years of practice, so naturally he's worked with a fair share of practice managers. But he says he found the perfect match by looking a little closer to home.

Dr. Griffith's son, Lee (pictured left), is an ASE-certified mechanic who was working at a local Mitsubishi/Suzuki dealership when his father recruited him to help run The French Quarter Vet practice. "Lee worked as a mechanic and service writer for the dealership, so he's been trained in the corporate world in customer service," Dr. Griffith says. "He totally gets giving estimates and trying to portray the value of your services, because he came from a business where people come in angry at the world, and dealerships aren't cheap."

Dr. Griffith says his son's communication skills were a good match for what he was looking for. And to help Lee learn more about the veterinary industry, Dr. Griffith sent him to CVC. "He went to CVC in Baltimore for his initial training, and then we both went to CVC in D.C. the next year," Dr. Griffith says. "He's just progressed light-years." (Head to http://thecvc.com/ to register for CVC San Diego Oct. 26-30.)

Lee Griffith has assumed most of the management responsibilities, freeing Dr. Griffith to enjoy the practice of veterinary medicine. While Dr. Griffith says he has input on management issues, the weight is off his shoulders so he can focus on diagnosing, treating, and practicing medicine.

Dr. Griffith says the difference between his son and his previous managers stems from an attitude of investment. His son, he says, is passionate about the practice's success and has the advantage of knowing his father so well that he can sometimes predict his needs and preferences. And while they don't always agree, Dr. Griffith says they can usually find common ground and come up with solutions to challenges that keep the practice moving forward.

"And working with—I get choked up about it—working with my son, it's been magical," he says. "He and I have always been close. But for us to be in this business and see it grow from day one, it's so much fun."

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