Q&A: Questions on compensation

Q&A: Questions on compensation

How to deal with difficult salary issues.
Sep 01, 2008

Q: I want to switch my associate to ProSal (production plus salary compensation), but I'm not sure how much her guaranteed salary should be. Her total compensation is 24.9 percent of her production. Her current wages are 18 percent ($66,400), so the balance is licenses, social security, vacation, medical insurance, and so on.

Mark Opperman
Mark Opperman, CVPM, Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and owner of VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo., suggests you provide a guaranteed base equal to or nearly equal to what she received in salary last year—roughly $66,000. "Hopefully, your associate will exceed that next year with the added incentive of ProSal," he says.

Q: Right now I pay salaries and periodic bonuses at my practice. We employ six doctors, and one is dedicated to surgery. How do I award bonuses to the surgeon when all procedures are billed in the system to other doctors? And what percentage of production should doctors receive when they don't perform procedures?

Your dilemma is common but complicated, Opperman says. If you aren't doing so already, separate out what the general practitioners do and what the surgeon does. The rule behind ProSal production credit is simple: Production is defined as income generated and collected for services a doctor formally delivers. So, for example, if a doctor treats a patient as an outpatient or in an emergency, the doctor in the exam room gets the credit. If the patient is referred to the surgeon for a procedure, the surgeon gets credit for that procedure. After surgery, when the case is referred back to the general practitioner, the GP gets the credit again. Doctors referring cases to the surgeon don't get credit for the surgical procedures.

As for percentages, a surgeon should get the same percentage as a general practitioner. The surgeon makes more money because he or she charges more for services.

Hot topics on dvm360

Veterinarians: Your clients are going to Google with these cat questions

Search engine shares the top 10 questions people asked about dogs and cats in 2014.

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.