For me practice ownership carries many responsibilities, but the rewards overwhelmingly compensate for any hardship.
What I value is the independence in decision making, the freedom to practice the quality of medicine I want, and the ability
to create a work environment that attracts good employees and fosters good patient care. Ownership has fostered financial
opportunities I would not have had otherwise. Also, as practice owner I have a position of prestige and respect within the
community and camaraderie with other veterinary practice owners that I enjoy. Lastly, being a practice owner allows me to
control my schedule, which allowed me to take a two-month sabbatical in 2010.
On the down side, being a practice owner carries responsibility. The bottom line falls on your shoulders, and ultimately you
determine the practice's reputation and financial stability. When something goes wrong, whether with a patient's care or a
client miscommunication, you are the one to investigate and determine how to remedy the situation. You maintain your physical
plant, make decisions on how best to reinvest in your business, and set the mood on a day-to-day basis, which can be daunting.
These responsibilities create stress that must be managed every day.
However, despite the challenges that come with being a practice owner, I would not have it any other way.
—Dr. Peter G. Fisher, owner for 26 years, Pet Care Veterinary Hospital, Virginia Beach, Va.