Dr. Ross Clark, the Veterinary Economics Practice Management Editor and owner of Woodland West Animal Hospital and Pet Resort in Tulsa, Okla., has more tips for associate veterinarians who want to own the practice in which they currently work—or develop the skills to build or buy one in the future.
Show interest. Talk to the practice owner. Are there additional responsibilities you could take on as part of the practice management team? Could you help manage the hospital’s personnel or take charge of inventory and pharmacy orders?
Educate yourself. Attend seminars and continuing education meetings on practice management. Start a collection of management ideas from veterinary magazines, websites, and advice you’ve gathered from other practice owners. (Hint, hint, dvm360.com.)
Plan ahead. It’s difficult for new, debt-laden veterinary graduates to buy or build a practice in today’s economy. Recent graduates should discuss opportunities to buy into a practice during their interviews. If owning is your goal and no opportunity exists to buy in, take a job elsewhere.