VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Aug 1, 2005 - Veterinary Economics
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VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Aug 1, 2005
Industry Issues
Forever indebted: Graduates struggle with loans
Increased educational costs have new graduates struggling with more debt than ever before. Yet most feel confident they can carry the weight.
How long do clients spend waiting?
Data shows that if your clients arrive during a busy time, their average wait for check-in and check-out can hit 21 to 29 minutes during a 42- to 49-minute visit. That's almost half their time at the practice.
When helping others hurts you
Nearly 30 percent of practitioners are at risk for compassion fatigue. Would you recognize the symptoms and know what to do?
Looking forward to a prosperous year
As owners spend oodles on pets, you're seeing more business. And you're managing your practice better than ever before. Is there a downside?
Pet spending in America and abroad
Fifty-three percent of respondents to the AAHA 2004 Pet Owner Survey say they're spending more today on pet products and services than they did three years ago. However, the overall increase in pet spending is less than in recent years.
Cover story
Know your clients to better serve your patients
Nearly 90 percent of practitioners say they chose veterinary medicine because they wanted to work with animals or liked science and medicine. But, clearly, a human sets up the appointment and writes the check. Here's what you need to know about your clients.
Using technology to connect with clients
Your colleagues generally aren't making tracks to the forefront of technology. Could you benefit from adopting a higher-tech approach?
The best cities for people and pets
Where you choose to live affects your career opportunities, your personal happiness, and even the health of the patients you see. Does your city rank among the best?
Equine Solutions
Revenue negotiations: Talking smart
A good negotiator earns up to $31,000 more a year. But pay heed; bad negotiations can cost you big. Are you letting too much money trot off?
Managing Smart
Getting a grip on biannual exams
Even Well-Managed Practices aren't seeing many patients for twice-yearly exams—proof that the idea hasn't caught on yet. Use these strategies to educate your clients about the benefits.
We know where you spend your Saturdays
Almost 90 percent of you are are at work. Maybe it's time to buck the trend.
Delegating helps you keep a great team
Yes, it can be hard to trust other people to manage the tasks you've been doing. But effective delegation makes for happier staff members who feel genuinely appreciated.
Team members make strong recommendations
Use these strategies to harness your team members' power to drive client compliance and revenue—and improve your patients' health.
Three services that boost revenue
Your colleagues use these programs to improve care and raise revenue. Would a similar approach work for you?
Working through key transitions
Taking the next big step in practice? Whether you're adding a doctor to the team, making the jump to partner, or taking on a remodeling or building project, we've got the right advice.
Do you have what employees want?
Associates and support staff weigh in on the factors that attract them—and keep them on the job. Is your practice attractive to potential team members? (And is it equally attractive to potential buyers?)
Critical maintenance for chain of command
Data shows team members are in search of stronger leadership. So prevent kinks in teamwork and breaks in communication by taking these six critical steps—and set a positive tone for the practice.
Growth Bulletin
Case Study: Tap Retired Workers to Make Callbacks
For 12 years, Dr. Steve Bishop and his crew at Animal Care Hospital in Phoenix have been tapping the retired population to make callbacks in the early evening. Doing so frees time for receptionists to work on other jobs, he says. "Plus, the hourly pay is less than for a receptionist, and the workers are more flexible with their time."
Personal Growth
DVMs are happy at work and with life
Despite occasional grumbles about life balance, the latest Veterinary Economics survey shows that 88 percent of practitioners find their normal level of stress manageable—and they're enjoying their work.
Practice Finances
Examining your finances pays well
Choosing to ignore monthly financial reports could cost you as much as $42,000 per year. Are you willing to give that money away?
The biggest bites out of your practice's wallet
Health insurance and drugs and medical supplies munch down the most cash. But they aren't the only expenses nibbling at your funds.
Where does your facility generate revenue?
Are you making the most of your practice space? Find out by breaking down your earnings by square foot and comparing your numbers with these averages for each profit center.
Professional Growth
Developing the skills to be your own boss
Step one: Weigh the benefits and decide whether you're interested in ownership. Step two: Start developing critical leadership skills.
Personnel Solutions
What owners and associates see differently
When it comes to service, associates may think owners see the world through rose-colored glasses. But in general, you may all be more alike than you think.
Tallying up your team members
Clearly, more team members work in veterinary practice than doctors. But how many are there exactly?
Are you driving your team nuts?
Take a look at the issues team members say bother them most. Then think about what you could do to make their professional lives easier. They'll pay you back—promise! (Attention associates: Boss driving your crazy? We've got ideas for you, too.)

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