The Open Veterinary Science Journal




(Discontinued)

ISSN: 1874-3188 ― Volume 9, 2015

Practices and Beliefs of Private Practitioners Surrounding Discounted Veterinary Services and Products


The Open Veterinary Science Journal, 2015, 9: 1-9

Lori R. Kogan, Sherry M. Stewart, Kristy L. Dowers, Regina Schoenfeld-Tacher, Peter W. Hellyer

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, 1601 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1601, USA.

Electronic publication date 25/2/2015
[DOI: 10.2174/1874318801509010001]




Abstract:

Impacted by educational debt and stagnant salaries, the financial viability of a career in veterinary medicine is a growing concern for many within the veterinary profession. Many veterinarians are small business owners, which requires them to learn and practice good business and practice management skills. Despite the recognized importance of business skills to the success of the veterinary profession, training in this area has been historically limited. An important part of practice management skills involves policies and practices surrounding pro-bono and discounted services and products.

To assess private practice veterinarians’ practices and beliefs surrounding discounted products and services, an anonymous online survey was distributed through Veterinary Information Network (VIN). Results from the survey suggest that most veterinarians regularly discount veterinary services and products. The reasons reported as most important in determining service discounts were a concern for providing the best possible care for the animal and doing everything possible for the animal. Results were similar for discounting products, but also included the additional reason of encouraging clients to try a product. Regardless of the reasons given for discounting, most veterinarians reported not tracking their discounting practices. These results suggest that despite the fact that most US veterinary schools have been offering practice management courses for many years, there appears to be low adoption levels of at least some widely accepted best-practice business models. It is recommended that providing additional training to help guide philanthropic veterinarians is critical to supporting their financial security and thereby the future of the small animal practitioner.


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