Build big or go home: A veterinary hospital winner in Texas


This Texas veterinarian wasn't thinking small when he designed a 24/7 hospital with emergency services.

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Partnering with local builders and building in an office park allowed Dr. Patrick Choyce to save money on shared access drives and community parking. This allowed him to purchase only as much site as he needed for his new hospital.

In the good ol’ days, Dr. Patrick Choyce’s clients knew they could reach him for emergencies. But potential clients had no way of knowing that, as he didn’t operate his practice as an emergency clinic. That is, until he expanded the facility by 4,300 square feet. Dr. Choyce’s plan also included a vision of highest-quality medicine in a human-animal-bond-centered, AAHA-accredited facility with 24/7 care and a touch of rehabilitation and specialty.

“I’ve always felt that veterinarians should be available after hours, but that’s not doctors’ mentality today,” he says. “So I built big enough to add emergency services and split the effort among a decent-sized staff. With fewer graduates aspiring to be practice owners, I think group practices might be the way to go.”

This leads to the question of whether building big and going 24/7 is the way of the future. Dr. Choyce’s answer: It requires a major metropolitan location as well as other professions to make it work: “It takes the support of lawyers, bankers, practice managers, accountants and staff members. And don’t forget the doctors. We doctors are an independent breed, but if you can see the value in working together, it’s the way to go.”

Another benefit to combining efforts is better work-life balance. “Doctors can count on each other to help when they need a longer vacation or sick leave,” he says. “And there are more options for an exit strategy.”

VJ Arizpe, The Photo Shop

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A central reception desk directs clients to one of eight exam rooms. A large retail area is adjacent to the reception area.

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Exam room

Each exam room sports wall mounted otoscope/ophthalmoscope, supply cabinets and drawers, electronic medical record computer workstation, elevator table/scale or island exam table and pediatric scale.

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This working area includes three treatment tables, a two-table surgery suite and ICU as well as space for digital radiology, ultrasound, endoscopy and dental work.

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All Pets Animal Hospital added a physical rehabilitation component to the new practice. This area features a separate room with a heated underwater treadmill as well as outdoor exercise yards devoted to rehab work.

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This pooch rolls on this non-slip epoxy enamel flooring.

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A peek into surgery at All Pets Animal Hospital.

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All Pets Animal Hospital

24221 Kingsland Blvd.

Katy, TX

Owner: Patrick Choyce, DVM

Associates: 5 full time, 1 part time

Hospital team: 22 full time, 15 part time

Practice style: 90% small animal,

10% avian and exotic pets

Building size: 11,300 square feet (Main floor 8,300, upstairs unfinished 3,000)

Construction: $1,450,000 (building only)

Site improvement: $90,000

Professional fees: $200,000

Equipment: $300,000

Furnishings: $25,000

Computers: $25,000

Year built: 2011

Primary architect:

Mark Hafen, AIA

Animal Arts

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Click here to enlarge floor plan

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