Column reflects inaccurate understanding of ProSal


Method described is not how ProSal was designed to be used.





Editor's note: The following was originally submitted as a comment on

I have read Dr. Christopher J. Allen's article “Put ProSal out to pasture” and I could not disagree with it more. It is time that people really understand ProSal and allow all associate veterinarians to reap the benefits of it. As the “author” of the ProSal compensation method, it amazes me how many people think they are paying associates using the this method of compensation when, in fact, they are not.


It appears that the author has two major misunderstandings regarding ProSal. First, there is never a negative carryover with ProSal. At the end of the year, if the associate is not paid the guaranteed base, he or she would be owed the difference. Period. There is no carryover. The associate cannot be paid less than the guaranteed base; he or she can only be paid more. Second, Dr. Allen seems to think that associates are getting a lower guaranteed base salary when they are paid on ProSal. This is not the intent of ProSal. Associates should receive a fair guaranteed base that is the same as they would have been paid if they were paid on straight salary.

In my consulting firm we have negotiated many compensation packages for associates. Typically, if a veterinarian has been employed previously, we use his or her previous year's salary, or more, as a base. If the veterinarian has not been previously employed, we normally use the regional average to determine the base salary.

I truly believe ProSal is, by far, the best way to pay associate veterinarians. They can't make any less than their guaranteed base; they can only be paid more using the method. When I teach at veterinary schools, every year I talk with the students about the various methods of compensation. Students see the value of ProSal. I have even had graduates come back and relate to current students how well it has worked for them.

Dr. Allen also writes that, in his opinion, ProSal worked well when the economy was doing well, but now when the economy is faltering, it's not as effective. My firm and I personally work with many veterinary practices on a daily basis and it is my opinion that veterinary medicine is doing quite well and has been doing well for quite some time. Most every practice we work with has had a significant increase in both their gross income and their net income year over year.

He seems to indicate that ProSal has caused a rash of people to seek out legal advice. If this is the case, I apologize. The last thing I would want is to be responsible for more money leaving our profession and going to the legal profession. It is unfortunate that the name ProSal is so often invoked to describe a method of compensation that is actually not the method of compensation that we designed. ProSal should provide a fair guaranteed base (not a lowball one) that is paid without any negative carryover. Associates paid on ProSal receive fair compensation based on the services they provide to their clients. It also promotes optimum patient care by giving the associate veterinarian an incentive to provide a full-service approach to clients.

Mark Opperman, CVPM

President, VMC, Inc.

Evergreen, Colorado

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