Veterinarians wouldn't make it without you


Take heart: One doctor says her team is her best investment

While it may seem a little unorthodox in this economy, a Florida veterinarian says the only way to make money is to spend money. And she believes there’s no one better to invest in than team members.

Dr. Anne Chauvet, DACVIM, owner of Veterinary Neuro Services in Sarasota, Fla., makes an effort to take care of her six-member team. As a result, they’re happier, less stressed, and better able to focus on the task at hand—caring for pets.

Of course, this is preaching to the choir. But if you feel your practice could do a little more for team members, here are some ideas from Dr. Chauvet that your owner or manager might like. The first idea doesn’t cost a thing.

Dr. Chauvet is a big proponent of giving back to the community and she encourages her team members to do the same. She uses each community event as an opportunity to spread the news about pet health care. And she suggests that team members act as ambassadors for the clinic. For example, Chauvet takes each of her team members to one or two charity events throughout the year.

She also educates herself and her team. Dr. Chavuet, the only veterinary neurologist on the Gulf Coast, hired a consultant to work with her and her team members on team development and business processes. Additionally, she worked with a coach and had her office manager do the same.

The practice also offers profit sharing, medical benefits, and a retirement plan for team members. As additional incentives, team members receive food, medicines, and medical care for their pets. If your practice doesn’t offer these incentives, talk to your office manager about implementing some or all of them. If you’re an office manager, approach the owner, Chauvet says.

Yes, these items may cost money, but remind your practice management that the pay-off is huge. “It all comes down to making your community your family,” Chauvet says. “And hopefully, they’ll do the same. If you give high quality medicine to your patients and high quality benefits to your employees, your practice will grow.” And that’s a win for everyone, including veterinarians, team members, and clients and patients.

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