Who does what?


Q. Who determines veterinary team members' pay increases-the practice manager or the owner?

Q. Who determines team members' pay increases—the practice manager or the owner?

Debbie Allaben Gair

This depends on how your practice is structured, says Debbie Allaben Gair, CVPM, owner of Bridging the Gap, Helping People Work Together More Effectively, in Sparta, Mich. There are three common types of managers in veterinary practices:

  • An office manager, who carries out daily tasks as assigned by the owner.

  • A practice manager, who works with the owner as a management partner to create and develop programs, hire staff members—sometimes only nonmedical staff, sometimes all but the doctors—and make decisions within the parameters of his or her job description.

  • A hospital administrator, who oversees the whole practice and approves the doctors' requests for things like schedule changes and equipment purchases.

When it comes to team members' pay, here's the ideal scenario: The practice manager and doctor-owner agree on a percentage of practice gross that's dedicated to employee pay. Then the manager carries out the owner's wishes through pay adjustments, benefits, and bonuses. Furthermore, the practice manager and owner have weekly meetings to discuss the progress of programs and the status of the practice, Gair says. For example, the manager tells the owner, "Here's where we are with employee pay in comparison to our goals."

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