The AVMA-Pfizer Business Practices Study was the first comprehensive study of business practices among food animal veterinarians. The study, commissioned by the American Veterinary Medical Association, was released several years ago, but its findings remain relevant today.
The objective was to identify the management behaviors most associated with financial success. The underlying goal was to identify business practices or behaviors that, once recognized and put into use by veterinarians, could lead to improved incomes. While the following results were in the veterinary profession, the pillars, skills and income drivers fit for pork producers as well.
The study demonstrated that regardless of the species focus of the veterinary business, the following three fundamental pillars are keys to financial success in veterinary medicine:
- Personnel management
- Client relations
- Business/financial management
Seven Specific Skills
Within these three categories are seven specific practices or skills that drive high personal incomes, the study found. They are:
- Employee development
- New client development
- Client loyalty
- Business orientation
- Negotiating skill
- Frequency of financial data review
- Sound judgment
Swine veterinarians performed better in most of the seven business practices than their peers in other types of practice. They also earned the highest mean incomes of all veterinary practitioners, but they also worked longer hours than other veterinarians, the study found.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written by John Volk a senior consultant with Brakke Consulting, Inc., Chicago, Ill. It has been edited from its original form by Farm Journal’s PORK.