Over the years I have mentored several new graduates and veterinary students. My experiences with them has shown me that there are many common issues that people wanting to be veterinarians have to contend with. This week I want to go over a few of these topics and hopefully pass along some useful information to those planning on entering the veterinary profession.
#1: Learn business skills.
Personally, I think that a basic business course should be required in veterinary school. Some schools have a lesson or two, but it's really not enough. Why is this necessary? Many, if not most veterinarians will end up managing or owning a business. Having skills in and understanding of how economics work and how businesses are run is a great advantage. Recent graduates rarely know how pay scales work, how to make enough production to pay for themselves, how to charge appropriately, why you can't afford to discount services, and why you can't let every client make payments. Even if you don't end up being an entrepreneur, you will have a greater understanding of why your boss or manager makes the decisions they do. I really can't stress enough how a thorough understanding of these processes will make you a better vet. Whether or not anyone likes it, veterinary medicine is a business. In order for us to practice effectively, we need to know this side of the profession.