January 2017



Phone (908) 823-4607- info@veterinarybusinessadvisors.com

Creating a Pathway to Partnership
Veterinary medicine is among the most unique careers in the world, with an incredible breadth and depth of knowledge shared among veterinarians. Over the course of a veterinarian's career, he or she may learn about everything from alpaca anatomy to zoonoses like Zika. He or she will likely become a skillful problem solver, while also honing skills in marketing, organizational psychology, and business management. The latter can be one of the greatest challenges for veterinarians, particularly with private practice ownership. Very little formal training is available in a veterinarian's initial education. Knowledge on how to run a business must be sought out by the individual. It is no wonder, then, that by the time he or she becomes familiar with the daily ins and outs of practice ownership, the veterinarian is often ready to transfer ownership to a successor in favor of retirement. That usually doesn't provide stress relief, though, because transitioning ownership of one's practice can be a source of immense stress, especially when there is no previously identified structure for a succession plan in the veterinary clinic. This paper aims to fill that knowledge gap, and lay out a pathway for practice owners to bring in partners who will, when time comes for retirement, be fully prepared to take over (Gage, 2004).
The path to partnership in veterinary medicine can be designed to resemble strategies already successfully employed by law firms. This paper will use a structure laid out by Nick Jarrett-Kerr as the basis for selecting and fostering a partnership in a veterinary setting; this structure is a five-step process used to promote partners within a firm (Jarrett-Kerr, 2011).
Employee Guidelines for Social Media Usage

As of October 2015, says Pew Research Center , 76% of adults in the United States who have access t o the Internet use Facebook - and, with the abundance of smartphones, people are connected to the Internet with just a finger tap. This trend is unlikely to decrease - mobile phone usage OR social media participation - so it just makes good sense for veterinary practices to establish social media policies for their employees.

Important note: It also makes sense to consult with an attorney when creating your policy. This is an ever-changing social phenomenon and issues are not always clear-cut.

Social Media Policies

First, how do you define social media? You're almost certainly considering platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and the like to be social media. But, what about an employee's personal blog? Comments he or she makes on someone else's blog?
It's important that your policy clearly outlines what's permissible and what isn't, but you should first share the following context:

Policies should state that the practice respects the rights of its employees to use social media as a method of self-expression and public conversation. State that the practice does not discriminate against employees who use social media to communicate personal interests and affiliations, or any other lawful purposes. 

Originally featured in The Social DVM   http://www.thesocialdvm.com/blog/archives/08-2016
VBA Externs
Sam Wilkinson & Lizzy Bairstow 
Sam is a 2017 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine candidate at Texas A&M University. His focus is on working with animals of all shapes and sizes and on veterinary practice ownership. He hase 10+ years of experience in veterinary medicine. Much of his experience is working with domestic animals: horses, cattle, dogs, cats, sheep, and goats; however, he hasfg also had many opportunities to work with exotic animals such as black rhinos, giraffes, African game, white tail deer. Sam has also spent time developing skills outside veterinary medicine by working with a law firm, a private lender, and a startup accelerator.  His goal is to develop skills in multiple fields to prepare himself to be a successful entrepreneur. He is particularly interested in veterinary medicine, real estate, lending, and startups. He looks for ideas that inspire him to fulfill his personal goals while still providing benefit to all parties involved.

Lizzy is a 4th year veterinary student at the University of Pennsylvania. During her time at Penn she has served on the executive board of the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA). Through this experience she developed a great passion for exploring aspects of the field in addition to the medicine itself. From lectures, workshops and a trip to the VBMA National Conference in Orlando she has gained an interest in business management, small business marketing and methods of improving workplace dynamics. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family and exploring Philadelphia cafes in search of a good cappuccino. She is a proud mom to golden retriever Charlie and senior cat Richard Parker.

In This Issue
HR Topic of the Month: Sexual Harassment in the Work Place
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual harassment and, as an employer, you are responsible for preventing sexual harassment from occurring in your workplace. An article found at Nolo.com titled Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace shares specifics on recommended prevention strategies.
Sexual harassment, the article shares, is "any unwelcome sexual advance or conduct on the job that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. Any conduct of a sexual nature that makes an employee uncomfortable has the potential to be sexual harassment." Men can sexually harass women and vice versa; people of the same gender can also sexually harass one another. Statistically speaking, though, the overwhelming number of claims are brought by women who state they were sexually harassed by men.
To reduce the risk of this type of harassment taking place in your practice, first create a clear policy for your employee handbook that defines sexual harassment; state that you will not tolerate it; that you will fully investigate any claims; and you will discipline employees who sexually harass others, up to and including firing them. Also make it clear that you will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who complains of harassment.
Once a year (or more often), hold training sessions to teach employees what sexual harassment is and to make it clear that each person in the workplace has the right to work without being sexually harassed. Share your complaint procedure so everyone knows how to file one and encourage employees to follow through on reporting if an incident occurs. Also hold separate training sessions for managers and supervisors to train them how to handle a situation when someone comes to them with a complaint. Share that it is mandatory to take all complaints seriously.
In some states, trainings are mandatory, including in California, Connecticut and Maine. Other states strongly encourage training - and we recommend that everyone provides this training to protect employees, regardless of state law. Plus, by doing so, if your practice is sued for sexual harassment, you will be able to share what steps you took to deal with the complaint.

VBA can help protect your practice with personalized Harassment Training.

Email us today for more info!

AVMA Seeks Your Opinion on Telemedicine

The Practice AP's final report on telemedicine has been posted online , and that AVMA seeks opinions on it, especially the recommendation involving the Model Veterinary Practice Act and the policy on Remote Consulting.  A summary for the recommendations impacting both of these policies starts on page 37 of the report.  For more detail, including a link to the report and how to submit comments, visit the AVMA@Work blog, AVMA seeks your opinions on telemedicine recommendations.   Comments are due before March 16 th.

New VBA Products! 

Recruiting Manual - the VBA Recruiting Binder is filled with
forms and templates for the recruiting process, including how to: Develop job descriptions,Post openings online, Verify references, Perform background checks.  We also include samples of: Job applications,Interview questions, Skills testing, Letters to send to applicants you do not hire.

Performance Management Binder - offers in-depth information about: Job descriptions, SWOT analysis, Setting SMART goals, Performance appraisals, Self evaluation templates, How to discipline - including sample write-up forms and memos, Termination - including cobra forms and exit interviews
You can find our products here!


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