Saturday, March 7 8:30AM Renton Technical College  6 CE Hours Register Today


The Economic State of the Veterinary Profession

Charlotte Hansen, MS / AVMA Economics Division

The profession is changing. The economy is changing. What does that mean for the future of the veterinary profession? Join us as we look at the current economic state of the veterinary profession, discussing areas such as graduating veterinarians and student debt, veterinarian demographics and incomes, veterinary practice performance, consolidation, and a look into pet ownership trends.


The Rise of Corporatization in Veterinary Practice

John Payne / Compassion First Pet Hospitals

Learn the latest in the changing market of veterinary practice ownership and the growth of corporations in the delivery of veterinary medicine. Hear about the mergers and acquisitions and the opportunities to exist on the playing field, including the tools that allow practices to succeed. There’s a place for everyone whether it’s in a large incorporation of practices, a small or mid-sized local or regional corporate group, or a well-run private practice.


Coffee Break


Game On! Competing with Chewy and Corporate: Priming Your Practice for Ideal Care and Better Performance, Resulting in Stronger Culture and Values

Jeff Sanford, MBA / University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine

The veterinary landscape is changing! Chewy, Walmart, Amazon and others are looking at ways to capitalize on this industry. The United States is due for another economic adjustment or recession. Shortages of veterinarians and technicians are driving up wages. Most veterinarians will expect a 6 figure income in 2020. Furthermore, there is a fervor of consolidating in the marketplace with suppliers and veterinary practices. How are you preparing practice? Is your practice ready for these changes? Working with over 800 practices (400 with DVM students), we found that most practices are operating in a “path of least resistance” and are not capitalizing on the opportunities available to them. This culture can defeat the best intentions and create an environment of apathy, poor standards, resulting in lower earnings. Alternatively, we have found that a growth culture creates an environment where standards are high, staff enjoy coming to work, and the practice grows profitably. When practices gain traction with a clear direction, we have seen hospitals nearly double revenues and tripling profits in a relatively short period of time. Because of this, practice values also went through the roof.

It is time to put your game face on! The time is now to get your practice ready! By the end of the session, participants should have an understanding of the following:

  • How the veterinary landscape is changing
  • Assessing the competition and utilizing SWOT
  • How to minimize Chewy and others from atrophying revenues and attitudes
  • Using practice metrics to study practice behaviors
  • Studying barriers and detractor for patient and client care
  • The importance of practice performance with changing expectations
  • How leadership and practice culture can grow or sabotage a practice
  • The importance of defining ideal care and implementing plan that builds practice “memory”
  • Overall, how to get the most out of your practice.


WSVMA Board of Directors Informational Session




Top Ten Performance Problems in Veterinary Practices Hurting Culture, Care, Profits, and Value

Jeff Sanford, MBA / University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine

Performance heavily relies on the culture of a practice. In visiting over 800 practices, many with a team of veterinary students, we have found that a positive practice culture toward care creates the most profitable and “happy” practices. Alternatively, culture can defeat the best intentions and strategy, creating an environment of apathy, poor standards, and lower earnings. Three core “practice pillars” have been found to greatly affect the culture at veterinary practices: Leadership, People and Systems. If any of these three pillars is deficient, a practice will never be able to achieve its best. During this presentation, real life examples will illuminate the truth to the importance of practice culture on operations. Ten practice barriers have been identified to be the most problematic toward cultivating an appropriate culture and toward high performance.

Learning topics/objectives to be explored in session include:

  • The difference between leadership and management
  • Why it is crucial to hire right and put people in the right positions (importance of onboarding)
  • How practice culture can grow a practice or how it can sabotage a practice
  • Evaluating ten common problem areas that could be barriers to ideal care in your practice
  • The importance of KPI’s for your practice, veterinarians and staff
  • Thinking about practice systems to grow culture, care and practice “happiness.”




Maximizing Your Practice Transition

Joseph Coury / Omni Practice Group

In this lecture, Joseph Coury, will cover the share with you the common themes and best practices of how to Maximize Your Veterinary Practice Transition. We will cover all topics and types of sales ranging from private practice sales to corporate practice sales, giving you the insider information you need to be empowered in your own decision. The major topics are:

  • 5 Things You as a Practice Owner Need to do Today
  • What are 10 Major Pitfalls to Avoid in a Transition
  • Who are the Essential Players in a Transition


Panel Discussion

Moderator: Dr. Rick DeBowes

The program will conclude with a round table where these topics can be discussed with the audience and specific questions can be posed to the panel of experts.


WSVMA Board of Directors Meeting

Stay after the program and listen to the Board of Directors make decisions on the business of the Association.