IS IT TIME TO HIRE ANOTHER DOCTOR? QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU DO.
Written By: Melissa Bingham- Community Veterinary Partners; Field Operations Manager
Is it time to hire another doctor at your hospital? It is a weighty decision. As a practice owner, there are many things to consider, financially, operationally and personally. It can be helpful to ask yourself some questions to be sure of what is driving your desire to add a doctor and recognizing if it’s the right time to add another doctor. Most importantly, don’t move forward until you feel confident that your decision is based on good judgment and a good plan, not gut feelings or a knee jerk reaction.
Some questions that are important to ask yourself are: What is driving your desire to hire another associate doctor? Have you been working long hours for a long time and want to cut back? Do you want more time to devote to mentoring your medical team or giving back through community outreach? Do you want to spend more time on a particular area of veterinary medicine of interest to you? Do you need time to reflect, review and implement the next stage of hospital growth?
Yes it could be the right time to hire another associate vet for you but make certain is it also the right time for your hospital and your existing doctor team. Some alternate questions to consider are:
For your hospital:
– Do you want to expand your days of operation to be more available when your clients want to come in? -Do you want to add a doctor during your busiest times of day to increase appointment availability for clients?
– Do you want to add a doctor with an interest or specialty your clients want or need?
– Is your hospital in healthy financial shape to support the salary and benefits for an additional associate vet?
– Have you identified the personal production needed for an additional associate doctor to “cover” their costs and your profit margin? Production is determined by the number of clients seen per day times the average transaction. The new doctor will need to meet or exceed the personal production goal.
– Do you have the time, energy and interest to mentor a new graduate or onboard an experienced doctor? If not, is there a doctor on your team who would enjoy the assignment?
For your existing doctor team:
– Is your existing doctor team feeling overloaded or working more hours or days than they want to work?
– Can your clients come in the same day for routine appointments with their preferred doctor? Or is the next available appointment a few days or even weeks out?
– Are your busiest days and times always booked in advance?
– Are surgery days consistently full?
– Do you feel confident that an additional associate will add business rather than share existing business with the current doctor team?
– Do you need to hire a full time doctor? Or could you fill the gap with a part time doctor and add experienced veterinary technician to your support staff?
Making the choice to hire an additional associate vet can be overwhelming. Don’t let it be. A careful review of the needs of your clients and the future needs of your hospital will provide reassurance as you make this important decision.