Are you a veterinary practice owner who enjoys owning a business that is profitable, well managed, and has a reputation of exceeding excellence in medical care? Do you want to be known as a successful leader with a laser-focused vision that inspires your team to do great things? Do you want to have fun doing meaningful work collaborating with other professionals to make a difference in veterinary medicine and in the lives of animals and their families?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we have the place for you. AAHA-Accredited Veterinary Management Groups (VMGs) provide the framework and platform for you to achieve this success and more.

I belong to an AAHA-Accredited VMG. Our hospital, Arizona Animal Wellness Center, recently moved into a 10,000-square-foot facility with 9 veterinarians and 60 team members, all of whom want to make a difference in the lives we serve. Our ability to do this was aided by the professional and personal connections we have made in our VMG.

Our practice has been a part of a VMG for the past seven years. I have grown as a practice owner through collaboration with and commitment to my colleagues in this group. The AAHA-accredited hospitals in our group strive to enhance each practice while growing their own well-managed practices through excellence in veterinary medicine and customer service.

VMG hospitals are forward thinking, with leaders who strive to promote growth within our organizations, our groups, and our profession. Part of the reason for the success of our hospitals is the inclusion of our practice managers and management team in the decisionmaking processes. This is a very unique management model that uses an open-book mentality regarding management. By growing leaders, our hospitals are able to push businesses to new heights while maintaining a consistent message throughout our organizations.

The benefits of joining AAHA-Accredited VMGs include a level of professional support that is unsurpassed. Groups meet semiannually, and the level of communication continues year-round through secure web portals, email lists, phone calls, and text messages. My practice manager and I regularly reach out to other practice owners and administrators within our group to request help with all aspects of our business—including such areas as human resources, employee engagement, and financial advice. We recently had a workers’ compensation concern and brought it up with the group. We received immediate responses that ultimately helped us make the best business decision.

Resources available to VMG members include exceptional continued education at a fraction of the regular costs for such areas as marketing, leadership, training, and development of associate veterinarians. Our business and financial decisions are made based on comprehensive data that are analyzed by a qualified professional service each quarter, measured accurately, and benchmarked against other well-managed, successful veterinary hospitals.

The cost savings on supplies and services is exceptionally beneficial to the bottom line of our practices. Many hospitals have been able to reduce their cost of goods sold to at or below industry standards through these cost savings.

The levels we have been able to reach as a business have been rewarding, and the benefits we have received are immense. If you want to be a part of something that makes a difference in your business and the people you serve, look no further than an AAHA-Accredited VMG. For more information, please contact Megan McDaniel at [email protected] or visit aaha.org/vmg.

Parva A. Bezrutczyk, DVM, is the owner of Arizona Animal Wellness Center in Gilbert, Arizona.

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Trends magazine.

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