Women vs. men
Just as you begin to grasp the enormity of those characteristics, along comes a new consideration: What is the ratio of male
to female owners and associates?
Economists have shown that women 10 years into owning practices are likely to work six fewer hours per week than their male
counterparts, and while both men and women love kids, women allow their children to influence their practice to a greater
extent. Of these women, those without children work only 3 percent fewer hours than men, while those with children work 24
percent fewer hours.
Another variable in this great calculus of prediction is that the number of hours worked by married female veterinarians is
inversely proportional to the earnings of their spouses. With family financial security comes the ability to make a professional
career an option more than a necessity.
It is ironic in that many of our best and brightest women become professionals to earn higher wages but wind up marrying the
best and brightest men, who also earn high wages, affording their wives the option of not having to work!
Was the women's investment in their veterinary education well spent? The National Bureau of Economic Research postulates that
these women would not likely have met these men without their professional education.
In determining earnings, there are many more factors to consider, not the least of which is the conclusion of pilot studies
in sexual discrimination that more men are motivated by money than women. I know that the letters to the editor columns will
be burning up next month, but you can read the New York Times-bestselling Super Freakonomics for detailed sources.
In 40 years of my personal analysis of hundreds of practices where I turned declining practices into high achievers, I did
so through detailed analysis of associate and owner behaviors. There's no question that the average transactions of female
associates, in general, average 8.6 percent lower than those of their male counterparts. This is true whether the associate
is paid on flat salary or percentage of production, although it is true that the difference is more noticeable on percentage
compensation. Further, cases of discounting are significantly greater among female veterinarians.
Yes, when determining how the dollars of veterinary medicine in any community are distributed in any given practice, the sex
of the owner and associate have to be taken into consideration. But I also strongly believe that there are opportunities for
every veterinary professional, male or female, provided they use their talents to communicate to pet owners how much more
they benefit their beloved pets if they use dentistry and nutrition to extend the years of healthier companionship.
Dr. Snyder, a well-known consultant, publishes Veterinary Productivity, a newsletter for practice productivity. He can be reached at 112 Harmon Cove Towers Secaucus, NJ 07094; (800) 292-7995;
; fax: (866) 908-6986.