The end is near if things don't change in the veterinary profession
Just as the dodo disappeared from the face of the Earth, so shall the veterinarian. When archaeological scientists delve deeply into the disappearance of the veterinarian, they will eventually discover that its culture was based on the worship of the spay. In fact, the entire measure of a veterinarian's worth was based on the number of spays he or she accumulated.
To garner more spays, the veterinarian made the procedure so economically affordable that the world's population flocked to the clinic's door. Eventually, the spay replaced the dollar as the unit of currency among veterinarians. A fractured femur was worth five spay units and a hip replacement was worth 12 spay units.
Do you even know your total hourly overhead? I define overhead as the total cost to run your practice, including appropriate salaries. What's left over is profit to the practice. Let's make it simple. In a moderately well-managed hospital, your hourly overhead is 85 percent of your gross income divided by 2,456 (based on 307 eight-hour days worked per year). For example, if your gross revenue is $500,000, your overhead per hour is $173.05 (see chart labeled "Veterinary practice overhead by revenue level").
This calculation is based on practices with 15 percent net profit. But according to industry analytics, more than half of all veterinary practices never achieve that much profit. So, if the spay is like veterinary currency, let's look at your spay units. Take half the hourly overhead for your level of revenue and compare your ovariohysterectomy fees to that standard to see if you're headed the way of the dodo.
Now, cut this article out, frame it behind glass and hang it where you must pay attention to it regularly. Usually that's somewhere in your bathroom at about 38 inches above the floor. Just remember: Forewarned is forearmed, but extinct is forever.
Dr. Gerald Snyder publishes Veterinary Productivity, a newsletter for practice productivity. He can be reached at 415 Newark St., Hoboken NJ 07030; (800) 292-7995; or [email protected]