The final exam: National survey tests business acumen of veterinary students; more study needed

Apr 01, 2009

Wait until after the boards? Maybe not. A new survey says that veterinary students need to polish and expand their business knowledge. Dani McVety, (Class of 2009) University of Florida, coordinated the online business survey.
NATIONAL REPORT — When it comes to business, veterinary students are pulling a C-minus average, according to a national survey.

The findings underscore the need for better business education for veterinary students, reports Dani McVety (Class of 2009) from the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Fun with numbers: Dani McVety (Class of 2009) from the University of Florida says business should be the fun part of practice, which is one reason she led this survey.
"I think (the results represent) where we are when it comes to running a business or especially managing our student debt. That's not to say we can't learn, though. It simply means we have to put some extra effort into it."

McVety led the online survey with the guidance of adviser Dr. Colin Burrows and received 994 responses from students at nearly all the veterinary schools in the United States. The goal simply was to evaluate their business knowledge. "I know that if I am going to be successful in life, I am going to have to know some basic business concepts," McVety says. "That's why I thought this would be an interesting project. I also think that business should be the fun part of practice, to have a clear idea of where your hard work is going."

Here are some of the survey's questions, answers and results:

1. (True or false) A veterinary practice's gross income is the amount of money made after subtracting various expenses.
Correct: 78.2 percent of respondents
Incorrect: 21.8 percent
Correct answer: False

2. Which of the following is not an accurate statement about a balance sheet?
• A balance sheet shows that assets = liabilities + owner's equity
• The balance sheet shows the value of a company's assets on a specific date.
• The balance sheet displays where money originated and how it was spent.
Correct: 39.2 percent of respondents
Incorrect: 60.8 percent
Correct answer: The balance sheet displays where money originated and how it was spent.

3. (True or false) As a licensed veterinarian, you are invited to fly across the country to interview for a position as a new associate. You purchase a plane ticket and pay for a hotel room and a few meals. These expenses are deductible on your tax return.
Correct: 53.4 percent of respondents
Incorrect: 46.6 percent
Correct answer: True

4. (True or false) Instead of cash, a client pays her bill with rare, valuable stamps from her prized stamp collection. The market value of the stamps is included in income.
Correct: 48.4 percent of respondents
Incorrect: 51.6 percent
Correct answer: True