State of the Profession: Checking in on veterinarians’ practice ownership plans

State of the Profession: Checking in on veterinarians’ practice ownership plans

Fewer than a third of veterinary professionals aspire to own a practice.
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Feb 01, 2016
By dvm360.com staff

The last time dvm360 magazine conducted its State of the Profession Survey, in 2012, veterinary medicine seemed to be in the midst of a precipitous slide in attitudes toward practice ownership. Now that slide seems to have hit bottom.

In 2006, more than half—53 percent—of readers surveyed said they wanted to own a practice someday. By 2012 that figure had fallen to 30 percent. In 2015, we were flat. Desire for ownership hasn’t risen, but it hasn’t fallen anymore either.

However, while the overall propor­­tions are the same for those who do and don’t want to own a practice someday, there’s a greater divide between men and women in their responses. In 2012, 32 percent of men said practice ownership was an aspiration, while 27 percent of women said the same—roughly the same, especially given the margin of error in a study of this type. This year, the percentage of men who are interested in practice ownership is up to 38 percent, while women are responding more negatively, with less than a quarter—just 24 percent—saying they want to own a practice.

When asked to name their reasons for not wanting to own, men and women diverge again. Women are much more likely to say that ownership would take too much personal time—51 percent give this as their reason, while just 19 percent of men do.

Many experts tout practice ownership as a path out from under student loans (besides salary, there is return on investment to consider), but it seems that associates are not quite ready to go there—at least yet.

Source: dvm360 State of the Profession Survey, 2015