November 01, 2013


 Online business training courses created for practitioners

Veterinarians can strengthen their business knowledge and skills, thanks to a new Internet-based program.
Five courses with a total of 25 video modules are being offered online, with the assistance of the large animal continuing education site Animal Care Training on the following topics: budgeting, recruiting and hiring new employees, improving client satisfaction, personal financial management, and sales forecasting. The program targets veterinarians in rural areas.
The National Food Animal Veterinary Institute, based at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, created the program through a collaborative effort with Kansas State University and its colleges of business, veterinary medicine, and agriculture as well as Iowa State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The program, titled “Best Practices Business Model for Rural Veterinarians,” is anticipated to help veterinary practices stay in business and turn a profit so that they can grow and hire more people, said Bruce J. Prince, professor of management at KSU’s business college, in an Aug. 19 press release. “Veterinarians come out of school with really strong scientific and technical skills within the context of veterinary medicine, but, sometimes, they may lack the knowledge to run a small business, which is exactly what they will be doing,” he said.
David M. Andrus, PhD, professor of marketing, said helping large animal veterinarians engage in better business practices will help improve productivity, rural economies, and the food production chain as many other businesses, such as feedlots, ranches, and food supply companies, depend on veterinarians daily.
The new program helps veterinarians become financially successful, Dr. Andrus said in the press release. “Because of the increasing debt load from tuition, helping veterinarians learn how to manage finances involved with owning a business, a truck, a house and more, while planning for retirement, is essential,” he said.
Each course costs $75.
The NFAVI, supported by the Depart­­­ment of Agriculture’s Rural Development and a handful of state departments of agriculture, was created in 2010 to foster the development of food animal practitioners (see JAVMA, Jan. 1, 2011). It emphasizes regulatory and continuing education as well as best practices business models for rural veterinarians.
To view the courses or for more information, visit the NFAVI or ACT websites.