New fellowship aims to increase practice ownership

Practice ownership makes sense financially, allowing practitioners to earn more income than working as an associate. But according to the 2018 AVMA Census of Veterinarians, among veterinarians who identified themselves as being practice owners or associates, 42% were owners in 2018, down from 47% in 2008. Younger veterinarians and female veterinarians were less likely to be practice owners. More updated information will be available next year with the 2023 AVMA Census of Veterinarians.

Harbor.vet by Suveto, a community dedicated to veterinary practice ownership, announced at AVMA Convention 2022 that it is launching a new veterinary business fellowship to assist recent graduates in achieving practice ownership. Along with Harbor.vet, Suveto has a network of hospitals with stock ownership for veterinarians and offers loans for practice ownership through its lending platform, Calico Financial.

Harbor.vet logo

Graduation to Ownership is a two-year paid fellowship that aims to help participants master clinical skills, develop ownership acumen, build on personal and professional development, and navigate well-being life skills.

The program is set to start in the summer of 2023. Fifty spots are initially available for the fellowship, and applications will be accepted starting Oct. 1. The program will officially start in summer 2023.

Dr. Catherine Foret, vice president of communications at Suveto, said the landscape of veterinary business ownership has changed dramatically since she graduated in 2006 from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, and the barriers to entry seem only to be getting higher.

“Harbor.vet wants to provide a way to overcome those barriers and is helping students bridge the gap from graduation to ownership through GO,” said Dr. Foret, who previously was the independent owner of University Veterinary Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana. “By equipping them with a unique hands-on learning experience dedicated to developing their medical competencies and business acumen, they’ll be able to move towards practice ownership quicker and take ownership of their future in veterinary medicine.”

Those selected for the fellowship will be matched to one of approximately 65 practices within the Suveto network. Most of their time will be spent gaining hands-on experience at their clinics. In addition, they will receive a mix of virtual mentorship—via online meetings and digital content—as well as peer and team mentorship that takes place in person at participating veterinary hospitals and larger group education happening about two times a year.

After completing their GO fellowship, participants will be presented with a spectrum of ownership opportunities tailored to their specific goals and desires.