Should I Work at a Corporate Veterinary Clinic?

As opposed to a privately owned veterinary clinic, which is owned and operated by an individual veterinarian or small group of veterinarians, a corporate veterinary clinic is a veterinary practice that is owned and operated by a company. The number of corporate veterinary clinics has increased in recent years, and this type of practice is becoming common in the veterinary industry. In this article, we examine the pros and cons of working at a corporate veterinary clinic. 

Pros of Working at a Corporate Veterinary Clinic

Business management: Veterinarians who work in a corporate veterinary office don’t usually have to focus on things like payroll, staffing, and other business details. This allows vets who work for corporate veterinary clinics to focus exclusively on patient care.

Regular hours: As opposed to veterinarians in private practice, corporate veterinarians tend to work standard schedules. In addition, corporate veterinarians usually work far less overtime than vets who own their own practices.  

Good for new graduates: Corporate veterinary clinics can be a great place for new veterinarians to gain experience after graduating from veterinary school.

Transferability: Corporate clinics usually have a large number of clinics across a wide geographic area. This can make it easy for a veterinarian who works for a corporate veterinary clinic to transfer to a different region if he or she so desires. 

Exit strategy: Corporate entities are usually open to purchasing existing veterinary practices from experienced veterinarians. This provides veterinarians who are on the verge of retirement with a viable exit strategy. In addition, corporate veterinary clinics that purchase existing practices often keep existing members on staff and allow former practice owners to continue working as employees (if they so desire). 

Cons of Working at a Corporate Veterinary Clinic

You can’t buy into the practice: Veterinarians who work for corporate veterinary clinics don’t have the opportunity to buy into ownership like they would in private practice. A corporate vet who wants an ownership stake would have to leave the corporate clinic and start or purchase a private practice.

Inflexibility: Corporate veterinarians must follow procedures and best practices that relate to pricing and treatment options. Veterinarians who work for corporate clinics have much less flexibility than those in private practice. 

Heavy focus on the bottom line: A common criticism of corporate veterinary practice is that there is too much focus on the bottom line. Although making a profit is an important goal of any veterinary practice, whether private or corporate, corporate veterinarians sometimes feel pressure to up-sell clients in order to increase profit margins.

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

Whether you’re an established veterinarian or you’re just getting started in the veterinary industry, you need a veterinary practice attorney on your side. At Mahan Law, we understand the ins and outs of the veterinary business. Founded by veterinary hospital owner Anthony Mahan, Mahan Law is dedicated to helping new and experienced veterinarians with all facets of the veterinary business. So, if you need veterinary legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a consultation.