What are your goals for 2020?
There is a good chance that your goals for this year will include successfully hiring a vet?
It’s certainly being reported to us that it is still a challenge to find them!
The reason why?
You may recall Lincoln Institute took up the challenge to find out the answer to this back in 2018 and since then we have been constantly researching the current Global Veterinary Shortage and have surveyed close to 2000 veterinarians and veterinary business owners during this time.
The main issue is not foreign students graduating and going home or lack of vet school positions… It’s mainly due to attrition.
And the number one reason they cited for the exodus…
Stress & Anxiety associated with their role.
Of course, the obvious next question is… What’s making life so challenging for our Veterinarians?
Well, we have poured through more than 200 pages of commentary, and the single biggest headache for veterinary professionals is; Financially based discussions with pet owners and billing appropriately for services rendered.
It’s the reason why (some) vets feel compelled to offering low cost options up front, discounting and mercy billing (missing fees out) to name just a few of the ways we try so hard as vets to be liked by our clients. We’ve probably all been there at least once?
Please go ahead and ask Your Veterinary Team whether this is true for them at your next catch up.
When you broach this topic though – hint – HOW you raise this will dramatically change the responses you get. If you ask directly; it’s very likely they will say they never discount or miss off a fee. Better to ask an open question; e.g. “What’s the one part of your job you hate the most and why?”
If it is true for your veterinary team… there is an (easy) solution that will ultimately help keep our good vets within the profession…
It’s our first Success Tip for 2020
And it’s really simple.
Separate your veterinarians (as much as possible) from having to have the financial discussions with clients about money.
Here is how it works…
The vet makes the treatment recommendation and then another team member (not a vet) steps in and goes through the costing and if needed, works out the finance package (VetPay etc.).
Also deals with the occasional – but impactful fall-out when that “one client” goes on the attack with a rant because they cannot afford the cost and cannot get a finance package AND of course, it’s all your fault!
You know what comes next…
“You Vets are only in it for the money. If you really loved animals, you would do it for free”
Protecting your vets from negative financial conversations with clients will allow them to do what they set out to do in the first place… be really comfortable at being amazing patient advocates.
The flipside… negative interactions means a negative experience, this impacts on their beliefs, future actions and ultimately their patient advocacy results AND of course your financial results.
If you don’t want your vets to become your clients “wallet guardians” – make sure they are having positive experiences.
Want to know more about how to practically introduce and implement this policy in your Practice?
Book in for a free 30-minute catch-up with Lincoln Director, Dr Chris Gough (former owner of one of Australia’s top performing veterinary businesses – implementing this policy in his Practice was a game changer).
Click on the link below to book a day and time that works for you.
We would love to hear from you… what do you think about this idea? Are you doing it already? Let us know!