No Reservations

Dr. Mark E. Russo, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, is a veterinarian and former owner at Kingston Animal Hospital in Kingston, MA.

In the business world, and in life, it’s generally prudent to generate a fair amount of cynicism or skepticism when something seems too good to be true. That being the case, it’s all the more amazing to me – and all the more do I feel blessed – to have chosen VetCor as our partner for Kingston Animal Hospital.

drs-ray-mark-russo-1952When I sold to VetCor in November 2015, the practice had been around for 68 years... founded by my father, Dr. Raymond Russo (who was still coming to work eight days before he passed away at age 93.) I started working at the hospital at about age eight as a part-time weekend and summer kennel boy (still the most fun I’ve had in veterinary medicine), and then after veterinary school for over four decades as a neurologist, general practitioner, and now, a holistic practitioner.

When my father started Kingston Animal Hospital in 1947, Kingston was a tiny coastal town with a true "small town feel." Even as the town and the region have grown to become more suburban, we have worked hard over the years to retain and perpetuate the small town feel and encourage a sense of uniqueness.

In particular, while we strongly believe in offering excellent veterinary care tailored to the clients’ preferences and capabilities, we also fervently believe in offering that care in a warm and friendly manner with lots of empathy, caring, integrity and value. We also work hard to maintain a nurturing and productive work environment for ourselves, and even have some fun at work. We try hard to remember that a significant part of the fulfillment and satisfaction in veterinary medicine comes from having a worthwhile job done well.

None of that is necessarily easy, but it surely was, and is, our aspiration. So, all the more with these lofty goals and aspirations, it was with considerable caution that we explored corporate partnership. Thankfully, VetCor has been all that they said they’d be (and all we hoped for) as we continue to aspire to all those goals.

Drs. Ray & Mark Russo in 2005Surely these are big goals, important goals – the things that people always worry about when considering the sale of a practice, and rightly so. Yet sometimes it’s also the small things that are equally telling. Here’s an example: Rumor has it that there’s a weekly ritual at the VetCor home office where everyone, regardless of title (including the CEO), gathers together and helps tear perforated reminder postcards.

And another: VetCor often sends an email to all practices announcing major new management hires. Invariably, what follows is a flood of congratulatory and welcoming emails popping up from VetCor practices all over the country. A similar chorus of hospital community response seems to happen on holidays and when advice is sought among practices. The sense of family and collective effort toward a common goal is quite palpable, and so reassuring and satisfying.

So, here’s the bottom-line: When it was time to consider a sale, my practice had been around for almost 70 years. Hardly a day goes by that I don't think how fortunate I am and how completely satisfied I am that we chose VetCor!