Once a male-dominated profession, the veterinary field has seen many changes over the last several decades. In fact, for the last 10 years or so, the number of women studying veterinary medicine and working at animal hospitals has outweighed men. Similarly, there’s been an increase in the number of female hospital owners who practice veterinary medicine and manage the business side of things until they retire or partner with a company like ours.
Dr. Becky Salinger is one of those former practice owners - one of over 100 female former owners within the VetCor network - who built a wonderful professional career for herself in a field that once might’ve seemed off limits. We had the opportunity to chat with her about what it’s like being a woman working in veterinary medicine and she had some fantastic insight for us.
This is what she had to say:
It’s an interesting thing to be a female veterinarian and practice owner - to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It was the norm to have the school bus drop off your kids at your practice instead of at home and to have your practice’s reputation become one with your personal reputation. You live with the fear that one bad review could put you out of business. Your quality of life sometimes suffers. You miss out on memory making. You grow tired of being marketing, human resources, and accounting, and yearn to go back to being a doctor. It’s for these reasons and more that, in August 2019, we sold our practice to VetCor.
I bought my practice two years after I graduated from veterinary school and ran it by myself for 11 years before I brought on my business partner, Dr. Paulic. Though we first talked about selling our practice in 2014, it’d be another five years before we came to the decision to sell. Ultimately, we knew it was the right choice because now we don’t have to compromise our personal happiness for professional success and that’s both rewarding and reinvigorating.
For example, I live on a farm in a small town where everyone knows everything. Immediately after the sale of the practice, I went out to the feed mill to buy food for the sheep (or maybe the chicken or horses). The next time we were there, the owner told my husband that I seemed like a totally new person and that it was like the weight of the world had lifted. Although owning a practice was rewarding, having my quality of life back is even more rewarding. It’s nice knowing I have the backing of experts to help me if I need it and a network of other veterinary professionals to share ideas with. I’m a huge advocate for other female owners considering a sale.
As a company that values a healthy work/life balance and aims to make life better for all of its employees, we understand the challenges that practice owners like Dr. Salinger face, especially when they’re missing out on taking time for themselves or making memories with their family.
We're proud to welcome practice owners and their teams when they decide they’d benefit from the added support of a larger veterinary network and we love seeing them find a work/life balance that works for them. In this case, we’re thankful Dr. Salinger was able to find that balance at VetCor.