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Growing up surrounded by veterinary medicine and spending over two decades in the field, I’ve come to a profound realization: veterinarians who truly enjoy their careers, achieve their goals, and find happiness in their work build their success on relationships. Veterinary medicine is undeniably a relationship-based business, encompassing trust between veterinarians and their animal patients, clients, and colleagues. This notion led me to ponder the importance of relationships, particularly for veterinary hospital owners. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of building strong relationships in defining ownership and succession goals and discuss the key questions to consider in this process.

Defining Ownership Goals:

As a veterinary hospital owner, one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make is determining who to build relationships with to guide you into or out of ownership. However, the process of forging strong relationships begins by defining your ownership goals and objectives. Consider the following questions:

These questions hold value regardless of whether you’re at the planning stage of your ownership journey or have been an owner for three decades. Consistently revisiting and reassessing these questions can provide valuable insights.

Defining Succession Plan Goals:

In addition to ownership goals, it’s essential to consider succession plan goals—what you envision for your time and energy post-ownership. Deliberate on the following questions:

Regardless of your position in the ownership journey, regularly asking yourself these succession questions and keeping your answers on hand (such as on an index card) can provide clarity and guide your decisions effectively.

Building a Supportive Team:

Once you’ve clarified your goals, it’s time to build a team that supports your ownership journey. By assembling a strong team, you can alleviate the burdens of ownership and approach your veterinary business like the CEO of a major company, relying on experts in different disciplines to ensure success. Consider building relationships with professionals in the following roles:

Sharing Your Successes and Mentoring Others:

I invite you to share the relationships you’ve built to support your journey as a veterinary hospital owner. By doing so, you can provide valuable guidance to your colleagues and inspire them to forge their own paths to success. Furthermore, if you’ve achieved milestones in your veterinary career, consider giving back by becoming a mentor. The power of such relationships is immeasurable, as both mentor and mentee can learn and grow together.


In veterinary medicine, relationships are the foundation of success. Veterinary hospital owners who prioritize building strong connections with trusted individuals and professionals in various fields can navigate the complexities of ownership with greater ease. By defining ownership and succession goals and assembling a supportive team, veterinary professionals can unlock their full potential, achieve their objectives, and find fulfillment in their careers. Remember, the power of relationships extends beyond personal success; it’s an opportunity to positively impact the veterinary community as a whole.

2 Responses

  1. Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He always kept talking about this. I’ll forward this article to him.
    Fairly certain he’ll have a very good read.

    Many thanks for sharing!

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