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Master of Agribusiness

Survey of Business Management Factors Associated with Mixed Animal Veterinary Practice Size and Growth

Amy Brusk, Manhattan, Kans., defended her thesis, “Survey of Business Management Factors Associated with Mixed Animal Veterinary Practice Size and Growth,” Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Brusk is a Grant Specialist at the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine in Manhattan, Kans. She graduated from Kansas State University in May with a Master’s in Agribusiness (MAB).

Due to a potential shortage of food animal veterinarians, Brusk conducted research regarding what types of business management practices may improve a practicing veterinarian’s income and the economic sustainability of rural veterinary practices.  Her study focused on business management practices that are associated with economic growth of mixed animal practices.

Brusk surveyed veterinarians with an interest in bovine and equine health and found practices employing business managers tended to have a higher gross practice income. Using a business manager to handle the day-to-day operations to keep the practice running efficiently allows the veterinarian to focus on his/her practice and animal care. She also found that practices reviewing financial reports and adjusting prices as needed, as well as implementing marketing plans providing frequent contact with clients showed higher incomes and growth.

“Given the results, it will be important for veterinarians to consider the benefits a business manager could have for their practice, as well as reviewing financial reports, improving client communications, frequently adjusting prices, and utilizing a marketing plan,” Brusk said.

Implementing these business management practices could have a positive effect on practices for mixed animal veterinary clinics.

Brad White, Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences in Veterinary Medicine and Brusk’s thesis advisor, said, “This research illustrated a wide range of growth rates among mixed animal practices, and we identified several factors associated with high growth rates that provides valuable knowledge for mixed animal veterinary practices desiring to grow.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on K-State’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/1431.