Course Overview

Hiring an exceptional associate veterinarian can be a daunting task. What are the best practices for hiring an associate? Does your practice need a new associate to grow or would it be better to hire another credentialed technician? What are the signs indicating that another doctor is needed? How do you assure a good fit? What is your practice looking for in an associate? Should you hire an experienced doctor or a new graduate?

Once the decision is made to hire an associate, how should the new doctor be paid? What are the goals your practice is trying to accomplish and is your associate compensation package structured to help you reach those goals? Does your practice understand the three main types of compensation structures? Is straight pay the best or perhaps full production? What about a blend? What are the benefits and disadvantages of each? How are percentages determined and what charges should be counted? How do fringe benefits fit into the compensation package?

The considerations do not end with simply determining how much to pay the new associate. It is important to create a quality employment contract and to understand how to evaluate crucial practice KPIs.

Do I Need an Associate & How Do I Pay Them? is a 4 week course that will help owners and practices understand how to evaluate the need for a new associate and the the factors involved in finding the right fit. Creating a well structured compensation package, setting up employment contracts, and monitoring and evaluating KPIs, have a direct and profound impact on the financial health of the practice and the quality of medical care.

PLEASE NOTE: This course contains flash based Articulate presentations. iPhones and iPads are not natively flash compatible but if a flash compatible browser has been installed on the iPad the presentations will play correctly. This link Flash on iPads provides information on flash compatible browsers. The presentations may also be viewed on a Mac.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 10 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians and veterinarians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.

This course is applicable for 10 CE credits toward the continuing education requirement for the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager program offered by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA).


Participation Access Parameters

Participants may enroll in this course after it has begun, up to the enrollment deadline date. Participants who enroll after the start date do not miss out on any components of the course.

There are no real time sessions.

The design of this course allows each participant to proceed based on individual schedule, as long as all assignments are submitted by the assignment submission deadline


Course Content

This 4-week course covers best practices when hiring an associate veterinarian as well as how to design a fair compensation package. The course looks at the three common methods of compensating associate veterinarians. Common benefits, industry averages and general employment contract concepts are covered.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

Although this course is designed with a focus on the perspective of a hiring practice, veterinary associates will find the topics covered in this course important to their career as well. It is crucial that all associates understand compensation options and general industry standards. This course is appropriate for all veterinary practice team members involved in associate hiring and compensation.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify reasons a practice might hire additional veterinary help
    Recognize how a new veterinarian will impact the financial situation of a practice
    Describe the hard and soft skills needed in a new practice doctor
    Discuss advertisement verbiage and location of ad when looking for a new veterinarian
    Review the various associate veterinarian financial compensation models
    Discuss various fringe benefits that are part of compensation packages
    Review associate contract terms
    Identify key performance indicators used to evaluate new associates


Participant Feedback

...I liked the ability to work on the course when it would fit into my schedule. Many courses have real-time sessions that so not fit into my work schedule.

...All of it! I enjoyed this course immensely because we are in the process of hiring a part-time associate veterinarian. We haven't had to do this in 17 years, so I had to relearn everything.

...Learning where to look for benchmarks and how to establish production pay

...I felt like the second Module was the most beneficial because it discussed the various types of compensation packages and fringe benefits as well as gave industry standards published by professional organizations.

...compensation package breakdown were very beneficial

...content was excellent.


Course Completion Requirements

Completed students are awarded a certificate of completion. Completion requirements include:

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Module Assignments: Designed to help the participant reinforce newly learned material

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Case Study Assignments: Designed to help the participant apply the newly learned skills and knowledge though patient and practice based scenarios

  • Examinations: All examinations must be submitted with a score of 80% or better

  • Course survey


Course Instructor

Donna Harris, DVM, MBADonna Harris, DVM, MBA

Dr. Harris received her veterinary degree from Michigan State University and her MBA from Grand Valley State University. She practiced small animal and exotics medicine for many years before starting Veterinary Special Services, a financial and strategic planning consulting firm.

Today she teaches business and career development topics at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and St. Matthew's School of Veterinary Medicine in Grand Cayman as well as consulting for private practice veterinary businesses.


Upcoming Sessions

April 15, 2015 - Registration deadline is 11:00 PM Eastern April 20, 2015
July 15, 2015 - Registration deadline is 11:00 PM Eastern July 02, 2015
November 01, 2015 - Registration deadline is 11:00 PM Eastern November 06, 2015



Price: $171.00



VetMedTeam 2014