“Patients come first, then clients, then doctors.”
The Animal Hospital of Laveen is the sixth veterinary practice I have owned in the Phoenix area. I opened it in December of 2006, just before the “new economy” began to have an impact. I have owned practices for 37 years and have struggled through two major recessions.
When I was a junior in veterinary school, I began to realize that I had been given a gift that was just beginning to materialize, and the next four years of my formal training would crystallize a vision for a lifetime. My goal was to bring a level of veterinary medicine to my patients and clients in private practice that could otherwise be realized only at the university/veterinary college level.
The Animal Hospital of Laveen gave me the opportunity to create the practice I always wanted. I hired a practice manager, and we established a business based on written core values and a mission to deliver state-of-the-art veterinary medicine and surgery with genuine honesty, integrity and compassion.
We embrace change and growth in the interest of continual improvement. We strive to assist our clients in making appropriate pet healthcare decisions for all concerned. We embrace change and growth in the interest of continual improvement, and we pledge to treat all pets and their people as we would our own.
So, lessons learned:
- Aspire to excellence.
- Be a leader.
- Don’t expect to know and do everything yourself – hire well.
- Listen to the needs of clients, and address them.
- Treat people with honesty, integrity and respect.
- Treat patients and clients with compassion – advocate for the patient.
- Not every customer may be a fit for your business.
- There is usually more than one solution for a problem.
- Difficult decisions have to be made, and usually the sooner they are made, the better for all.
Thomas Watson, DVM, CVA