Beyond the DVM: Masters of Business Administration

It’s time for a new series! Many people think that once you go through vet school, pass your boards, and receive your Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) that the only option is to go into private practice and see patients. Fortunately, a DVM opens far more doors than just treating dogs, cats, horses, and cows. Over the next several posts, I’ll talk about some of the opportunities out there for graduate veterinarians beyond private practice.

One unique opportunity I’ve had at LMU-CVM is the chance to get my Masters of Business Administration (MBA) alongside my DVM through the LMU School of Business. This summer, I’m taking twelve hours of MBA classes with the LMU-DCOM DO/MBA students: MBA Foundations I & II. Foundations I introduces the major concepts of management and marketing a medical practice. Medical and veterinary practices are different than typical businesses in that they deal with human and animal health care–something that isn’t very easily bought and sold.  I’ve enjoyed the in-class and online discussions because each person brings a different perspective due to the varied backgrounds; I’m the only veterinary student in a class of thirty medical students! For my final project, I have to design and compile a business plan for a prospective private veterinary practice.

Foundations II will introduce me to economics, finance, and accounting in a healthcare setting. One major difference between medical and veterinary practices is the acceptance of insurance. If a client has pet insurance, they pay the cost of the visit upfront, submit the receipts to their carrier, and then receive a reimbursement check for the cost of the visit and any medicines, vaccinations, or procedures covered by their policy; the veterinary practice doesn’t have to deal with insurance companies. In contrast, medical patients pay a co-pay at their visit, then the medical practice submits a claim to insurance and waits to be reimbursed, usually at a lower rate that has been previously negotiated. The focus of this course isn’t to make me into an economist, financier, or accountant, but to give me the tools to understand the impact of the economy on a practice. I’ll also learn how to read and interpret financial statements so that I can make the most educated decisions about my practice.

Over the next three years I will take the rest of my MBA classes online. My options include courses like the Legal Environment of Business, which deals with commercial law and regulations relevant to managers, and Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, which discusses how ethical business decisions affect society as whole. I’m very excited for the opportunities an MBA will give me once I’ve graduated, whether it’s in private practice or the public sector –something I’ll be touching on in a future post.

If you want more information on LMU-CVM or the DVM/MBA program, check out the admissions page, feel free to email me, or leave a comment!


Posted on June 25, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. LIKE!!

    Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:37:43 +0000 To:

  2. I think it’s super cool that these kind of programs are offered! We don’t have anything like it in Canada. How is the workload with this?

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