Slide Recently, we’ve:
  1. Met a veterinarian who lives in her clinic (not in an apartment above it) because that’s all she can afford after nearly 20 years as a practice owner.
  2. Spoken with a veterinarian who has based his retirement plan on the belief that his practice was going to be worth one year’s gross revenue, and who just found out that it’s worth about $1 million less.
  3. Received a call from a veterinarian who, in her own words, was going to “work until I die as a solo practitioner” and was just diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six months to get her affairs in order. Even though she had always jokingly planned to work until she died, she had really planned on working until she didn’t want to anymore and then selling her hospital, thereby setting her family up with financial resources.
In the past several months, we’ve also:
  1. Sat in on a meeting with a millennial veterinarian with aspirations to be a practice owner as she negotiated purchase terms with a husband-wife team who had been planning their retirement from practice for about three years. Upon the sale, the couple will be moving south to be closer to kids and grandkids.
  2. Had a phone call with an enthusiastic, young veterinarian who was just approached by his hospital owner about gradually buying her out. After she sells, her husband, a firefighter, will be able to retire and she’ll devote her time volunteering in a veterinary association.
  3. Spent an afternoon on a beach with a veterinarian who sold his privately-owned hospitals to two younger associates when he was 52. He wasn’t ready to leave the profession yet, but suddenly he had the freedom to serve in ways he couldn’t when he was tied up practicing.
We could go on and on with stories from both sides of the aisle. There may not be a lot of certainties in life, but one thing we can all count on is that we will be leaving our careers at some point and in one way or another. This is a certainty. The factor we get at least some control over is the terms upon which we step out of practice. Whether you call it your exit strategy, transition, or succession plan, this process is the best opportunity we’ll get to set a vision for our career, lay the groundwork, and hopefully exit on our own terms.
BHC, with veterinarians who have not only orchestrated their own successful transitions from practice, but helped many others do the same, are here to help you create your own path.