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  • Writer's pictureDr. Bill Wagner

Why does being veterinarian led matter?

Associated Veterinary Partners prides itself on being both veterinarian founded and having an unwavering commitment to remain veterinarian operated. AVP is honored to be part of a subset of groups currently in the veterinary healthcare market that can honestly claim to be both.

If we’re going to make such a big deal out of how it makes us different, that begs the question:

How much does it really matter?

Ethics: Veterinary hospitals are much more than just a business

Veterinary hospitals provide an essential service to their communities and the work that they do is deeply important to pets and pet parents. This may feel like common sense to any veterinary healthcare worker, but to those coming from outside the profession in search of a profitable investment this understanding may not come so naturally. Best business practices do not always align with best ethical practices, and how that point of conflict gets resolved is what truly defines the moral quality of an employer. For a veterinarian-operated company the clear right answer will always be the one that aligns with the ethical duty that comes with being a member of our profession.

The Veterinarian’s Oath

"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society, through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.”

"I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence."

Operations: Veterinary hospitals aren’t your average small businesses

To call our profession “quirky” would be the understatement of the century. The work that we do and the people who do that work are truly unique. Nothing in an MBA textbook can help you understand what it means to handle a fractious cat, or how to handle the cat client who brought the animal in. By integrating general business operational best practices with real, firsthand knowledge from working in the front lines of veterinary medicine, at AVP we’re able to understand what will and will not work inside a veterinary hospitals. Anyone who has practiced medicine knows that nothing in the real world ever looks exactly like it does in the textbook, and the same applies to the management of veterinary hospitals. This is the exact reason why we have veterinarians, practice managers, and other veterinary healthcare workers within our operations team who understand what the real world of practicing veterinary medicine looks like.

Medicine: A commitment to clinical autonomy

There are some fantastic people out there who work in investment banking, but they don’t have any business being inside of your exam room unless they’re there to get care for their own pet. In a veterinary hospital, when it comes to medical decisions, the buck should always stop with the veterinarian and the pet owner. period. Non-veterinarian leaders of veterinary groups who want to tell veterinarians what treatments to recommend, what to prescribe, or otherwise dictate the practice of medicine have no place in our profession. At AVP we’re committed to the clinical autonomy of the veterinarians at our partner practices. You’re the clinician, we’re the team in your corner there to set you up for success.

At AVP we’re proud to be veterinarian founded, veterinarian operated, and not private equity backed.

We are committed to the values of the veterinary profession and being good, ethical stewards of our practice partners who choose to join us. Our mission is simple:

We advance the lives of pets, pet parents, and veterinary healthcare workers together.

If you’re a practice owner interested in finding out more about partnership with AVP, please contact me at If you’re a veterinarian, veterinary technician, or veterinary support staff member and you’re interested in finding out more about building a career at one of our AVP practices, please contact our Director of People & Success at

Both Tedd and I are here to answer any questions, explain AVP further, or just to as a sounding board for your success.

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