While many veterinarians choose to believe that expertise in medicine necessarily precludes having business sense, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, business and medicine are both evidence-based disciplines with much in common. When a patientis sick, we used standard algorithms to determine the most likely causes, and run appropriate diagnostic tests. We do the same thing with a business that is in failing health. We might run an inventory audit instead of a radiograph, or look at financial statements rather than laboratory results, but the problem-solving approach is the same.
Once a medical problem is unearthed, we prescribe appropriate treatment. The same holds for businesses. A practice may not need an antibiotic injection, but an infusion of capital might be just what the doctor orders for an outdated facility. Finally, once the problem is corrected, we periodically monitor the patient with wellness exams, assuring continued health. Businesses are no different. We continue to take their vital signs, benchmark them against established "normals" and make sure that they continue on a healthful trend. What could possibly be a more natural extension of expertise than applying the same care to practice management as patient management?
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November 04, 2002
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