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Veterinary Management Training Changes with the Times

A long-standing management training program for veterinary professionals at Purdue will celebrate its silver anniversary this September, with the start of its 25th series of modules covering core management issues.  Originally called the Veterinary Management Institute, the program was ahead of its time when it first offered graduate level instruction through the Krannert School of Management.  Veterinarians recognized the value of the program and the number of graduates began to grow.  Now there are 785 alumni.  In anticipation of its anniversary milestone, the Veterinary Practice Management Program (VPMP), as it is now called, has begun accepting registration for its 25th Series September 11-14, which will include a Gala Reception for participants and alumni, and a special day of continuing education for previous attendees at Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette, Ind.

The program was renamed this past year, to reflect a new collaboration with the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, and a new emphasis on serving a broader range of veterinary professionals.  “Here at Purdue University there are few professions we revere as much as that of veterinary practice,” said Purdue University President Mitch Daniels.  “That’s why in the best Boilermaker collaborative tradition, two of our outstanding colleges, the Krannert School of Management and our College of Veterinary Medicine have come together to create the Veterinary Practice Management Program.” 

The program is relevant to all members of the veterinary team, including veterinarians, veterinary technicians and technologists, and practice managers with business decision-making responsibility.  The program also is designed to foster more networking and interaction between colleagues, program faculty and alumni.  Each three day module accommodates the unique business needs of a practice team with on campus seminars that minimize time away from the practice on weekdays and maximize the benefits to participants of weekend travel discounts. Additionally, all of the sessions are applicable toward the continuing education requirement for the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager program offered by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association.

The newest VPMP graduates completed their final session on Strategic Thinking in February.  The material is taught by Krannert Associate Dean for Administration Logan Jordan.  “The cases we use, the industry instruction that we use, the data that we bring in – it is all about this industry and it’s kind of nice to be able to focus and not be totally general,” Dr. Jordan said.  “We’ll bring in examples from other industries because they can be instructive to what might be coming in the veterinary care industry, but we really tailor this and have had a long time to practice this, to tailor it for the industry at hand.”

The most recent group of 13 graduates included participants from as far away as Germany.  Dr. Franziska Auf der Lanver, a veterinarian from Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, said she really appreciated the networking opportunities.  “What I like the most is…connecting to all the people, seeing how veterinary practices are run over here, and seeing the differences or similarities,” she said. 

Director of the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division Michael Dicks visits with VPMP participants during a breakfast gathering.The other modules offered cover human resource management, accounting and financial management, and marketing management.  Dr. Michael Dicks, director of the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division, was on hand for the Strategic Thinking module to give a keynote address to the participants.  “Somehow it has to be communicated to veterinarians that having the technical skills is not enough,” he cautioned.  “The problems that they face are their problems – they’re not going to be solved by somebody else, they have to be solved by them... And this kind of a course...is the kind of a program that will allow them to see that landscape – allow them to understand where they’re at, what that environment is, and the things that they can do to position themselves for better profitability.”

Several of the most recent graduates along with Dr. Dicks and Dr. Jordan, are featured in a new video about the program, which is available on the new VPMP website, along with a video of Purdue President Daniels’ comments.  The website also provides complete program information and easy on-line registration.

The College also is seeking to raise funds for scholarships for Purdue veterinary students to be able to enroll in the program.  “Many of our alumni have suggested we do more for our students in business management,” said PVM Director of Advancement Jeff Spielman.  “The college has decided to help fund some students every year for this program. We need others to step forward to help us with this great opportunity for our students.”  The goal is to provide each recipient with $1,200 to help pay the program registration cost.  To help or for more information, please contact Jeff Spielman or Becky Hershey in the Office of Advancement at 765-494-6304 or by email at vetdevelopment@purdue.edu.

PVM Report | Spring 2014 | Mosaic View