Buckeye in Brea: VPI welcomes the second of this summer’s veterinary student externs

Jennifer Gregory, a second-year student at the Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, joins us for a week in our VPI offices, the second veterinary student to participate in our extern program this summer. As Tuskegee’s Jonica Thompson experienced last week, Jennifer is learning about the business side of veterinary practice, in an intense program that covers everything from product development to customer satisfaction, wellness programs to marketing.

As VPI’s Chief Veterinary Officer, I’ve worked to help the veterinary community develop strategies that will help their clients provide pets with the care they need. I’ve always been business-minded, and as such I’ve pushed for greater financial literacy for veterinarians and veterinary students alike. While I don’t expect every veterinarian to spend as much time on financial planning as I do — it’s actually a passionate avocation of mine! — I am absolutely delighted to see an increased awareness of the need to grow as a business person as well as a health-care professional.

Top: As part of our externship, we take advantage of our proximity to VCA’s stunning West Los Angeles hospital to take our veterinary students on a tour. Jennifer Gregory of The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is one of two VPI externs for 2014.
Above: Students are introduced to all our business units. Jennifer spent a few minutes with VPI’s Dr. Reynolds in our Brea, Calif., offices.

Our two externs this summer have shown both interest and aptitude in the area of finances. An excerpt from Jennifer’s application letter:

I have strong interest in veterinary practice management and ownership in addition to the financial status of the profession. I have business experience through coursework in professional development, Veterinary Business Management
Association (VBMA) membership, and the Graduate Business Minor in Health Science.

My coursework in professional development increased my familiarity with business in the veterinary profession including economics, client adherence, and how money impacts the veterinary-client relationship. In addition, there were multiple discussions concerning personal finances in preparation for practice ownership. To further my knowledge, I am currently completing courses in veterinary practice management in which I am learning about practice finances, marketing, and human resources.

I just love to read letters like this, and talk to students such as Jennifer and Jonica. That’s why VPI is so involved with the student chapters of the VBMA at schools and colleges of veterinary medicine from coast to coast. Our strong support of greater financial savvy in the veterinary community is why we are so involved with the VBMA, especially the student chapters.

Our extern program is competitive, and we choose top veterinary students such as this summer’s externs have shown themselves to be. As always, I enjoy having the students in our offices, and I look forward to next year’s candidates.