Evervet Partners November 8, 2022

From Reduced Hours to Early Retirement: Transition Plans That Work for You

woman riding a bike on a trail with her dog following right behind her

Every veterinary clinic owner reaches a point in their career where they start to imagine what the future looks like. 

For some, the ideal plan involves enlisting our help in time-consuming practice management areas so they can focus more fully on pet patient care while working more “normal” hours.

For others, a transition to a part-time schedule is in order: The practice owners want to keep their hand in the business for years to come, but see fewer patients and enjoy increased free time for personal pursuits. 

For yet another group, the need for an exit strategy is more immediate: The practice owners are ready to hand over the reins, and they’re looking for the right staff, partners, and practitioners to ensure that their business — and their existing relationships with pets and pet parents — will be nurtured well into the future.

At EverVet, we pride ourselves on learning what’s most important to our partners and working together to translate their vision into reality.


Enjoying Early Retirement

In the case of Fairland Animal Hospital in Silver Spring, MD, owner Dr. Jeff Whall had a thriving practice that he and his wife and business partner Maggie had built over the course of his 33-year veterinary career. Dr. Whall originally planned to stay actively engaged as a practitioner for 2 years after partnering with EverVet. Through effective recruiting and hiring strategies, we were able to bring two new veterinarians into the practice earlier than planned, alleviating the daily demands for Dr. Whall and giving him what he describes as a much-welcomed opportunity to transition into part-time work — and then into an early retirement.

“It took me almost 40 years to get to this point,” Dr. Whall says. “Initially, I was working full-time and then I dropped back as EverVet lived up to their promise to find great veterinarians to take Fairland into the future.”

Both Dr. Whall and Maggie are thrilled with how seamlessly the process has gone for everyone involved. 

“[EverVet] was very accommodating and considerate of me, and the other vets are just fantastic,” Dr. Whall says. “We wondered, how would the staff do? How would the clientele do? Changes have been subtle and seem to have gone over well. It has been a good transition for everyone.”

“It’s like [EverVet] knew what the practice needed when they did the hiring,” echoes Maggie.


Scaling Back a Heavy Workload

For Dr. Amy Poole, founder of Bear Creek Veterinary Hospital in Albemarle, NC, the time commitment needed to sustain a rapidly expanding practice simply became too much for one person to manage.

Dr. Poole started in 2006 as a solo large animal practitioner — ”it was just me and a truck,” she says — but then she built a facility, and the business evolved. After 9 years as the sole practitioner, she took on a small animal associate, and the practice expanded exponentially. By that point, Dr. Poole’s schedule had ballooned to the point where 60-hour work weeks were the norm.

“I was working more than full-time, 7 days a week,” Dr. Poole recalls. “I couldn’t sustain it any longer.” 

However, she also couldn’t find the right partner to alleviate those demands. 

“I knew I needed a light at the end of the tunnel,” she recalls. “We were doing all the right things and we didn’t need major changes or revamping, but I didn’t want to be the sole owner anymore.”

After EverVet partnered with Dr. Poole — a relationship that she says “came at the right time, right place” — we were able to make adjustments that kept her from burning out, including taking over administrative and practice management tasks like hiring, payroll, and purchasing, which allowed her to slow the pace and enjoy being a veterinarian again.

“Where they have helped me the most has been the recruiting side,” Dr. Poole explains. “They’ve worked to find me associates, administrative, and support staff. They’ve brought me more candidates in 6 months than I’ve found in 6 years.”

The bottom line? Whether the owners of our partner practices need more work/life balance, a gradual transition into retirement, or an expedited exit strategy, we work with them to create thoughtful, customized plans to match their goals — and the needs of their teams, pets, and pet parents.

Ready to start a conversation? Reach out today.

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