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Fixed versus mobile and corporate versus independent practices

Explore the differences between fixed and mobile veterinary practises as well as corporate versus independent veterinary practices.
Image showing a veterinarian and assistant looking at a dog’s scans.

Fixed versus mobile

Some veterinary practices do not operate from a building but instead visit the homes of their customers to treat pets where they feel safest.

They will usually have a well-equipped vehicle which provides the medications and equipment for common procedures that are able to be performed at home without specialist equipment.

This is a common model for large animal practices where much of their work is done at the farmers’ residence, which can be many miles apart.

This is also a highly sought-after service for euthanasia requests. Many owners would prefer that their pet is at home and calm before being laid to rest, and will often try to seek out a mobile veterinarian for this.

This can mean that staff operating a mobile clinic would perform a higher-than-average amount of euthanasias which can be emotionally draining.

Most fixed practices will be able to offer some version of a mobile service, but usually isn’t encouraged and an additional fee is charged since it can take a lot of time out of the scheduled standard day in a clinic.

Corporate versus independent

It is becoming increasingly common in the veterinary industry for practices to be purchased by a larger group and amalgamated into their corporate conglomerate.

There are many efficiencies for clinics of being able to save costs on shared central resources such as administrative functions, being able to offer a wider range of services by having multiple clinics and veterinarians, as well as increasing brand reach in an area to become more well-recognised.

There are also advantages for staff associated with having more resources and equipment available, more development opportunities, and the ability to learn from and ask help from a variety of expert team members.

However, there are also advantages to an independent practice such as closer relationships with supervisors and managers, sometimes a closer team to work with, and usually a lower focus on targets and financial pressures.

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