Becoming a business owner gives you the freedom to shape your career and pursue what inspires you most. Don’t resign yourself to years of working to pay off your school loans, battling burnout, and simply getting through the day—consider the empowering alternative of practice equity. Then, you will be working because you want to, having a say in positive changes for you and your practice team, and enjoying more financial freedom. Most importantly, you will rediscover the “why” that led you to veterinary medicine.
From the family ranch to DVM
My dad grew up on a ranch in Swan Valley, Idaho, that my family still runs today. I grew up in Utah, but I developed my love of animals at the ranch. I enjoyed caring for the ranch animals, but I was also curious about their health. Why did they get sick? How did their medical treatment work? This curiosity started me down the veterinary medicine path, but although I was eager to learn about animals, I wasn’t a big fan of school, and wasn’t sure I wanted to pursue a career that required so many years of education.
Then, in my junior year of college, I decided to buckle down. I received my undergraduate degree from Utah State University, and then my veterinary degree from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. I had always planned to move to Idaho to be close to my family and the ranch—not to mention the beautiful mountains—and after graduation, I began working as a large animal veterinarian at Alpine Animal Hospital in Pocatello, Idaho.
From veterinary practice employee to partner
The Pocatello community and the Alpine Animal Hospital, where I have practiced since graduation, have always felt like home. Over the years, I was presented with practice partner opportunities, but I was never sure that was right for me until two of our practice’s partners convinced me to take the leap. I’m so glad I did. We have a strong relationship and we all mesh together really well, and I knew that would make us successful partners.
From partner to a whole new outlook
Owning equity in my practice has provided much more freedom, not only professionally, but also personally and financially. Previously, I thought I would have to work until I died, but as a partner, I no longer feel that way. I also now have the freedom of flexibility and choice in the patients I want to treat—small pets or large animals—and how I want to care for them, that I did not have before.
From owner to practice leader—and more
My new outlook on life and veterinary medicine has given me much more.
- Better working relationships — Ownership also has enhanced my relationships with my staff and practice partners, and the support and genuine care for each other has made the ownership transition an extremely positive experience.
- Understanding business —I have learned so much about the business side of veterinary medicine through regular business meetings, frequent discussions about day-to-day operations, and by regularly checking in with all team members for their personal and professional perspectives.
- A better future for the whole team — Ownership also has changed the way I view my staff. I am no longer one of them—I am now committed to ensuring they are always taken care of, professionally and personally. It’s rewarding to have a say in the future and to feel that I’m helping to make changes for the better—such as increasing job satisfaction and preventing burnout—and hopefully improving the staff’s lives.
- A brighter view of veterinary medicine — My perspective on veterinary medicine as a whole has changed entirely. This is a hard profession. It’s not all roses. You can’t save every animal. Sometimes things go wrong. In the past, I often wondered if my career was worth all the time, money, educational investment, and emotional toll. The future that I saw—making a fair salary, but not really progressing as a veterinary practitioner or financially—was not what I wanted. I wanted something more inspiring and rewarding. Practice ownership has provided that.
Today, I am totally invested in my practice and my future and the future of veterinary medicine. I have discovered an entirely new side of the veterinary profession and that has made every step of the journey worthwhile.
Inspire Veterinary Partners helps people like Dr. Lunquist, and others with unique backgrounds, attain veterinary practice ownership and a strong future. Now they are inspired every day, and inspired owners inspire their teams, as they build an ethical, sustainable, and profitable business that is a great place to work. If you want to feel inspired again and reignite your passion for veterinary medicine, reach out to learn more.