Practical and Legal Experience for Veterinary Students!
Are you a 3rd or 4th year veterinary student who wonders how non-medical issues will affect your career? Are you interested in a unique opportunity to explore the emerging business and legal issues that affect the profession, employer/employee contract negotiations, the buying and selling of veterinary practices, and the relationship between veterinary partners? Acquire the knowledge and tools to deal with the non-medical quagmires you will face in a veterinary practice and join VBA for an exciting three to six week externship opportunity.
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Stephanie Betts (2011) - Both Dr. Lacroix and Ms. Bell were strong mentors and were devoted to ensuring I had a quality learning experience. They talked with me about my future goals and encouraged me and advised me on how to pursue them. They were genuinely interested in helping me grow which meant the world for me and I’ll always be thankful for their impact on my life.
Shannon Cabelli (2011) - I really enjoyed my externship at Veterianry Business Advisors, Inc. I felt the staff took good measures to ensure I received the most from this externship by not only educating me on the business aspect of veterianry practices, but by also personalizing this experience to meet my expectations. I spent time with Dr. Lacroix and her clients on numerous conference calls. Every call was different and permitted me to hear about a variety of legal and business scenarios veterinarians around the coutnry came across on a daily basis. Plus, I learned the importance of investing in a well-constructed employee manual and the benefits in can bring to a veterinary practice. The unique feature of this externship is students give back to the veterinary community. I enjoyed researching a topic of importance to our profession, writing proceedings, and presenting my finding to the staff. Dr. Lacroix believes in these topics and works to have her externs' papers featured in her VBA newsletter and other suitable written and online publications, which helps educate other veterianrians and is a great resume builder. This was an invaluable exerperience and I was happy to spread the word about this externship to my classmates. I will continue to speak highly of VBA's externship program, staff, and business to my collegues in the future. Additionally, I feel more prepared to deal with handling veterinary contracts as I navigate my way through hunting for jobs. Dr. Lacroix is great at her job and I easily see myself seeking her legal advice on my first associate veterinarian contract as well as in the future when I decide to own my first veterinary hospital.
Amy Wong (2012) - My three weeks at VBA were among the most valuable of my life. I had a chance to see first-hand the legal and business challenges faced by the veterinary profession. I also learned practical strategies to meet these challenges. I would highly recommend the externship to any third or fourth-year veterinary student who wants to be prepared for life after graduation.
Nicola Painter (2013) - My externship at Veterinary Business Advisors was a wonderful and rewarding experience. I was able to observe and participate in client matters and learned a tremendous amount from everyone at the office. Dr. Lacroix, Kellie Olah and Jean Paich fostered a collaborative work environment where my involvement was encouraged and valued. I would highly recommend the experience to all my veterinary students, especially for the knowledge gained in veterinary business trends, employment issues, and partnership agreements. As part of the externship, I also had the opportunity to spend some time with Dr. Hunton and her wonderful staff at South Branch Veterinary Hospital. All in all, the VBA externship was a fantastic experience. A big thank you to everyone at VBA for this wonderful opportunity!
Lukas Kawalilak (2013) - My month-long externship to VBA was one of the most positive experiences of my entire fourth year of veterinary school. Dr. Lacroix immeres externs in the veterinary business and legal world from day one. Just as in a teaching hospital, much of the learning in the externship comes from dealing with actual cases from actual clients across North America. Dr. Lacroix's fair and balanced approach allowed me to evaluate a wide range of business decisions from both the employer/owner side and the associate/employee side. Kellie Olah's experience in the HR field provided insight into the numerous challenges encountered while running a veterinary practice. Perhaps the most valuable skill I gained in this externship is the ability to approach a problem from a cost/benefit analysis and pragmatic point rather than strictly legal or 'prescriptive' view. I highly recommend this externship to all veterinary students, whether they are interested in the business aspect of veterinary medicine or not. The skills and knowledge I gained here will continue to serve me throughout the rest of my career.
Bronwyn Orr (2013) - During my three weeks with Veterinary Business Advisors I had my views on the issues facing veterinarians challenged, reconstructed and refined. I was immediately immersed in employee agreements and practice acquisitions, and given the chance to listen in on complex negotiations. I had the amazing opportunity to attend Wharton Business School with Dr. Lacroix on one of her speaking engagements, and observe emotive discussions between the movers and shakers of the veterinary profession. Dr. Lacroix's ability to win over just about anyone is testament to her friendly personality and prestigious work ethic. The chance to work with Dr. Lacroix, Kellie and Jean has been an honour, and I feel prepared now to analyse my own employee agreement with the same vigour that Dr. Lacroix puts into every single one.
Alex Radebaugh (2013) - My externship at Veterinary Business Advisors definitely exceeded my expectations. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to listen in on conference calls and hear firsthand about some of the challenges veterinary practitioners face today. Dr. Lacroix was a wonderful teacher that took extra time out of her busy day to answers questions I had about anything from contracts to veterinary laws. As a soon-to-be new graduate I definitely feel more confident that I will be able to decipher a good contract from an unreasonable contract. Additionally, I feel that I have been offered a glimpse into many of the trials and tribulations of practice ownership. I would definitely recommend this externship to any veterinary student, despite whether they wish to own a practice or not in their future.
Taylor Tungseth (2014) - My time spent with Veterinary Business Advisors, Inc. was nothing short of rewarding. My basic understanding of such things that will impact my immediate future, such as employment agreements/contracts and non-compete clauses, have been vastly improved - even in a couple short weeks. Dr. Lacroix does an excellent job of exposing you to the "trenches of veterinary medicine" and allowing you to gain exposure to real-life situations that could happen to you as a veterinarian at any time. The legal nuggets I gained and the tips that I will take with me into practice, from all aspects of my experience, are worth their weight in gold - as is any time spent with Dr. Lacroix.
Tara Mendez (2015) - It is a rare opportuinut to empbark on an exciting and fulfilling externship with a veterinarian/attorney/adivsor/mentor/teacher. This is how I would describe my time as with Dr. Charlotte Lacroix and Veterinary Business Advisors, Inc (VBA). My externship started in May and lasted for three weeks. As an extern at VBA, I had the opportunity to listen in on conference calls that Dr. Lacroix had with her clients and understand the business and legal foundations of veterinary medicine. My time at VBA has been invaluable as I have gained experience reviewing practice buy/sell negotitaions, employee agreements, partnership issues, asset purchase agreements, promissory notes and more. If some of these documents are unfamiliar to you, don't worry! Dr. Lacroix does an excellent job of explaining cencepts based on what your previous experience is. This externship is the time to familiarize yourself with some of the fundamentals and finer details of the business behind running a veterinary practice. Dr. Lacroix encourages externs to do their best work, but never iwthout giving construcitve tips and, most importantly, the tools to succeed. Dr. Lacroix is an expert at what she does and studying alongside her opened my eyes to a hwole other understanding of veterinary medicine. The entire staff at VBA is wonderful. The atmosphere is welcoming and the days go by fast. One of the highlights from my externship is that I had the opportunity to go on a site-visit with Kellie Olah, the Human Resources Consultant, and learn about successful ways in which to empower employees and organize management. This was a great experience in which to see the concepts I had learned put into action. Other highlights were sitting in on a NJ Veterinary Medical Association meeting and preseneting my individual project to members of VBA. With the latter, I had the opportuniyt to explore a personal topic of interest, make it my own, and share my findings with VBA. Another perk of an externship with VBA is the free housing, which is very nice, and its location to explore other areas. It is really easy to drive to a nearby train station and take a train into NYC on the weekends or even drive to other neat areas in New Jersey. My only regret is that the externship wasn't longer. I highly recommend anyone to explore an externship opportunity with Dr. Lacroix and VBA.