Practical, hands-on experience for veterinary students

Are you a 3rd or 4th year veterinary student who wonders how non-medical issues may affect your career? Are you interested in the business side of owning or running a practice?

The VBA Externship program will expose you to many of the legal and business issues you could face while working in a veterinary practice. During our intensive 3-4 week opportunity, you’ll be immersed into a plethora of real-life situations. For instance:

  • Employer/employee contract negotiations
  • Buying and selling of veterinary practices
  • Veterinary partnerships – relationship challenges
  • Conflict resolution
  • Financing
  • Construction/Expansion
  • Client issues
  • Malpractice
  • And many more

To learn more about the VBA Externship program, download our letter and application.

Here’s what our past externs have to say…

Marie Bucko (2021)- Vet Students cannot pass up an externship with VBA.  If you want to learn the latest on contract negotiations, how to buy or sell a practice with all the details involved – a VBA externship is what you need to do. Contract negotiations can be intimidating, but this externship gives you the tools you need to face that intimidation and negotiation head-on. In fact, Dr. Charlotte Lacroix empowered me to negotiate my first job contract coupled with my due diligence, and I was able to successful attain all aspects I was looking to improve in my contract. She and her dynamic team made me feel included in all facets of working with her clients which helped me develop a strong, tangible skillset in negotiating employee agreements whether as a future Associate or practice owner!  They strive to make sure you feel you are getting the most out of your experience.  I’m so grateful to have had this experience!

Pooja Patel (2020)- The externship at Veterinary Business Advisors was truly eye opening. I felt warmly welcomed by everyone there and was immediately introduced to the legal side of veterinary medicine. I am grateful that Dr. LaCroix took time out of her busy schedule to explain concepts that were very applicable to my future. By working through contracts and taking notes on calls, I began to recognize issues that were worth discussing. I was taught to have confidence in my skills and not be afraid to stand up for myself! I loved how no two cases were the same yet Dr. LaCroix was able to solve their problem in a practical and easy to understand way. I am very thankful for this experience and for everyone’s hospitality and kindness at VBA. I highly recommend this externship for everyone in the veterinary field. I consider myself lucky to have gotten this experience and am very grateful.

Anna-Marie Struble (2019)- Veterinary Business Advisors is a must-do externship for anyone in the veterinary field! Future owners will find this an invaluable experience as you will learn about how to value and buy or sell a practice. Even if you don’t want to own a practice, you will benefit from knowing the inner workings of employee contracts, client accusations, and workplace disagreements. I appreciated learning how to successfully navigate the industry I am about to enter and I feel better prepared to find a quality workplace. VBA provides a unique experience that supplements traditional curriculum in a very practical way.

Lance Brody (2019)- My externship at Veterinary Business Advisors has been invaluable. I learned more about business in three weeks than I have in all other business courses combined. Charlotte and the whole staff are so welcoming and willing to answer any of my questions. They got me involved with the real work that needs to be done. I worked on contracts, all the way from a single associate veterinarian’s employment agreement to the buying and selling of multi-doctor practices. Before this experience, I did not realize all the aspects of a veterinary business that I truly did not know. This experienced taught me how to think critically and gave me the skill set to spot issues that can often go unnoticed. I am truly grateful for this experience and would recommend it to all veterinary students across the country. 

Stephanie Rey (2019)- My time at Veterinary Business Advisors was completely unique. I had exposure to so many topics that will be relevant throughout my entire professional career. I learned how to navigate through various contracts such as employment agreements, operating agreements, asset purchase agreements, non-compete agreements and many more. Charlotte and I also discussed the legality of up and coming issues such a telemedicine in practice, the use of cannabis in pets, and corporate consolidation, all topics which have broadened my awareness and knowledge of current events within the veterinary field. I also had exposure to various human resource affairs such as how to create a cohesive and emotionally intelligent team and dealing with sexual and verbal harassment within a practice. Charlotte, Kellie and the whole VBA staff were amazing and I couldn’t thank them enough for this wonderful experience!

Danielle Esplin (2018) My externship at VBA was full of fantastic various experiences. I was able to experience first-hand practice sales, practice acquisitions, employment contracts, hiring/firing employees, and on-site human resource practice audits. Charlotte, Kellie, and the rest of the VBA team made it their priority to involve me and answer my many questions. They gave me the respect of a colleague and instilled much dedication into my progress. I had a wonderful time and have gained insights, and connections, I will carry long into my veterinary career, especially as I work  toward practice ownership. Thank you Charlotte, Kellie, and the rest of the VBA team.

Jack Perkins (2018)-My externship with Veterinary Business Advisors was an eye opening experience. During my time as an extern, I had the opportunity to participate in calls with clients regarding a variety of topics, such as employee contract negotiations and the sale of veterinary practices. As an aspiring practice owner, participating in these discussions was invaluable. I was able to learn more about the wants and concerns of both the employer and employee as well as the buyer and seller; this will help me better understand the other party when I am negotiating in the future, no matter what side of the table I am sitting on. No other externship I have completed thus far has had such an obvious and positive direct return. I will be entering the veterinary workforce in a year and this externship has armed me with the knowledge to effectively issue spot an employee contract and the confidence to negotiate it. Because of this, I would highly recommend this externship to all veterinary students, regardless of their level of interest in the business side of veterinary medicine.

Ryan Adams (2017)From the beginning of my first day as an Extern at Veterinary Business Advisors I have experienced the pacing and immersion into the world of veterinary business and legal matters that has surpassed my expectations. This efficient and passionate company effectively handles a diverse array of veterinary practice issues: employment agreements, asset purchase agreements for the sale of a practice, non-compete clauses, the proper handling and aftermath of the termination of an employee, along with other uncommon but important problems. During my time spent with this company I was charged with developing a presentation on the proper consideration of reference laboratory contracts, which opened my eyes to this rarely discussed aspect of practice ownership. I considered myself fortunate to receive business and legal information through my curriculum at UC Davis veterinary school, but the experiences and lessons gained from my time with VBA added a much more personal experience and understanding. All of the employees at this company have been very welcoming and inclusive which helped me to quickly become comfortable with my role and achieve their expectations. There is no lack of work here; Dr. Lacroix, Mrs. Olah, and the rest of the team are continuously moving throughout the day as they endeavor to provide exceptional client advocacy and superior customer service. I came into this externship hoping to finally determine my level of interest in veterinary business matters and practice ownership, to which VBA confirmed the exciting possibilities and armed me with knowledge for my future career.

Jill Giunco (2017)-Throughout my time in veterinary school, I have always been interested in the business aspects of the industry. I have always found the perfect outlets to participate in the business focused activities involving veterinary medicine and I believe that participating as an extern at Veterinary Business Advisors during my fourth year helped me continue that trend. During my time, I participated in practice sale agreements, employment contracts, partnership agreements, employee management, as well as a countless number of other integral aspects of the veterinary profession. The externship experience at Veterinary Business Advisors allowed me to experience the veterinary industry that I will be entering very soon from a unique perspective. This exposure will allow me to foster a competitive advantage as I enter the veterinary field. I believe that a large amount of my ability to gain all this new profound knowledge stemmed from the welcoming and warm environment created by the entire VBA staff. The staff made me feel as if I were part of the team from first day and I am very grateful for the environment fostered. I cannot thank all the VBA team enough for all the great times and profound knowledge obtained from my externship.    

Benjamin Donati (2016) It would be tough to give a full and proper listing of all the things I learned with my 4 weeks at Veterinary Business Advisors. Dr. Lacroix and Kellie were unbelievable in letting me ask all sorts of questions throughout the day and I felt so welcomed by the entire VBA team from day one. Throughout the externship, I gained an exponentially-better understanding of practice/sale agreements, non-compete clauses, succession plans, tax implications, and more. VBA’s clients were very willing in allowing me to listen in on their conference calls, meet in person, or visit their hospital. Each day was varied and, along with client communication, I was able to research many aspects of the profession, of which I had previously known very little. The value of the externship at VBA cannot be overstated. And this is not an externship exclusively for future practice owners; for anyone interested in practicing veterinary medicine in any capacity, spending time with VBA while in school will provide incredible insight. I am so grateful to VBA for the wonderful perspective I developed on the future of veterinary medicine during our 4 weeks together.

Prepare for Your Future in Veterinary Medicine

Download the Externship Application