Our mixed animal practice is co-owned by one part-time and one full-time veterinarian. The part-time doctor handles the administrative
duties, but she regularly arrives late and leaves early. The result: Our practice doesn't function smoothly and we're constantly
operating in crisis mode. What can our team do?
First, try approaching the part-time doctor to work out a solution. Start the conversation by confirming your understanding
of who's responsible for which tasks in your practice. This doctor may not believe her responsibilities include the same list
of tasks you do.
Once you've verified her role, give specific examples where she missed an important detail or didn't finish a job and explain
the consequences. Or ask how your team can lighten her workload and make her responsibilities more manageable. Obviously,
you must conduct this conversation tactfully and professionally. Focus on what's best for your patients, clients, and team,
and explain how current processes interfere with these goals. Avoid comments that sound like personal criticisms. She'll concentrate
on those rather than your concerns or suggestions to improve your practice's systems.
If this approach doesn't work, request a meeting with both doctors. Gently insist they speak with you and repeat the problems
your team experiences, focusing on the practice's welfare. Resist the urge to meet with the full-time doctor alone. An effective,
permanent solution involves both doctors. You'll earn extra points for your efficiency and professionalism.