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If you’re like most of my clients, you probably think any veterinarian who has been around for a bit should own her own practice — or part of it, anyway. You’ll assume she has the ambition and the wherewithal to take her skills to the next level — that is, if she’s worth her salt.
Here’s where I confess: My name is Dr. Patty Khuly, and I don’t own a veterinary practice. Not yet, anyway. And, yes, you’re right. Mine is an uncommon career choice for a veterinarian of my age who has been practicing as long and as happily as I have.
To be sure, I don’t have to justify my personal life choices to anyone except myself. Yet I think an explanation might offer you some valuable insight into the inner lives of veterinarians.
It’s true; eschewing practice ownership doesn’t make me feel particularly virtuous or successful as a mid-career veterinarian. And I suspect the same is true of many of my ambitious yet not-yet-practice-owning colleagues. But that’s sometimes how it goes. Here are some factors that have contributed to my nontraditional vet career trajectory:
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