Idiopathic Issues

Link: Walmart will soon offer veterinary care

Posted by Lori Hehn on July 27, 2018 at 10:18 AM
Lori Hehn
Lori Hehn is a practicing veterinarian and a contributor and content manager with XPrep Learning Solutions. She has a drive for continual learning and enjoys interacting with veterinary and vet tech students. She also writes veterinary learning books for children.

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I had to stop myself from doing an eye-roll when I first saw the title of the article.  At every turn, it seems that the veterinary industry is becoming more and more corporate. Smaller clinics getting bought out by a corporation, and then corporations getting bought out by larger ones.

PetIQ has already opened 20 clinics in Walmart. Their plan is to open more than 1,000 additional clinics by 2023. In January, they also entered an agreement to acquire VIP PetCare. That being said, there are many Walmarts, so even though this may sound like a lot, this is a very small percentage of them that will have a vet practice inside.

My next thought is why does this even bother me? It shouldn't. I have a successful practice and I don't feel that I am competing with these big companies. I think it is more just the overall idea that our world is becoming literally run and owned by a handful of entities. The whole "buy local" concept is lost on many. I like the idea of supporting the local community, whether it be goods or services.

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Our role as veterinarians, no matter where we decide to work, is to provide good education, practice good medicine, and provide a support network for our clients. I don't believe that these corporations will put the little guys out of business. I worked for a corporation for 7 years. I learned a lot about the good and the bad and that has helped me in my job today. 

The point is, when you see these things happening in our industry, don't be discouraged. The great news is that as veterinarians there is always work for us, and many options in our field. A lot of practice owners sell out to corporations when they are ready to retire because there isn't any interest by individuals to buy. I often wonder what the market will be someday when it is time for me to retire and sell and will I choose to do the same? What are your thoughts on vet med moving into Walmart? 

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Topics: Veterinary Care

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