Evaluation of a primary-care setting at a veterinary teaching hospital by a student business group: implementing business training within the curriculum.J Vet Med Educ. 2014 Summer; 41(2):189-96.JV
This article provides an introduction to the use of students' business skills in optimizing teaching opportunities, student learning, and client satisfaction in a primary health care setting at a veterinary teaching hospital. Seven veterinary-student members of the local chapter of the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) evaluated the primary-care service at the University of Georgia (UGA) veterinary teaching hospital and assessed six areas of focus: (1) branding and marketing, (2) client experience, (3) staff and staffing, (4) student experience, (5) time management, and (6) standard operating procedures and protocols. For each area of focus, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats were identified. Of the six areas, two were identified as areas in need of immediate improvement, the first being the updating of standard operating protocols and the second being time management and the flow of appointments. Recommendations made for these two areas were implemented. Overall, the staff and students provided positive feedback on the recommended changes. Through such a student-centered approach to improving the quality of their education, students are empowered and are held accountable for their learning environment. The fact that the VBMA functions without a parent organization and that the primary-care service at UGA functions primarily as a separate entity from the specialty services at the College of Veterinary Medicine allowed students to have a direct impact on their learning environment. We hope that this model for advancing business education will be studied and promoted to benefit both veterinary education and business practice within academia.