Today we are talking about the correct ratio of support staff to DVM.

I’ve gotten a few DMs here and there about this topic, and I see it talked about a lot in social media groups. So, it’s something somebody out there needs to know, right?

And the answer is, “Boy, does that depend.”

You can go back and reference the ‘What Do you Want to Compete On?’ episode that we did because that will tell you a lot. It really depends.

I am running a practice where I want to divest myself of all the stuff except for what I absolutely have to do. So, I’m the one with the license to cut, prescribe, diagnose. Those three things, nobody else can do. All the rest of the shit, anybody else can do.

So if there are lab results someone else can walk the client through, other communications with clients, dealing with vendors, or really just any other thing– Those are all things I do not need to do. Even writing up notes. It’s my dream to have my techs write up most of the notes for me and I’ll just go from there.

So if that’s your goal, you do need to have probably five or six team members per DVM. The plus is, if things are set up this way, I know I can do a LOT more. Our top line is going to be huge. We’re going to have a big number for our revenue. But, we’re also paying people so we’re going to be spending a lot of that revenue in payroll and taxes and benefits and things like that. If you’re doing it well, and you’ve got a team that’s engaged and happy, that’s worth it.

For me, I look at it as I want to engage my people as much as possible. I want them to use their skills. These people have worked really hard to get these skills and they’re really fucking good at what they do. I wanted that as a tech. I wanted more responsibility. I wanted to be leveraged. I wanted to be able to do all the stuff that I could do as a registered tech. I didn’t always get to do it and I remember that frustration, so I’m trying to hire people who want that and to do that.

Now, with that being said, I’ve worked at a ton of different places, and there are places that do it very differently. If you have a doctor who is good at technical skills, and who likes client communication stuff, you might be able to do really well with two. Maybe a CSR and a technician, and maybe they can float a little bit back and forth. Your top line is not going to be as much. You’re not going to be able to produce as much revenue without killing yourselves as a place that has three times more staff. But again, you’re not paying those people as much.

So I think you really have to look at what kind of a practice you want to run, what kind of people you want to hire, what kind of culture you want to have, and just how you want it to go as a doctor.

If you want to be super involved in every case, and you’re only going to be able to see maybe eight or ten a day, then you’re going to have a different kind of relationship with your staff. They’re going to be doing those things alongside you, and you’re just not going to have as much staff.

If you’re like me and you’ve been doing this for 20 plus years, I don’t need to do every blood draw. I can’t even tell you the last time I had to put an IV catheter, and I’m okay with that.

There were years when I was an RVT and I was like, “Yeah, I’ll put in every catheter and do this and I’m really good at it,” and I’ve just sort of changed my perspective a little bit on what it is that I want to do. So, because I don’t want to spend my days doing that, I’m hiring for more people and I’m working it out that way.

So yes, “it depends” is the answer, but hopefully, that gives a little bit more clarification. Please ask me if you have any questions!