After five years of working as an associate, my wife and I opened a predominantly small-animal practice in Zachary, Louisiana, a town of 11,000 just north of Baton Rouge. Although I was a competent doctor, I had never been trained to run an office. It turned out to be a lot harder than I expected. The place was hectic, disorganized and I was constantly having to calm down the staff upsets so we could get some work done. My family life suffered because I always had to be at the office to keep things under control, and when I did come home I would bring the stress and worries home with me. I didn’t even have the reward of making a good return for all the time I was putting in; once we paid the practice bills, there wasn’t a lot of money left over. I was getting burned out.
All that turned around last spring when I became a Sterling client. I finally learned, after 12 years as an owner, the right way to manage my practice. The very first month we hit a record for production and every month since we have been ten to twenty percent higher than the previous year, even though we are supposed to be in a depression.
Higher-income is just the start of the benefits I have gotten out of the Sterling program. It has given me my life back. When I am in the office, the days go by quickly because the place runs smoothly and I don’t get worn. Instead of spending their time bickering, my staff are now having fun helping meeting the goals I have set for the practice.
But I also no longer feel that I need to be in the office all the time. With the systems I now have in place, I have been able to go to my son’s wrestling meets and my daughter’s volleyball games without worrying about the office falling apart in my absence.
I’ll admit that I was skeptical when I first heard about the Sterling program, but the results have been better than I expected. I am happier, my staff are more cheerful, I am taking home more money and I am getting along better with my wife and kids. It has worked out great all around.
Edward K. Annison, DVM