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EP 74: Modern Animal: What you can learn from a de novo (startup) practice group
Episode 7426th April 2023 • The Veterinary Business Success Show • VetX International
00:00:00 00:41:53

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In this episode of the Veterinary Business Success Show, we had the pleasure of interviewing Steven Eidelman and Dr. Christie Long from Modern Animal, a de novo practice group with locations in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and soon in Austin, Texas. They shared their insights on the importance of transparency, intentional design, and community building in the veterinary industry.

One of the key takeaways from our conversation is the importance of transparency in building trust with clients. Modern Animal aims to be extremely transparent in how they communicate and how they show up physically. They have a lot of glass in their practice, and clients can see all the way through from the street to the back. They also have a digital experience that wraps around the clinic experience, which is transparent in how they communicate about medicine, pricing, estimates, and the reasoning behind their care.

Dr. Long and Eidelman also emphasized the importance of intentional design and organization in the treatment area of their practices. They explained that clutter, messiness, and noise could create a stressful environment for both staff and clients and can distract from the practice of medicine. They emphasized the need for commitment and setting standards to eliminate cognitive overhead and streamline workflow.

We also discussed the challenges of maintaining a relationship between clients and their preferred veterinarian while providing access to care 24/7. Modern Animal has built a model that allows clients to see their preferred veterinarian and access virtual care 24/7. They have a team of registered nurses who have full access to the client's medical record, allowing for urgent care and access to medical history.

Dr. Christie Long and Steven Eidelman also discussed the importance of integrating the medical and operational aspects of a veterinary practice. They emphasized the need for a strong partnership between the medical and operational leaders in each practice to ensure the business runs smoothly and effectively.

Overall, Modern Animal is committed to balancing medical quality, employee engagement, member experience, and profitable growth to ensure a sustainable business that delivers the best experience possible for its clients and patients.

As Dr. Long and Eidelman put it, "We're playing the game the hard way, but we're playing the game for the right reasons." If you're interested in learning more about Modern Animal and its approach to veterinary care, I highly recommend listening to this episode.

Episode Outline 

  • [00:00] Episode Intro
  • [01:49] Importance of transparency in communication and physical practice
  • [03:26] The implementation of an open hospital concept and its benefits 
  • [05:10] Balancing transparency between the doctor and the client
  • [07:19] Redesigning the Veterinary Experience 
  • [09:27] Standardization and organization of the veterinary working area
  • [12:17] Scenario example where standardization process didn’t work 
  • [15:10] Building customer loyalty on the brand instead of the doctor
  • [18:04] The Propensity for No Boundaries 
  • [20:38] Building a Trusted Brand 
  • [00:24:23] Discussion on the tension between the four core principles of a veterinary practice
  • [23:08] Ad Break- Learn more about our Leaders program 
  • [25:24] The importance of acknowledging the need for medicine and operations to work in harmony and how Modern Animal uses the concept of dyads to achieve this
  • [28:16] Building own software for the company
  • [32:53] Business expansion plans 
  • [36:17] Challenges of building a brand 
  • [38:08] Benefits of Building Community
  • [41:11] Wrap-up
  • [41:47] The end