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                    John Gay, DVM PhD DACVPM               AAHP                  FDIU             VCS

VM 577P Herd Production Medicine

Professional Service Fee Exercise

Static out-of-date page for placeholding

Current version - pdf


Purpose: The purposes of this exercise are for you to:

  1. Estimate the professional fee, total and per hour, that you need to achieve your desired family income
  2. Become familiar with on-line resources for determining herd demographics and economics in locations you are considering
  3. Consider the feasibility of this fee structure for your future clientele
  4. Consider your value to future employers
  5. Consider your future living expenses in locations your are considering
  6. Improve your spreadsheet skills (using spreadsheets to analyze herd data and to display results is an important herd production medicine skill)

        If unclear about any of the following, ask me. Please discuss this with your peers for their ideas and your mentors for their input!

Task: Build a spreadsheet, Excel, Google Docs, OpenOffice or other, for estimating future professional fees and for doing "what if's." 

Questions to consider: Are enough herds likely consuming the type of services you want to provide within range of where you want to live to support a family? What if you served more herds? Fewer but larger herds? More specialized services (e.g.doing ET) for more select herds (e.g. registered seedstock producers)? Increased the proportion of billable time? Charged more? Worked more hours in herd work? Less hours, shifting to more small animal work? How much do you need to charge for individual animal procedures to cover your time as well as other fixed and variable expenses?

  • Make this spreadsheet as simple or as complex as you like; the most important thing is not to fool yourself with the conclusions from it
  • You may work in groups of students with similar species interests but everyone should complete their own final version
  • If you need a quick Excel tutorial, a Google search using the key words "excel tutorial" yields a bunch (800,000+ hits), one of which should be to your liking. Examples of two quick basic tutorials for Excel 2010 are pdf1 and pdf2.
  • To save your time, I've listed on-line versions of most of the information you need to build your spreadsheet and various guides. Use these as guides only and verify with your own data and calculations
  • Professional Fees Spreadsheet (old version below  - Revised and updated Version is now this pdf)

    I) Estimate the Demographics of Your Future Clients 5 years Post-graduation:
    II) Estimate Price of Professional Services 5 years Post-graduation:

    Use what of the following resources make the most sense to you to develop the degree of detail that is useful to you. Avoid double-counting or overlooking a major expense category. Above all, avoid fooling yourself..