Dr. Kim Lim inspires with her passion for Canine Rehabilitation

If you’re one of the lucky people that has registered for the Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Workshop, you’ll meet Dr Kim Lim, who is an educator at the workshop. When I interviewed Kim recently, I was blown away by her passion for veterinary rehabilitation. If Kim can’t demonstrate the benefits of rehabilitation, then I don’t think anyone could!

Read on to learn more about Kim and her inspiring career in rehabilitation.


 

What inspired you to become a veterinarian and then go onto specialise in canine rehabilitation?

“I chose to be a vet by default; looking at a list of university courses in year 9, I had no idea what most of them were. Top of the list was actuary(?) Anyway at the bottom was veterinary science and I knew what that was. Maybe it was a bit of guilt from my rabbit having to be put down with myxo. Luckily for me, I have never regretted it. I loved pulling things apart and trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to put things back together again when young. Surgery was quite similar, but I didn’t enjoy the anaesthetic side of things (back then, I started with an in-breathing Komesaroff, no other monitoring devices etc.).

Discovering biomechanical medicine allowed me to change the biomechanics and function of the body without the anaesthetic or cutting things open. Rehabilitation was a natural extension of the biomechanics training. Sometimes it is like finding pieces of the jigsaw puzzle; you keep looking for better, more elegant ways to help your patients. I remember graduating from vet school and feeling like I never wanted to study again.

So, I did an acupuncture certification a year later because that wasn’t anything like vet school studying. It was more like the stuff my mother used to tell me; a bit of my culture thrown in, not really medicine…How wrong I was; and I have never really stopped learning since.”

 

What would you have done if you hadn’t become a veterinarian?

“Probably an engineer. There is a long history of engineers in the family. I have since found out that my love of fixing things is not just an engineering thing but is shared among many vets.”

 

In your own words, what is it about canine rehabilitation that you find interesting and that you believe general practitioners would benefit from learning about and performing better?

“I first discovered the importance of rehabilitation when a patient was presented to me four weeks after cruciate surgery. I asked the owner what she had been doing since the surgery and she told me she had been walking to the letterbox and back. When asked what else she had been doing, she replied, that’s it. That’s all the surgeon said the dog was allowed to do. I think this was the moment in 2011 when I realised I had a mission to educate my fellow veterinarians out there that just like in human medicine where they get you out of bed the day after surgery and on to a rehabilitation programme, it is not correct to cage rest or severely limit mobility of a dog after a similar type of surgery for six weeks. Another classic example is of the cruciate repair where the surgeon is happy with the surgery, healing rate etc. but the dog’s gait and posture are terrible; hind legs tucked under, kyphotic stance and no engagement and no strength from behind. Changing the biomechanics and adding rehabilitation to engage the hamstrings and release the psoas and the patient can then reap the benefits of the cruciate surgery.”

 

Read Dr. Lim’s article published in Vet Practice Magazine (May, 2019)

 

What procedure, technology, or medication have you used for a dog post-surgery or musculoskeletal injury, and realised that there was a better alternative?

“There is a common misconception that integrative/ alternative/ complementary medicine veterinarians have 2 heads or a chip on their shoulder or are just plain weird. The truth is that many of us started out wanting to be a mixed practice vet like James Herriot. However, there were things that our university taught tools were inadequate for and we kept searching for answers… The first was a Beagle more than 25 years ago. The owner reported that the dog screamed at home. On examination we poked, prodded, pulled the body all ways and got nothing. We took multiple radiographs and got nothing. NSAIDs etc. did nothing. This went on for multiple visits. Then, the owners rang and said they had taken their dog to the veterinary chiropractor down the road, Dr Alex Hauler and the dog was all better now. Apparently, it had been in the neck. A few years later, it was a German Shepherd with a sore back. I treated it with some acupuncture; he was also getting treatment at his local vet, but his back was still sore. At that time, there was a Control and Therapy article (CVE), again by Dr Alex Hauler describing the chiropractic treatment of a German Shepherd that was almost identical to the dog I was treating. It was so frustrating not having the diagnostic or biomechanical medicine skills to help this patient. A month later, I was at a Sydney Postgraduate course on endocrinology (now CVE) and Dr Doug Bryden mentioned that the very first university offered animal chiropractic course was starting at RMIT. The rest is history…”

 

What is the most memorable case you’ve been involved with, that resulted in dramatic improvement to the animal’s quality of life?

“I used to have a miracle a year and now I have lost count. They are not really miracles if you see the same improvement consistently over many years with many patients. There was the 14-year-old Doberman cross that did a disc in his neck and became a quadriplegic; his owner bought a stretcher and brought him in to see me. This dog got better, eventually was able to walk up the mountain/ hill behind his house and died 2 years later of some neoplasia. Another memorable one was a dog that got run over by a 4WD; he was going to die, then he was going to lose his leg… he ended up surviving; was brought in for acupuncture, biomechanical treatment and rehabilitation and after a course of treatment was back chasing the same 4WD. Some of them never learn.

At the moment, I am treating an acute polyradiculoneuritis that was presented to me 7 months after the diagnosis was made. This little dog could only move his head, not his legs…His owner had given up his job to care for his mate. He drove 3 hours to come to me when he found my website. This dog was in a bad way; there had been no useful rehabilitation or therapy for the last 7 months. I was not hopeful. Two weeks later at the second consultation, the dog is now crab crawling with his front legs and able to make weak paddling movements with his back legs; the tail is going 19 to a dozen. There are still no promises, but this is one reason why I do what I do.”

 

Do you have any pets?

“2 cats; a ginger and a tuxedo. The ginger’s wish in life is to be an only child- all about him 24/7. The kids have grown up and left home but there’s still one that needs his mum ALL the time. 5 bantam chickens that are the ultimate freeloaders- too fat to lay properly because they have steadily eaten their way through my orchard for the last 12 months.”

 

What do you like to do for fun?

“I am not a great believer in fun. This doesn’t mean I am miserable but rather that I feel most complete when I am useful to someone or something else. So apart from my paid job helping pets, I have volunteered my time with my children’s schools for many years and then moved on to be a venturer scout leader (still stuck with teenagers; how do high school teachers do it?). I am also involved in the Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group, the Animal Biomechanical Professionals Association (ABPA) and the teaching of the Graduate Diploma in Animal Biomechanical Medicine. I have come to realise that I am happiest when mildly stressed! My mission in life is to leave the world knowing and hoping that I have made a difference. In my ‘spare time’ I love working in my garden, commuting from A to B by bike or public transport and visiting the local library.”

 

Kim can be contacted at 0478131646 or geelongcreatures@gmail.com
Website: geelongcreatures.com.au

 

At the time of print, there was one spot left in this workshop to be run from August 30 – September 1, 2019. I’m guessing this spot will be snapped up by someone who reads Kim’s down to earth interview responses and is inspired to learn more about the rewarding field of canine rehabilitation!

 

Download the Brochure for this workshop or Register Now for the final spot.

 

 

Vet Education Online Veterinary Conference 2019

Advance your clinical decision-making and take your diagnostic skills to the next level from your couch! Join Vet Education for 2 weeks of LIVE online lectures and expert Q&As delivered by renowned specialists and speakers from around the world.

Topics include medicine, surgery, dentistry, behaviour, anaesthesia and more at the Vet Education Online Veterinary Conference 2019

You can participate live from your couch or afterwards when you have a spare moment to grab a beverage to unwind. Every lecture includes comprehensive notes and video recordings you can watch any time from your webinar library. Join in this digital conference and tell your colleagues about this extraordinary opportunity.

 

     

 

From July 22 – August 1, 2019 – this is an event like no other featuring a virtual conference center, virtual exhibition hall, 16 webinars, a webinar library and so, so much more! You can attend the online live lectures or watch the recording later from your own Vet Education Webinar Library!

 

VetPrac are proud to be supporters of this extraordinary conference
and we recommend you Register Now and lock it in to your calendar.

 

 

 

Proudly supported by:

 

 

 

VetPrac has upcoming practical workshops with limited spots remaining. Register now to avoid missing out!

 

   

 

We’re very proud to support the Vet Education Online Veterinary Conference 2019

What do you want to learn in 2020? Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come

We are opening up expressions of interest for the following workshops with dates to be announced later in the year.

VetPrac is a leader in practical skills education for the veterinary community in Australasia. We pride ourselves on innovative educational opportunities for the veterinary community striving to build confidence and competence. With our high-quality training resources and access to ground-breaking technologies, we are passionate about helping the veterinary profession grow and prosper.

 

Enter your details to receive early bird announcements and offers:

 

 

You’re invited to register for communication workshops we may schedule on THIS LINK

 

 

An excellent workshop. I enjoyed this workshop very much. Stimulating, interesting and challenging. So many take home points and has re-ignited my passion for ultrasound and diagnosis. Thank you Prof. Denoix and VetPrac.
~Dr Kelly Barrington, Equine Lameness & Ultrasound Workshop (July 2019)

 

These courses continue to exceed my expectations. They are simply awesome! The ratio of tutors to participants is perfect with friendly, practical, knowledgeable and great tutors. The facilities are fantastic and the social interaction and environment great.”  ~Malcolm Anderson, Fiddly Fractures Workshop (February 2019)

 

Check out our current workshops for 2019!

 

 

  

Can’t Fix the Lameness? The importance of Post-Op Rehab for Canine Patients

Why won’t the dog put its leg down? The radiograph shows that surgery went well. Does this sound familiar? Have you see this after your cruciate or patella surgery?

The importance of post-operative rehabilitation and rehabilitation to complement the pain management plan for your old arthritic dogs cannot be ignored.

Rehabilitation and physical therapy should be a valuable service that you can offer your patients. Post-operatively, healing can be optimized and accelerated if collagen fibres are encouraged to heal to maximize strength. Compensations in associated muscles, soft tissue and associated joints can be addressed. Any restrictions is similar to having your brakes half on while trying to accelerate at the same time.

It is all too common for our non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to be less effective over time. Have you ever wondered why? Do you just switch to another pain killer or increase the dose? The cause could actually be as simple as poor delivery to the intended site due to a compromise in local circulation. Tight muscles and inactivity reduce perfusion. Properly managed physical therapy and rehabilitation can reverse this.

The old saying, “Use it or lost it” is a wise saying. It is no longer acceptable to cage rest for six weeks after cruciate surgery. Human patients are up and about the day after their knee replacements and they want the same for their pets.

 

Dr Kim Lim BVsc (Hons), Cert Vet Ac (IVAS), M Chiro (RMIT)
Educator for Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Hosted by VetPrac  |  Aug 30 – Sep 1st 2019 |  Connect with Dr Lim on LinkedIn

 

Join Dr Kim Lim by registering now for one of the final remaining positions in this 3-day practical workshop. More details are available by downloading our brochure.

 

This article proudly features in May 2019 issue of Vet Practice Magazine.

 

“Work seems like play to me. I can’t believe I actually get paid to do it.” Meet Dr Brian Beale

Dr. Brian Beale is an extraordinary man with many talents.  His supernatural ability in the veterinary world is so impressive that he’s not only a surgeon, a mentor, an educator and a radio talk show host, but also a TV celebrity!

Here are the best bits from our exclusive interview with Dr Beale…

Brian knew from a young age that veterinary medicine was the path for him.  He was exposed to responsible animal ownership by his grandparents. They inspired him with their practice of driving a fair distance to take their slobbery Mastiffs and St. Bernards to the specialists at the University of Pennsylvania to receive the best care possible. Brian recognised then that specialists were rare and getting proper care was important.

When it came time for university he knew he was a very hands-on type of person and liked to fix stuff.  Brian originally went into engineering then made the switch to the vet program at the University of Florida graduating as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. “I had a strong academic background in problem solving, solution and diagnostics and decided I wanted to be the best orthopaedic surgeon I could be”.  Since then he has never looked back!

After completing his internship and residency and working for the University, Dr Beale joined the Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists and has been there for over 20 years!  When asked what makes a good workplace, Brian says “For me, it’s being able to have the equipment and team available to do the best job you possibly can”.  Additionally, Dr Beale stated that he wanted to influence the direction of the practice, and not have it totally clinical.  He has certainly achieved this.  Along with clinical practice, he is now incredibly active in education, research and training and he believes that finding a good mentor after graduating is very important.

Lucky for VetPrac, Dr Beale LOVES teaching!  He teaches all levels, pre-vets to residents, but much of his knowledge is shared with vets just wanting to learn more. He made remarkable contributions to the growth of veterinary medicine in 1999 when he worked closely with human orthopods to develop arthroscopy in small animals. One of the human surgeons in the team scrubbed in on his own dog to help Brian repair a torn cruciate ligament. Needless to say, the surgeon had to let Dr Beale take over and was amazed by the procedure. Another case Dr Beale shared with us was a 300-pound Malayan tiger from the Houston Zoo. “I diagnosed elbow dysplasia and fragmented medial coronoid process. The arthroscopic findings were amazingly similar to what I see in dogs…except the FCP was as big as my thumb. It presented quite a challenge to remove it arthroscopically”.  What an incredible opportunity!  He is also co-author of “Small Animal Arthroscopy”.

National Geographic WILD teamed up with the vets at the Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialist and created a show called “Animal ER”.  Brian reveals some of the highlights of the show were “getting the opportunity to work with a highly experienced Hollywood crew with a high level of expertise and working with many incredible species of animals including tigers, chimpanzees, penguins, endangered bird species and monkeys to name a few”.

If you’d like to learn from Dr Brian Beale come join VetPrac for the Hip and Hindlimb surgery workshop June 26th – 27th. Register TODAY! For more information click here to check out the brochure.

Dr. Tania…Someone you can “Bank” on!

What makes you win the award for the best lecturer for 4th-year students at the University of Queensland?… A splash of surgery, mixed with a pinch of oncology, stir in more than a dozen published papers and ta-da!… you get Dr Tania Banks.

Dr Banks knew from a young age (14 years old to be exact) that she wanted to be a veterinarian. After graduating from vet school at the University of Queensland, she worked in general practice for a short period of time before taking on a surgical residency at the University of Queensland and Veterinary Specialist Services (VSS). She then made the big move to the UK to practise as a specialist surgeon. While she was in England for several years, she missed the blue skies and the Aussie flora and fauna which lucky for us, brought her back to the motherland. Since returning, she has gained Fellowship of Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Surgery in 2005. Also, she is back to where it all started and is now the senior lecturer for Small Animal Surgery at the University of Queensland.

Although she wishes that she could have more arms (and hands) to make surgery easier, even with the two that she’s got, she works magic both surgically and academically. She has a knack for engaging students by sharing her clinical cases, encouraging them to give her a hand in surgery (pun intended), getting the students to speak with owners and reading up on other hospital cases. Dr Banks mostly loves doing surgery because she likes to fix things!  Tania states “I think everyone has their inner strengths and weaknesses and working in a team that makes the most of what everyone can bring to the table is inspiring. I don’t get surprised when people don’t like surgery- I am more interested in what they do like”.

For those who wish to further a career in surgery, Tania recommends you find a good mentor and work hard.  Dr Banks also sets a great example for her favourite quote, “Don’t tell me, show me”. Tania says “words don’t talk about what you are going to do, just do it”.  Spoken like a true leader. And “do it” she has done! Soon Dr Banks will be moving to Wagga Wagga. Tania states “there will be an interesting mix of soft tissue and orthopaedic cases- apparently there are lots of fractures and wound to treat which is exciting.  I think it will be a new adventure for me. I can walk to the gym and I can ride my bike to work! This will be a great change”.

Dr Banks recently co-authored a textbook “Small Animal Oncology: An Introduction” and hopefully this helps clear up some common misconceptions about surgical oncology. For example, surgery often IS a reasonable option in many situations. This is amazing! Books are still very important as they are the brick of knowledge in time, from which all other knowledge is built around. We can’t wait to read it!

One of the memorable cases Dr Banks would like to leave us with is about a little dog who recently was hit by a car.  She suffered a very displaced spinal fracture and luxation at L6-7. The little pup could move and feel her legs pre-op despite the gross displacement of her vertebrae. This dog was lucky to have Dr Banks on the case. She is now walking and doing very well post-op.

Great work Dr Banks! We couldn’t be more thankful for having you share your story with us!

If you would like to hear more from Dr Banks (she has lots of cases to share) come learn from her in person!  Join us in November at the Internal Fixation workshop.

Interviewed by Alena Felkai

What drives Dr. Preston’s drill?…

Dr. Chris Preston (BVSc (hons), MACVSc, FACVSc, DACVS) is the owner and director of Pet Emergency & Specialist Centre in Victoria (www.petemergency.com.au) and has been a specialist surgeon in private practice for over 20 years. In addition, he is a fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists and has numerous orthopaedic publications internationally which include topics on TPLO surgery, arthroscopy and hip replacements.

VetPrac got the chance to have a quick chat with Chris on the phone to find out what puts the spring in his step and the drive behind his drill.

Initially Dr. Preston thought he was going to be a horse surgeon when he started vet school.  Lucky for us that that didn’t happen!  What changed? Well, let’s just say that he wanted a different kind of challenge.  Chris said, “Being faced with the complexity of the skill set surgeons have in the small animal world, I wanted to get technically better at operating”.  Now looking back at his decision to change, he is happy with his choice.  Small animal surgery “constantly gets complicated and surgeons are always coming up with new procedures for hips, knees and elbows”.  Since scrubbing up as a surgical specialist, Chris too has contributed to this!

One of the newer procedures he’s talking about is knee replacements!  Although they are very common in the human world of medicine, they are pretty new to the animal kingdom. In saying that, Chris really enjoys them and so far he’s performed around 50 or more. One case that Dr. Preston was delighted to share with VetPrac involved a dog from Broom.  “His knees were so crippled that his gait was completely compromised” Chris states. The dog and his owner flew down to Melbourne specifically to seek out Dr. Preston’s expertise and two knee replacements later, the dog (and his owner) are strutting their stuff back at home…I guess you could say he put a spring in the dogs step as well.

This brings us to the next question…how does a specialist learn new procedures?  He learns from specialists of course!  In order to keep up to date, Dr. Preston personally trains alongside the inventor of the procedure so then he can then implement it into his own practice.  Chris states “I try and learn one new surgery a year”.

Dr. Preston has quite the busy schedule.  In the morning he consults, at lunch time he starts operating on a variety of cases, at about 5 p.m. he’s writing up records and usually is home for dinner!  He also somehow finds the time to oversee 6 veterinary students and those undergoing a residency program at his clinic, all of which are participating in clinical research studies and publishing articles with his help and guidance.  We can’t really understand where he finds the time to do so much, but he does, and he is good at it!  Chris states that he enjoys “the diversity of people and the absence of monetary discussion when teaching”.  To top it off he will be joining the VetPrac crew this June for the upcoming Soft tissue surgery of the Forelimb Joint Surgery Workshop!

Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself, Dr. Chris Preston…VetPrac couldn’t be happier to have you as part of the team.

Interviewed by Alena Felkai

Life in the fast lane

Sometimes life feels like I’m standing in front of one of those tennis ball dispensers without a racket. Am I the only one?
 
I woke up at 2 a.m. as usual to the unusual sound of silence in our home. The baby didn’t wake up, for the first time in months, for her usual middle of the night feed. I was ecstatic! But having been conditioned so well I was now stuck with nothing to do. And without the biological drain and hormonal influences on my sleep patterns which come after a baby feed – I was wired. And my brain was ticking.

Tossing and turning, my mind didn’t want to rest. And I was too physically tired from my previous day to want to actually do anything even as strenuous as read. So, I reached for my phone to mess about and thought to look up buying iPhone chargers (because I always misplace them) – and my device went dead…

I’m hoping some of you can relate. Or else my life is unique and everyone else has it together every day?

Annoyed – I made myself get up and do some work, it being 3 a.m. now and the perfect time to achieve everything. But sitting in front of the computer I was angry that I was the only person on the planet awake at this forsaken hour and started to rebel by looking at my desk and thinking how messy it was. I convinced myself I needed to write a list about everything in my life that needed to change right then and there. But my eyes were squinty in the light because they wanted to be closed… I was clearly in a rut, I couldn’t get out of. I got mad at myself. 

So I said “Self! Self – we simply cannot have this! We have to work together. My mind is awake, but my body asleep. What are we going to do about it?” And because I couldn’t find an answer, I pulled up a cushion. Sat on it with my legs crossed and waited for the answer to come. I told myself, “Self, we simply aren’t doing anything else until we have a plan”.

“This is great I thought! NOT! I wanted to sleep but my mind is racing. I want to use my mind to wear it out, but my body doesn’t want to work. HMPH… Each is rebelling against the other and nothings getting accomplished. Not even sleep! I sat and I sat and I sat…and then it happened… I found myself “sitting in the moment.” 

By sitting still – I was actually giving my mind something to focus on, because I wasn’t letting myself slouch or lie down, I was thinking about my posture and breathing. But by sitting still I was not active. I knew how to sit –  I sat all the time – often while watching TV – telling myself I am resting.
 
People talk about this “being in the moment thing” like it’s fun, good, pleasant. It’s not, you know? Not at first…It’s more like sitting next to a frustrated baby who doesn’t know whether to play with a toy or cry because she doesn’t know what to do with it. It’s quite confronting. It’s quite unsettling. And it’s quite scary. Because you never really know what to do – because the baby can’t communicate its needs. All you can do (and all you’re supposed to do according to the experts), is sit there – and not DO but BE. Be empathetic. Be there. And for someone who likes to DO, it’s the most aggravating thing on the planet. EVER.
 
Slowly my stream of consciousness slowed and my body relaxed. As I sat there, in the moment… just being… Slowly, the world and everything in it seemed softer, clearer, simpler… and I thought maybe I could lie down a little? Interestingly – it had been less than 10 minutes.

Of course, then I had the idea that I had to tell everyone about this discovery and got up to type this out so you too could benefit from my enlightenment because I’m a Doer… You know what they say? -“You can’t change acrow into an echidna or a lion into a dove.” So hopefully, maybe next time, I will head back to sleep… maybe 🙂


How High Achievers Succeed and Keep Succeeding is a six-week online workshop for professionals and para-professionals in the veterinary industry who want to change something in their life that is making them feel malaligned with their own sense of well-being. It could be work or personally related. It’s up to you. The workshop has been run with VetPrac repeatedly over the last year, led by Dr Cathy Warburton who is coming rapidly into wide acclaim for her work in positive change methods for our community. 

Participating will help you to identify your strengths, and recognise your achievements as well as demonstrating coping strategies when times are tough. Topics such as neuroplasticity, self-care, how to engage better are approached from an evidence-based science perspective, challenging what you think and giving you excellent foundations to build better relationships and define your goals for your life. 

Workshops have very few participants and require each person to take a journey of discovery and positive change in their life.  If you are interested please contact us or see the How High Achievers Succeed course brochure for more information.

A is for Accounting, B is for Business…P is for Dr. Paolo Lencioni.

Meet Dr. Paolo Lencioni. After graduating veterinary school in South Africa, Dr. Lencioni worked as a veterinary surgeon in the UK before opening his own clinic. Whilst working as a vet, he was able to obtain a Diploma in Computer Applications Programming and a Masters in Professional Accounting. Since then he has worked as an accounting software consultant, founded ‘VillageBee’ which produced BeeFree, a veterinary practice management system, and created ‘SmartVetApp’. To add to the list, Dr. Lencioni is a partner at APL Accountants, an accounting firm that exclusively deals with veterinarians, and a proud Member of the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants.

Dr. Lencioni certainly proves that one path can lead us to many different places. Read on to learn some tips and tricks for a successful career.

Wow. You have done a lot in your time. What prompted the switch from being a Veterinarian to Accounting?

I needed to know more about business processes, this was not taught properly at vet school!

What are 3 top things to consider when buying a practice?
1. Position / location
2. Active client base
3. Profitability

Where do practices loose most of the money?

Improper team / staff management and expectation setting.

Tell us more about the SmartVetApp and Profit Diagnostix.

It is an automated and efficient system to help you manage your team, your business and to perform health checks on your business performance. It automatically benchmarks your business processes against national averages and top performers.

What have you learned from experience that you didn’t learn from a textbook? What practical advice would you offer fellow vets?

You can’t learn anything without experiencing it, but first you must know, read, listen, and hear about it. So it’s a process – learn first, then be brave and implement / experience / apply your knowledge.

How can practice owners learn more about running a business? 

Subscribe to some online courses, they don’t have to be business degrees, there is so much out there online. Buy some books about the subject and read them. Apply the things you learn, try them out and accept that a lot of what you do will fail.

How would you advise new graduates be more financially successful in their career?

Be open minded about the fact that to succeed financially, eventually you are going to have to become comfortable with learning about business AND promoting services to pet owners.

Who is the most influential person in your life?

My wife, Anne. She is highly motivated, efficient and does 10 times more than I do without even breaking a sweat and with a smile on her face.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Sir Richard Branson. He is one of the few true entrepreneurs. He is ethical, amicable and interesting.

What is your favourite quote or saying?

I can make another dollar but I can’t make another minute. Time is the most valuable asset.

Thank you Dr. P Paolo Lencioni

Contact information:
paolo@aplaccountants.com.au
tel: 07 34880131
Website: www.aplaccountants.com.au, www.profitdiagnostix.com

 

“It’s not your business”…..says Simon Palmer after he helps you sell it!!!

Simon Palmer has a Bachelors of Arts, a Bachelor of Economics and is a Licensed Real Estate Agent and Business Broker. He has extensive experience working in healthcare recruitment and practice sales, and is founder of Australia’s largest dental and vet brokerage- Practice Sale Search. His company sells more than 60 practices a year, and runs workshops and seminars on exit planning and practice sales throughout Australia.
VetPrac would like to welcome Simon Palmer to the education team…Read on to learn more about him!

Simon, you are the Founder and Managing Director of Practice Sale Search. Tell us how you got into this line of work?

I come from a dental/medical family and, between family members and their clinical friends, I saw many clinicians with great practices stumble when it came time to sell their practice.

They were either trying to do it themselves at the end of a long day, or using a non-industry-specific agent who didn’t understand their business. The process was always frustrating and stressful and the results were almost always compromised.

I had been working in dental recruitment for some time and understood the business intimately. We had a great database, so I decided to fill the gap in the marketplace, and we quickly became busy.

A few years ago, I met Tony Thelander, and we saw a similar need in the vet marketplace. Between the two of us, Tony had an intimate knowledge of vet business and, by that stage, I knew practice sales inside out, so we decided to join forces in Vet brokerage.

What are the top 3 things to consider when selling a practice?

1. There is an old saying that if you have two hours to cut down a tree, spend the first hour sharpening your axe. A similar sentiment can be said of practice sales. To make sure you have a clear run at the finish line, you need to spend time in preparation before you even start to ensure that you aren’t scrambling around when you have a buyer ready to go. This means gathering documentation like financials, major equipment inventory, leases on premises, council permits, associateship agreements, etc. You also need to have clear success criteria and know the post-sale commitment you are willing to give.

2. There is a reason why world records are broken in a race environment, rather than a man alone on a track. It often takes competition biting at our heels to bring the best results. The same is true in practice sales. Dealing with a single buyer alone is rarely going to achieve the best results. You need competitive tension and fear of missing out to bring the best offers forward.

3. There is a tendency among many people to engage a friend or relative to represent them as a lawyer in their practice sale, regardless of their suitability or experience with the task. Commercial law is different from family law or conveyancing, and the stakes are too high for a vendor to risk getting it wrong with a friend that is learning on the job. I would strongly encourage anyone selling a business to engage a commercial lawyer experienced in your type of transactions

Many business owners will attempt to sell their own business. Tell us the benefit of seeking professional advice.

There are several reasons why a vet practice owner should engage a professional to help them sell their practice:

1. A professional broker has access to mny buyers, which an individual vendor will not.

2. Most vets are time poor. A sale involves many, many hours of the vendor’s time in gathering and collating documentation, negotiation, getting legals done, etc. When this is done by a vendor, between clients, or at the end of the day, it is often tainted by fatigue or lack of time.

2. I think that most people would acknowledge that a professional in any field will almost always achieve better results than a first-timer. A professional knows the variables, the pressure points, the common pitfalls and how to achieve optimal results.

Most home owners recognise the value of engaging a real estate agent to sell their house, rather than putting a home-made sign on their lawn and trying to sell it themselves as a D.I.Y project. However, when they are selling their business, an asset that is often the result of a lifetime of hard work, people often have a false sense of security handling it themselves. The results of the sale should make a big difference to the vendor’s quality of life post-sale. When the stakes are that high, it might be time to call in a professional.

In today’s market, do you find that younger or older people are investing in owning a practice?

There isn’t a dominant profile among buyers. Purchasers who approach us are young and old, recent graduates and experienced, first-time owners and old hands at ownership, owner operators and corporates. These different profiles are often competing for the same practice.

In your opinion, what is the most common reason for owners wanting to sell their practice?

It’s hard to pinpoint one main reason that people sell. There are, however, a few common reasons I have come across. These include retirement, selling to focus on other interests or business opportunities, breakdown of a partnership, and divorce. Sometimes people find that being a business owner comes with a lot of stress and paperwork and they just want to work as a clinician and not have the burdens of ownership. Unfortunately, we also become involved with distressed sales (where the owner is selling due to illness) from time to time.

What do you like to do to wind down?

I have two young kids, so I spend a lot of time hanging out with them, which, while tiring, is a great way to unwind. I also run, enjoy reading, and have recently gotten into gardening.

Contact information:
www.practicesalesearch.com.au
(02) 9328 4678
info@practicesalesearch.com.au