Washington State University

Veterinary Business Management Association


About VBMA

The VBMA began at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. Through the vision of Meghan Stalker, the then-club president of that organization, VBMA became a national organization in 2004 with the inclusion of the 16 original VBMA chapters. 


The goal of the National VBMA was to provide a support network among students with common interests and goals. These students believed that in order to practice quality medicine, veterinarians needed to possess subsidiary skills to enhance client compliance and personal success. These beliefs were rooted in the results of industry research of the time, most notably the KPMG Mega Study but also the Brakke and AVMA-Pfizer studies that followed. These studies showed the importance of business education as factors in improving the quality of veterinary service and the amount veterinary income. VBMA has grown rapidly with a chapter now at every veterinary school and over 3,000 members. It is exciting to see all VBMA has accomplished in such a short amount of time and we know the great influence it will continue to have in the future. Enjoy the journey with us! Learn more at www.vbma.biz 

Why hire a VBMA graduate?

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Research conducted over the last decade has shown the need for business education in veterinary medicine. The KPMG, Brakke, AVMA-Pfizer and other studies illustrated the need for training in communication, business leadership, employee management & finance. The VBMA aims to fill this gap. The BCP program highlights four areas of supplemental education. It grows students' non-medical tool box decreasing the likelihood of burn-out, increasing their compatibility with their first practice & better preparing them for client focused medicine, communication and team cohesiveness. This leads to more efficient & happier veterinarians practicing a higher standard of care with increased compliance. 


Why listen to us toot our own horn? Here's what professionals have to say about VBMA:


“These young people will be the successful veterinarians of tomorrow who understand what it takes to create a practice or program of excellence.”

Dr. Colin Burrows, NAVC Executive Director

“One of the real joys of being a veterinary educator has been to encounter former students who are now out in veterinary practices, health care companies, research labs and related health enterprises, changing the face and impact of our profession. I cant help but notice that amongst the population of highly successful colleagues I have encountered in recent years, VBMA alums are over represented. I would encourage every veterinary student to become a VBMA member.”

Dr. Richard DeBowes, WSU VBMA chapter advisor

“The VBMA students are clearly the future stars of our profession.  They understand that, to be successful, they MUST have some interest in and knowledge about the business of veterinary medicine. VBMA, a completely student-run organization, is possibly the best thing that has happened to veterinary medicine in the last several decades.  If I were hiring a new or recent graduate, I would want to know that he/she had been a strong participant in his/her school’s VBMA.  If not, I would probably look further.”

Dr. Dave Gerber, former veterinary practice owner

Veterinary Business Education

So "VBMA" is on their resume, what does that mean? The Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) is a national organization of students who believe that great veterinarians need more than just medical skills. VBMA members spend 34 hours or more outside of class to learn about business management, communication and team building to become more effective & productive veterinarians. 


Meetings cover a broad range of topics, and this year, school chapters across the nation created meetings with titles such as:

Building Trust Through Better Communication
The Importance of Compliance

Electronic Medical Records
Business Demographics

Conflict Resolution

As an organization, we feel that learning business skills is essential to practicing compassionate medicine. Communication is essential between staff members for correct treatments & medications, and communication with clients is critical in improving compliance. Leadership skills are used every day with staff & clients; emotional intelligence and self management make members better able to cope with stresses and the fast-paced work environment of most practices. 

Membership in the VBMA introduces students to some of the important business issues in veterinary  and provides them with resources they can use for further development of business acumen. Members learn about the business realities of veterinary practice, and VBMA provides the tools with which to face future challenges.

If you want to hire veterinarians whose education encompasses both business management and medicine, make sure to look for VBMA involvement on their resume.




We all know that what you learn in veterinary school is just the tip of the iceberg. New grads are not as efficient or proficient as veterinarians who have been out in the field for two years or more. This makes some practice owners question whether hiring a new grad is a good move. Mentorship is one way that you can maximize your investment. By mentoring your new graduate you can help teach them how to practice medicine your way, become more effective faster, and have a better working relationship. Veterinary students with mentors tend to stay in their first practice longer & and are more profitable.