The College of Veterinary Medicine launched on Saturday the new Center for Veterinary Business and Entrepreneurship, hoping to take veterinary medicine in a new direction that emphasizes the business aspects in addition to healthcare delivery, according to Dean Lorin D. Warnick Ph.D. ’94.
The center, in partnership with the SC Johnson College of Business, is the first center of business and entrepreneurship established at any veterinary school in the United States, according to Prof. Robert Karpman, business. Its programming will focus on four pillars: education, economics research, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.
“We’ve come to realize, as a [veterinary] profession, that medicine is embedded within business,” Dr. Jodi Korich D.V.M. ’97, associate dean for education, told The Sun. “You can’t deliver excellent quality healthcare if you don’t have well-run businesses wrapping around it.”
Even though the announcement of the center wasn’t announced until recently, students are already taking advantage of the resources available. This semester, two courses are available and both of which are taught by business faculty: Karpman teaches VTMED 6544: Veterinary Practice Management, and Prof. Wesley Sine, business, teaches VTMED 6749: Agile Innovation.
One of the center’s main programs will be its educational outreach to teach entrepreneurial skills to students and postgraduates in practice. This will occur namely through the new Certificate of Veterinary Business Management, which students can receive through completing the necessary coursework and field experience.
“The programs will be developed and delivered in partnership with faculty in the college of business,” Korich said. “We’ll really be looking to leverage their expertise and skills.”
According to Korich, the veterinary school has been prioritizing the initiative as one of its main goals since Dean Warnick was hired in 2016. Korich also said she chose to relocate to Cornell in 2017 to be a part of the center’s launch.
This new focus on the business aspect comes from the nature of veterinary healthcare being a “forward-facing profession,” according to Korich. Within the field, interfacing with animal owners and managing practices are increasingly important skills.
The center is also searching to hire two new faculty members to lead the programming of the center. One faculty member will spearhead the curriculum, developing a team-taught program for students to follow over four years.
The second hire will be a tenure-track position in veterinary economics with a joint appointment at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. This new hire will investigate economic strategy and contribute to evidence-based recommendations to improve veterinary health care delivery.
Ultimately, the center aims to serve its veterinary students based on their individual needs. According to Korich, the programming is designed to empower the students with skills applicable even outside clinical practice — skills like managing teams and coming up with innovative solutions to challenging global problems.
“Every veterinarian is going to join some organization,” Korich said. “But regardless of where they go in that career, having good organization and business management skills is going to allow them to be more successful and contribute more fully to our profession.”