From a Hyundai to the AVMA

Dr. Wendy Emerson

Practice: Putnam Veterinary Clinic

Location: Topsfield, MA

From a Hyundai to the AVMA

Dr. Wendy Emerson is a very dedicated veterinarian, both to her practice and to the profession as a whole. After graduating from Tufts University’s School of Veterinary Medicine (now known as the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine) in 1985, she spent eight years as an associate at a private practice before launching her mobile practice.

“When I first started my practice, it consisted of an answering machine and a Hyundai,” Dr. Emerson said wryly.

She maintained her mobile practice for the next few years when she finally obtained office space and eventually hired her first practice management consultant in 1997. “My first two consultants didn’t really accomplish what I wanted but I finally found my current consultants in 1999 and I’ve been with them ever since,” she said.

Her practice income was around $220,000 a year in 1999. Since then she has grown exponentially and currently brings in about $850,000 a year. As part of this incredible growth she was able to open a new 2200 square foot facility in 2001.

Dr. Emerson explained, “I’ve had my consultants for a long time. I’ve found that as a practice grows, there are different tiers of organization needed. My consultants have been excellent at guiding me through these periods of transition. There are always new challenges that occur when a practice grows and that’s why I keep using a consultant.”

Involvement in professional organizations is seen as a vital part of Dr. Emerson’s regular activities. In 1999, Tufts University presented Dr. Emerson with the Most Outstanding Alumnus Award. This was the same year she started serving as president of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) which resulted in her having the longest term of any president of the MVMA prior to her.

She currently maintains her professional associations by belonging to the Convention Management and Program Committee for the American Veterinary Medical Association. “My committee is responsible for planning the agenda for the annual AVMA conventions,” she said.

Given her responsibilities, it may seem like Dr. Emerson doesn’t have time for herself. But her number one passion, after practicing veterinary medicine, is riding her Harley-Davidson as much as she possibly can. “Any opportunity I can get!” she exclaimed. She also enjoys going camping in the summer and attending Boston’s professional team’s games, specifically the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox. Dr. Emerson said, “My husband proposed to me at the Super Bowl in Houston when the Patriots won, so it holds a very special place in my heart.” Dr. Emerson recently married in September of 2005 and has an 8-year old stepdaughter.

As you can tell, she is very happy with her practice and how it enhances her life. This is something she always wanted, but never really expected to achieve until she started with her latest practice management consultant. As part of her success she now has a board certified veterinary surgeon who practices at the clinic one day a week. And, although not a specialist, she treats a tremendous number of avian and exotic animals. Her practice handles approximately 35% avian and exotic which is quite high compared to many other practices. She considers she has one of the best staffs in the business and that her clients often comment on their warmth and care.

And, you know what? She still makes house-calls – the roots of where she started from. “Once a week. I still have my mobile clinic,” she said very proudly.