Dr. Latta and Dr. Blankenship agree: working in a practice consisting of multiple practitioners can also serve as a tool in education and brainstorming.

“In our practices, we have five veterinarians—all with different roles,” Dr. Latta says. “We refer clients to each other and regularly refer surgical cases to universities and other practitioners.”

Dr. Blankenship says practitioners within his practice often collaborate on tough cases or unique situations. By doing so, he says, a practitioner can gain the advantage of combined years of experience and hands-on learning.

“If I’m a bit puzzled or wondering where to go with a certain cow, I can run it by the other guys in our practice and, most likely, they’ve seen a similar case on another farm,” he says.

Dr. Blankenship relies on mentors in Kansas and Montana, as well.

“We keep a good working relationship, and I’m the first to get on the phone to ask for recommendations on what he suggests,” he says. “It’s good to get other practitioners’ ideas.”

In order for collaboration to be successful, trust and honesty are number one.