At some point we all retire. I am no exception. As the only practicing veterinarian on Saipan I would like to see another veterinarian chose Saipan as his/her home.
To attract another veterinarian to Saipan there are some facts that need to be understood and acted upon.
• Saipan will never have more than one practicing veterinarian unless attitudes change.
• If you have one veterinarian on island there will be always be a “monopoly.” This is a fact; get over it. Small towns in the U.S. have only one practicing veterinarian…if they are lucky… most have none.
• Any practicing veterinarian that moves to Saipan does so at his/hers own expense and receives no contract or funding from the government of the U.S./CNMI.
• Veterinarians are not provided with a hospital; we have to build and finance our own. We make our living in the private sector by filling a very specific need. We are obliged to charge for the services that we render.
• A veterinary hospital will eat up 80-90 percent of the money that is paid “to” the practicing veterinarian. This is also a fact of life and it explains why veterinarians appear to be “only interested in the money.” We have to charge enough, and collect enough to meet the expenses of the animal hospital, before we ever take a paycheck. If you fail at this, you fail in practice. One goes hand in hand with the other and it will always be this way until the governments of the world decide to provide support to veterinary hospitals.
• How will we ever attract another veterinarians to Saipan when they realize that people here expect them to charge unsustainable low fees that don’t cover the expenses involved with running an animal hospital in 2016 and beyond. This is a major challenge to attracting someone to a permanent position here.
• I could easily be the last practicing veterinarian to move to Saipan. Hopefully I’m wrong.
Ed Tudor, DVM
Paradise Island Animal Hospital