Veterinary Mission Statements, Vision Statements & Core Values

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re trying to write your veterinary mission statement or veterinary vision statement and are trying to figure out what the difference is between the two.

These terms are often (wrongly) used interchangeably, but they should be completely different statements that serve different purposes for your business. In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between mission statements, vision statements, core values and provide a guide for what you should include in each.

What is a veterinary vision statement?

Your vision statement is your ideal role you see your veterinary practice playing in your community. This is less about who you or your veterinary business are now in this moment, but rather who and what do you aspire to become?

Try closing your eyes and think back to why you got into veterinary medicine in the first place and recall all those positive emotions that initially inspired you – things like the power of the human-animal bond, or providing quality medicine and healing to sick and injured animals. When you started this journey, where did you imagine you would end up? Has your dream grown larger since then?

Your vision statement should leverage these good feelings and communicate them to the team members and clients you’re trying to impact. Think of your vision statement as your north star for the type of health care provider and veterinary practice you want to become. Putting yourself in this optimistic mindset is where I recommend starting from, we’ll get into how to write your vision statement in just a bit.

What is a veterinary mission statement?

While your vision statement should be aspirational, your mission statement should be practical. It is the what you’re doing to achieve your vision. A dream without a plan is just a wish.

Your mission statement details the types of activities you will focus on to achieve your vision. Your mission statement will help guide the type of work you prioritize and align decision-making for all team members.

Think about what’s important to you, or what your business does especially well. Is it crucial that your veterinary hospital provide high-quality veterinary care? Then you might have a mission statement with a clinical focus like “uphold the highest standards of pet care”. Is your local veterinary clinic the best family doctor for clients and pets? Then you might have a service mission such as “offer the highest quality client service for pet owners”.

What should a veterinary mission statement include?
  • Veterinary core values: The things you consider most important to get right
  • Support the big idea: The actions you will take to work towards your vision
  • How you’re different/better: What your veterinary practice does best
  • Consistent and obvious: Work you do everyday that anyone can see
Veterinary core values

While your vision statement is where you’re going, and mission statement is what you’ll do to get there, your veterinary core values are how you approach work everyday. Your core values should be present in the energy you embody, the attitude you require from your team, and how you treat clients.

Veterinary core values examples

  • Integrity: “We do what’s right when no one’s looking and seek to make the best decision resulting in the highest good for those involved.”
  • Compassion: “We value the well-being of all people and animals and aim to treat everyone with openness, fairness, dignity, and caring.”
  • Dedication: “We are determined to do all that is possible to produce the best possible patient outcome.”

Support the big idea
Your mission statement shouldn’t exist in isolation, but rather as a bridge to your vision statement. The hierarchy works like this: Your values should support your actions, your actions should support your mission, and you mission should support your vision.

How you’re different/better
Is your medical care just average? Of course not! Then your mission statement shouldn’t be bland and commonplace either. Be descriptive of how your provide veterinary care and why you’re the best.

Consistent and obvious
Your mission should not be some unobtainable pie-in-the-sky. It should be an integral part of the work you perform everyday and both team members and clients should be able to see this promise actively being fulfilled.

Veterinary clinic mission statement examples

We believe these Otto customers have very clear mission statements…

Aloha Animal Hospital mission statement
“Our team is committed to educating our clients in how to keep your pets healthy year round, with good nutrition and exercise. Aloha Animal Hospital stays on top of the latest advances in veterinarian technology and above all, remembers that all animals and pets need to be treated with loving care in every check-up, procedure, or surgery.”

Camelot Animal Hospital mission statement
“Camelot Animal Hospital and Boarding Kennel provides high quality, preventative veterinary care, and additional intervention at the first sign of a pet’s discomfort, to support lifelong health and wellness. We build cooperative, caring relationships with pet owners through timely communication, client education, and a team approach to each pet’s health, including the veterinarian, our support staff and the pet’s family. Our goal is to support each pet throughout a long, fulfilling life with his or her family.”

What should a veterinary vision statement include?
  • Dream big: Visualize something with plenty of room to grow
  • Your north star: Where you want to go, not where you are now
  • Exciting language: Communicate positive and inspiring emotions
  • Simple as possible: Use clear, concise language to describe your big idea

Dream Big
This is not the place to constrain yourself. If you think you can easily achieve it in a couple years, aim higher.

Your north star
Ultimately everything including your values, actions, and mission ladder up to your vision. Use your vision to select your destination and point yourself in the right direction. The entire team should be aligned towards achieving this ideal.

Exciting language
Because unless you’re writing a dystopian sci-fi novel, your vision of the future should be something you look forward to!

Simple as possible
But not any simpler. Convey the idea as succinct as possible while still getting the point across.

Veterinary vision statement examples
What better way to show an example of a vision statement than to share our own?
Otto vision statement: “To become the new standard for veterinary well-being and technology”

Key takeaways

As we discussed, the above are items you should consider and include to craft an impactful vision and mission statement. Use it as your chance to tell the world who you are and how you’ll help the world around you. Beyond these concepts, we encourage you to get creative and let your personality shine!