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Interested in joining our family? Call Joric McLean at 602.938.0620 or email him at joric@azpetvet.com
  • Practice medicine your way
  • Continuing education support
  • Ownership opportunities
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Dr. Jennifer Starkel Madison Animal Hospital & Grooming With AZ Pet Vet Since 2005
"We're not competitive - we're cooperative. And that makes all the difference for our staff and our patients."

Dr. Jennifer Starkel

Madison Animal Hospital & Grooming With AZ Pet Vet Since 2005

When did you know you wanted a career working with animals?

I've always wanted to be a vet. From the time I was about five years old, I just knew I wanted to help animals.

What's your favorite thing about working in the veterinary field?

Every single day is different. No patient or appointment is ever the same. It keeps me on my toes, and I'm never bored.

What do you feel makes AZ Pet Vet different from other animal hospitals?

I think it's the support and structure. Just knowing that we can stay focused on the medical aspect of our hospital's service while the HR, marketing and other tasks are handled by our group office helps immensely. The support of all the other doctors in our network is outstanding. If I have a patient and need another opinion, I can fire off an email and within ten minutes five other doctors have weighed in. Having access to those other opinions helps build my confidence, every day, and it's the same for others. We're not competitive - we're cooperative. And that makes all the difference for our staff and our patients.

What's most important for new hires to know about working with AZ Pet Vet?

The mentorship in our organization is amazing. When I first joined the AZ Pet Vet family, I had the opportunity to rotate through several of the hospitals and get to know the team. The chances to see the different ways each doctor treats their patients and does surgeries helped me to understand there's more than one way to do things right. The chance to become an owner is also a huge benefit. We're expected to perform well, and our efforts are well rewarded.

What's at the top of your bucket list?

I'm living my bucket list at the moment—my life's dream has been to be a veterinarian and own my own practice. I've checked that off my list!

Join Our Family

At AZ Pet Vet our team is our family, the heart and soul of our organization. From our veterinarians to technicians, groomers and staff, we treat everyone with the golden rule. With a network of 20 hospitals

and growing, we are always looking for Doctors and team members with the right set of core values to join our family!

Dr. John Graham Dobson Ranch Animal Hospital & Grooming With AZ Pet Vet Since 2012
Dr. John Graham Dobson Ranch Animal Hospital & Grooming With AZ Pet Vet Since 2012

On the outside looking in...what inspires someone to be part of AZ Pet Vet as a whole? When was the first time you realized you wanted to be in this as a career? I'm pretty sure I knew when we got our first puppy. I feel I really enjoyed it more than most people - just a general love for this puppy and animals overall. The position as a vet, especially as a general practitioner, gives you the opportunity to make your career what you want it to be, whether that is keeping it simple and only seeing healthy pets, or expanding into things like orthopedics and advanced medicine. At AZ Pet Vet there really aren't any boundaries, which is a cool thing!

Because there are 20 and counting hospitals, how does that help you in your practice and how you approach medicine? The AZ Pet Vet family definitely provides a sense of an internal motivation. We have a lot of doctors in the group that are practicing high levels of medicine and it gives me motivation to reach those levels. I keep that in mind while planning my training. You have the opportunity to learn a ton about everything!

What can you say about the WOW promise? I think that's ultimately important. It takes work to maintain that promise because, in all honesty, some days it's hard to be WOW. Being WOW means truly investing all your energy into what you are doing; addressing everything that you're capable of addressing and doing it whole-heartedly.

Dr. Vic Saltzman Partner/Owner Happy Valley Animal Hospital With AZ Pet Vet Since 1988
Dr. Vic Saltzman Partner/Owner Happy Valley Animal Hospital With AZ Pet Vet Since 1988

What makes AZ Pet Vet as a group and as individual hospitals better than and different than the competition? I think one of the major things is that we try to stay on the cutting edge of most medicine and surgery. We continually strive to improve in that area rather than get into a rut and stay there. Change is hard, but the only real constant is change. We understand that, and we try to implement change and mentor the people that come to join us. Our group is more like a co-op than a corporation. So with that model in mind, we work together as a team and our goal within the hospital is to build that same teamwork mentality, we don't want to create a hospital that revolves around one person or a couple of people because if those people leave, then the hospital can fall apart.

So speak a little bit on the family perspective, what does family mean to you and how do you think the team perceives family from a company perspective? We used to be called Arrow Group and now it's AZ Pet Vet, so the cool thing is that it has continued to change over the years. The interesting thing is that we kind of developed a mindset of what kind of picture we want long term of the kind of company we want to represent and that continues to evolve with time. The most important thing is core values and that we actually implement them in our practice, not just talk about them. What's great about that is then people learn that the type of environment we have is the type of environment that you can build trust in. We also strive to improve communication because without trust and communication we don't have anything. We feel those are the two most important things for someone to be satisfied in a working environment so we do everything we can to provide that.

On an emotional side...what would you share? In the hospitals I work at, it's about building relationships and teaching people how to produce leaders and reproduce themselves. There are people that have been here for over 10 years and the turnover is very small. It becomes like a family in a sense. They are fun to be around, but you have your issues too. When you have open lines of communication you can resolve those issues and you can always learn to do life better. Not just in veterinary medicine, but also in life.

Dr. Roger Willms Partner/Owner Arrow Animal Hospital With AZ Pet Vet Since 2000
Dr. Roger Willms Partner/Owner Arrow Animal Hospital With AZ Pet Vet Since 2000

You've been with AZ Pet Vet for 15 years, what do you see in the future for the AZ Pet Vet family? I have seen AZ Pet Vet go from just a few hospitals to 20 now. I still like the feel that each hospital is unique and individual. At the same time, I really appreciate that we have great business partners and team members that allow us to focus on our medicine and patients, and not get bogged down in payroll, HR, and accounting issues.

What is your favorite thing about AZ Pet Vet? It's great to have the resources of nearly 70 vets in our organization...we have older vets with years of practical wisdom, and new graduates that are up to date on the most cutting edge medicine and surgery.

What is the best advice you can give to new graduates as they enter the field? I would advise them to be very selective when taking their first job as a veterinarian. Developing the skills required to be a good vet is largely obtained in the first couple years. Having good mentors and role models can make the transition from academia to real life practice much easier.

What is on the top of your bucket list right now? After years of hard work and dedication I would like to be able to give back to my parents for being so supportive in all aspects of my life. I would like to take them on a vacation they would never take on their own.

Dr. Kelsey Bradley Goodyear Animal Hospital & Grooming With AZ Pet Vet Since 2015
Dr. Kelsey Bradley Goodyear Animal Hospital & Grooming With AZ Pet Vet Since 2015

When did you know you wanted a career working with animals?

I was just one of those kids who knew. I can recall being like, five years old, and wanting to be a veterinarian. I always had animals growing up - dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, a bearded dragon - I really loved the exotics. The fun "playing with puppies and kittens" part changed as I got older and began studying science and math. By high school, I was in a special careers program that allowed me to do shadow internships at local animal hospitals; so every day for a couple of hours, I was in a working environment, seeing veterinary medicine in practice.

Originally, I wanted to work in Zoo medicine, and that's how I came to Phoenix. During my 4th year of vet school, I got a month long internship with the Phoenix Zoo. While doing my clinical rotations, I started working with a lot of dogs and cats and their owners and decided I wanted to go into private practice, and here I am. So while I primarily see lots of cats and dogs, I still have a special affinity for exotic animals, so I'll see lizards, snakes, rabbits, and so on - everything except for birds.

What's your favorite thing about working in the veterinary field?

Definitely, the interaction with people and their animals. Even though we see similar things every day, it's always different. Sometimes it's really wonderful, like when we can help make an animal well, and other times it can be really hard. But we're all in it together.

What do you feel makes AZ Pet Vet different from other animal hospitals?

There are SO many resources that are available in our group - it allows us to have opportunities that someone working in a small, single practice doesn't get. On a more selfish note, it's so much easier to tailor shifts or to find someone to cover for a special event. Everybody supports each other - it's awesome!