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A practice of her own

A year in the making, Pear Blossom clinic set to open Monday

Danna Catt is well named for her veterinary medicine profession, and her choice of her clinic's name is timely, too.

Pear Blossom Veterinary Clinic is scheduled to open Monday, just days before Medford's annual Pear Blossom Festival.

That was just a lucky break for me, says Catt, who counts dogs, cats and other domestic critters among her clientele. I picked the name because of the location I hope to be in someday; I call it a good omen.

After practicing seven years at an east Medford animal hospital, Catt took a year off to prepare for her new venture.

I've wanted my own practice from the very beginning, says the 34-year-old Montana native. After you've been doing this five or six years, you know what 90 percent of the things are the moment you see them and you're ready for the next challenge. I think people in the medical field, and maybe all professionals, tend to be leaders anyway. So I see it as a natural progression.

— The phone book lists two dozen Jackson County animal hospitals and Pear Blossom makes it 25, a 79 percent gain over the 14 operating in 1986.

We've got almost 200,000 people living here now and at least 50 percent of those people have animals, Catt says.

Colleges teach the ins and outs of animal medicine, she says, But you don't learn about the people you work with or about the people who own the animals.

Catt, who holds veterinary degrees from both Oregon State University and Washington State University, will begin as the sole vet with a support staff of three.

The 1,200-square-foot space near Scrapbook King N' More previously housed a photography studio and an environmental advocacy center.

In addition to revamping the plumbing and electrical fixtures, the office will blaze a paperless trail from the exam room to record keeping.

I'll be taking notes on a little (high-tech) tablet and the charts will be all electronic, Catt says. At a lot of clinics ' whether it's veterinarian or dental ' finding and knowing where charts are is a real hassle. There are lots of places you need them ' in the business part so you can do payments and accounts receivable or if you are waiting on pending lab work.

If all the charts are on computer, the biggest thing will be keeping back-ups.

She says it will take between &

36;120,000 and &

36;150,000 to get the practice off the ground.

The equipment is probably the biggest expense and there has been a fair amount of remodeling, Catt says.

X-ray and processing machines, computers and treatment tables aren't cheap, but what came as a real surprise was the cost of a basic component of animal medicine.

Cages are phenomenally expensive, she says. But at least it's a one-time investment.

In the near future, Catt hopes to own her own building, perhaps sharing a complex with her husband, James, a Medford dentist.

My goal is to have a multiple-doctor practice, she says. If I could bring one person in the next year, that would be great.

A practice of her own"business@mailtribune.com.

Dr. Danna Catt will open her own veterinary clinic in downtown Medford on Monday. Mail Tribune / Roy Musitelli - Mail Tribune Roy Musitelli