Since March 2020, more than 12 million households added a new pet to their family and work-from-home allowed ample time for people to care for their pets in person. As the world shut down and snuggled up with their new pets, your local Veterinarian stayed open to care for them.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 “pet boom” caused an overwhelming demand on Veterinarians from both their new clients who need care and their current clients who were spending more time with their pets. This increase in demand, paired with the struggles of operating as an essential business, inevitably brought a deeper-rooted industry problem to the surface: that DVMs have been over-worked, under-appreciated and plagued with compassion fatigue long before the pandemic.
To improve the overall well-being and happiness of DVMs, hospital owners must be willing to do two things:
1) Understand and address the problems challenges DVMs face daily, and
2) be willing to invest in the solutions.
With so many factors at play, where can you start?
Provide Support from Day One
Veterinarians just entering their career or transitioning to a new hospital are often faced with many challenges. Building a client base, finding a mentor at their practice and managing student loan debt are just a few contributing factors to the stress DVMs face daily. Starting Veterinarians off on the right foot helps them begin their tenure with confidence and sets them up for long-term success. But what does success look like?
Financial support is an essential element to success. Providing new DVMs with a strong minimum base salary, signing and production bonuses and student loan support help create a strong foundation. But we understand success goes deeper – which is why providing child & dependent care support and network-wide mentorship opportunities will help Veterinarians to get their feet under them with the peace of mind and security they deserve.
Focus on Health, Fulfillment and Advancement
DVMs health, fulfillment and advancement needs must be supported so they can focus on what they do best: caring for animals. Veterinarians are the lifeblood of any thriving animal hospital and frankly, they deserve to be taken care of too. Although helping DVMs bounce back from COVID-19 has become a focus amongst the industry, we believe it’s critical to ensure emotional, physical and financial stability for every phase of a DVMs life and career.
Beyond providing access to insurance, equipping Veterinarians with a variety of resources such as a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program (EAP), access to an on-staff licensed social worker, company-paid short-term disability and company-paid life-insurance supports DVMs outside of the hospital, focusing on their overall health, fulfillment and advancement needs.
Establish a Work/Life Balance
Pandemic or not, DVMs are essential. As household pets become increasingly humanized, people are relying on their Veterinarians more than ever. As professional caretakers, it is natural for DVMs to push work/life balance to the bottom of their priority list. We believe it is important to build work/life balance into Veterinarians’ schedules via their benefits plan.
Allowing DVMs to have schedule flexibility and paid time off, along with perks like access to exclusive vacation properties are a few ways we encourage DVMs to establish and improve their work/life balance.
Parental Support is Essential
Unfortunately, paid parental support is hard to find amongst any industry, Veterinary included. Providing benefits aimed to support parents not only improves their home and family life, but it also provides a level of care that goes beneath the surface of their career.
Providing paid parental support leave encourages DVMs, both mothers and fathers, to stay home and bond with their new baby, and adoption assistance financially helps DVMs grow their family. Although these benefits may not seem to directly impact DVMs from a performance or career perspective, they do! Supporting Veterinarians in all aspects of their lives helps them thrive provide best-in-class care.
Don’t Forget the Team
No Veterinarian can flourish without a dedicated team backing them up. The more Team Members feel empowered, the more that DVMs can rely on them and develop their strengths. When Team Members are treated well, hospitals become more efficient and turnover rate declines which benefits everyone. Fair wages, continuing education, benefits and growth opportunities are critical components to supporting the foundation of the hospital.
Want to learn more about our unique approach to caring for our DVMs and Teams? Learn about The Ultimate CarePackage, our innovative suite of Veterinarian benefits crafted to support our DVMs during every stage of their career.
Ready to advance your career with CareVet? Start the conversation!