TUESDAY • August 23, 2022
Dear Veterinary Student, While understanding that the clinical and scientific education you are receiving now is your primary focus, this weekly publication is designed to supplement your education by providing information that helps you learn about the business of veterinary medicine, the emerging technologies that will shape the future of veterinary practice, the ever-changing regulatory environment and more. It features commentary from Terry Sheehan, an industry consultant with a keen eye for trends affecting the animal health industry. We hope this newsletter helps you prepare for your career in veterinary medicine. The Veterinary Student Insider is delivered at no charge, and we encourage you to share it with your peers! To subscribe, click here.

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Task force aims to address equine workforce shortage
The American Association of Equine Practitioners last month announced the formation of a new task force to develop strategies for recruiting and retaining veterinarians in equine practice. According to AAEP data, an estimated 1.3% of veterinary graduates enter equine practice directly each year and another 4.5% pursue further training in equine internship positions. But within five years, 50% of these veterinarians leave equine medicine for small animal practice or quit veterinary medicine altogether. “We’re at the point now where we have practices that can’t hire and internships that aren’t filled,” said Dr. Emma Read, AAEP president and an associate dean at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “The pipeline is running dry.” The AVMA reports that the commission will focus on compensation, practice culture and education of equine veterinary students, among other things.

TS: Equine, large animal and rural veterinary practices are all experiencing the same issues in attracting and keeping veterinarians. While recognition is the first step towards resolution, this issue may take a long time to be resolved.

> Read more of this article here.

Walmart beats Q2 expectations as inflation causes challenges for shoppers and businesses
Walmart saw a sales boom in the second quarter as higher-income shoppers bought products from the retailer amid record-high inflation. At the same time, economic challenges ate into the company’s profit margin, the Associated Press reports. Sales of $152.86 billion, up 8.4%, beat Wall Street expectations, as did earnings of $5.15 billion, or $1.88 per share ($1.77 excluding one-time costs and charges). “We’re pleased to see more customers choosing Walmart during this inflationary period,” said CEO Doug McMillon. “The actions we’ve taken to improve inventory levels in the U.S., along with a heavier mix of sales in grocery, put pressure on profit margin.”

TS: Inflation impacts being seen in the retail segment. Previously Walmart has reported on the increased sales of lower-priced meat cuts, also attributed to inflation. We should all be reviewing animal health sales to be aware of the impacts on our industry.

> Read more of this article here.

Trends in wellness plans
Dr. Karen Felsted wrote last week on adding wellness plans to your veterinary clinic offerings.

  • Offering wellness plans can be a useful way for practices to maintain their client base and deliver the kind of subscription-based services available in other industries.
  • The plans, through which clients pay a set fee each month for a package of veterinary services, allow pet owners to budget and plan for necessary care.
  • In addition to helping clients spread out annual pet care costs, wellness plans keep patient visits consistent, allowing veterinarians to treat conditions that aren’t included in the plan.
TS: Seems like a logical approach for the clinic to manage cash flows and for clients to be assured they can afford and receive wellness services.

> Read more of this article here.

Veterinary usage rates pre- and post-COVID: cat owners
David Sprinkle wrote on trends in feline visits to veterinary clinics.

  • While veterinary usage rates among cat owners rose in the immediate wake of the pandemic, they’ve since subsided, MRI-Simmons data shows.
  • This pattern suggests a pandemic-fueled high tide in veterinary usage is receding, and it underscores the long-standing shortfall in veterinary usage rates among cat owners compared with dog owners.
  • Among cat owners, veterinary visit rates range from 66% of owners at lower income levels to 79% among higher-income earners, versus a range of 74% to 87% for dog owners.
TS: Perhaps a veterinary harbinger of the potential effects from the inflationary economy.

> Read more of this article here.

The Value of Connecting with a Recruiter While Still in Veterinary School
From Stacy Pursell: "There are some misconceptions that some people have regarding recruiters, and this includes within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. It’s important to dispel these misconceptions, and the earlier in your career you do so, the better. The reason is simple: because you should know about recruiters and how to partner with them on a job search before you graduate from Veterinary school. 

"You may think there’s no reason to do so, since you are still in school, but that is not the case. I can say this with certainty because our firm, The VET Recruiter, has placed numerous Veterinary school students during the past several years. And yes, these students received an offer of employment before they had graduated. And that’s not even the best part, which is that many of these graduates received offers containing six-figure starting salaries."

Stacy Pursell is a leading executive recruiter and search consultant for the animal health industry and veterinary profession. She’s considered a go-to expert providing the most effective talent-centric solutions and is a thought leader in animal health and nutrition, pet technology and veterinary medicine. She’s the founder of The VET Recruiter and Therio Partners and hosts “The People of Animal Health” podcast.

> Read more of this article here.


Kansas State University workshop will focus on veterinary drug and vaccine approval processes
Kansas State University’s Olathe campus late this month will hold a workshop on veterinary medicine regulations, aiming to provide attendees with an understanding of drug and vaccine approval processes. The course, which will take place August 31-September 1, offers seven hours of continuing education credit and can be attended in person or online.

> Read more of this article here.

Syngenta-FFA program awards scholarships to college students studying agriculture
Six undergraduate students pursuing agriculture at universities around the country have each been awarded $2,500 through a scholarship program sponsored by Syngenta and the National FFA Organization. The scholarships, awarded through the Accelerating a Generation Syngenta Scholarship Program, also include a $500 donation from Syngenta to the agriculture-related nonprofit of each recipient’s choice. More information on the winners is in the announcement in Ag Daily.

> Read more of this article here.

Ethos Discovery receives $10 million donation from NVA to advance veterinary medicine research
National Veterinary Associates has made a $10 million donation to Ethos Discovery, a nonprofit veterinary medicine incubator.

NVA’s contribution will serve as a foundation for the organization’s endowment fund and provide ongoing funding for research projects.

According to the announcement, Ethos has several studies focused on improving treatment for canine cancer and other conditions.

> Read more of this article here.


Congress should stop agribusiness mergers with new farm bill, advocacy group says
Congress’ forthcoming farm bill should put a moratorium on agribusiness mergers, a Midwestern advocacy group said this week.

“In this farm bill, I would like to see more support for small farmers, and I think that one of the best ways to do that is to put a stop to corporate consolidation in agriculture and food systems, across the board,” said Claudia Lenz, a Wisconsin farmer and member of the Land Stewardship Project’s farm bill committee.

Half of the 700 respondents in a survey by the group said they had trouble maintaining access to viable markets or finding affordable farmland, Successful Farming reports.

> Read more of this article here.


Text your clients. Don’t leave voicemails.
Rather than leaving voicemails clients probably won’t listen to, veterinary practices should communicate through text, Wendy S. Myers writes in a blog on her website, Communication Solutions for Veterinarians.

Myers offers specific suggestions on how practices can follow up with clients via text upon patient discharge and in the days and weeks afterward. She also shares guidance for texting after outpatient visits and labs.

> Read more of this article here.

Terry Sheehan is currently the CEO of Aniconsilia, LLC an animal health industry only consulting firm he founded in 2009. Prior to the founding of Aniconsilia, Terry had a 30+ year career in the animal health industry with a strong record of achievement in sales, marketing, and commercial operations. Terry held positions of increasing responsibility and leadership in all segments of Animal Health Sales, Marketing, Business Development and Commercial Operations.
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