TUESDAYJanuary 24, 2023

Dear Veterinary Student,

Whether you have considered practice ownership or plan to enter the profession as an associate, veterinary business education has never been more crucial to your career. This weekly publication is designed to supplement your education by providing information on veterinary business including ownership and management, finance operations, communication, team building and emerging technologies that will shape the future of veterinary medicine.

New to the Veterinary Student Insider? Click here to sign up for free. And if you like what you read here, share it with your peers!


The soft skills you need for a successful veterinary career     

While technical skills and education are important factors for success in veterinary medicine, soft skills—also known as “people skills”—are key, veterinary industry recruiter Stacy Pursell writes this week. 
Soft skills focus on how a person interacts with others. According to Stacy, four such skills are particularly important: 

  • Communication.
  • Sales (or the ability to persuade others to see your point of view). 
  • Emotional intelligence. 
  • Leadership. 

Skills like these are “the key ingredient to ensuring a successful career,” Stacy says. By thinking about them now, "you'll be fully prepared to enter the workforce, you'll be better equipped to deal with people (including pet owners), and you'll put yourself in the best position to not only succeed immediately but build a long and satisfying veterinary career."

> Read the full column here.


Turnover and attrition in veterinary practice           

Turnover and attrition have been suggested as the cause of the U.S. veterinary workforce shortage. 

Really, these trends haven’t caused the shortage, veterinarian and economist James Lloyd writes in his latest Fountain Report column. But they may be exacerbated by it, in turn causing inefficiency in veterinary practices. 

In his column, Jim describes what turnover and attrition are, how they can affect veterinary practice efficiency, and how the profession’s workforce shortage can accelerate them. 

“Our industry must look closely at the looming workforce shortage ahead of us and strive to fully understand potential driving forces, but there is no reason to delay creative initiatives to address the workforce shortage until turnover and attrition are better understood,” Jim writes. 

“Retaining and supporting those already in the profession must be a top priority,” he says, “but not at the risk of moving too slowly to identify solutions that also help build employment pipelines.” 

> Read the full column here.


VMX 2023 features new innovations and tools for veterinary professionals       

The 40th annual Veterinary Meeting and Expo (VMX) concluded Wednesday, with host NAVC recording more than 28,000 attendees. The agenda included trends in noninvasive procedures to diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease and pain management, microsurgery procedures on pocket-sized animals, new approaches to treat aging as a manageable disease, and the critical role veterinarians play in preparing for and addressing future pandemics. 

> Read the announcement here.

Petco Love awards grant to University of Florida to train veterinarians in shelter medicine   
A new grant from Petco Love will allow six veterinarians to become skilled in shelter animal care through an accelerated internship program at the University of Florida. The $510,000 grant to the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Shelter Medicine Program is meant to address an increasing shortage of shelter medicine veterinarians. 

> Read the announcement here. 

Nationwide announces spectrum of care initiatives  

Nationwide last week announced new initiatives to encourage the pet health industry to embrace a spectrum of care approach to veterinary medicine. A new website,, will feature communication tools and resources for veterinary teams. The pet insurer last year introduced the $25,000 Nationwide Spectrum of Care Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to selected students enrolled in the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Spectrum of Care career area emphasis. 

> Read the announcement here.

Virginia animal caregivers say large-animal veterinarian shortage puts country’s food supply at risk  

A shortage of large-animal veterinarians could put the U.S. food supply at risk, a recent report found, and Virginia veterinarians agree, WFXR reports. Economics appear to be the driving force behind the shortage, since small-animal veterinarians often make double or triple those in farm animal medicine, the December report said. 

But lifestyle and safety challenges also present issues for these professionals. “I’ve only been practicing for a couple of years, but I have mentors and people who I know who have had multiple shoulder replacement surgeries, so it’s physically laborious,” said Dr. Hannah Varnell, founder and CEO of Wellfarm Vets. 

> Read the full story here.
This week’s Veterinary Student Insider was compiled by managing editor Breanna Demaline. 

Like what you read? Click here to sign up for free. 
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