TUESDAYOctober 18, 2022

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.

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What can practices do to support employee wellbeing?   
In its most recent wellbeing study, Merck Animal Health offered several suggestions for employers to support their workers’ wellbeing. 

Unfortunately, for many veterinary professionals, finding a decent work-life balance is difficult. 

“While mental and physical health are absolutely the responsibility of each individual, it’s not realistic to think employees can achieve this if they work in a practice that doesn’t provide appropriate support, particularly when many of the issues contributing to poor mental health are coming from work,” veterinarian and industry consultant Karen Felsted wrote in last week’s Fountain Report. 

Karen offers advice for practice owners and managers to start acknowledging mental health issues in the profession and supporting their employees. 

Among other things, she says, “Demonstrate respect for work-life balance….Everyone needs time off without work expectations.” 

> Read more of this article here. 

For veterinary practices, debriefing is important to promote team wellbeing  
Writing on LinkedIn, Dr. Marie Holowaychuk offers advice for veterinary workplace leaders to effectively debrief with teams after distressing situations. Debriefing can be important to maintain team wellbeing at these times. 

“Any time team members feel distressed, disturbed or confused about a situation that took place in the practice, a team debrief is warranted,” Holowaychuk writes. This might be after an unexpected patient death, a complaint from an unhappy client or a mistake that involves several team members. 

The debriefing, which Holowaychuk advises take place shortly after the event in question, should be held in a private location, and team members involved in or affected by the incident should be encouraged to attend, she says. In some cases, professional mental health assistance may be necessary. 

Holowaychuk in her article offers more details on what debriefings should involve and how practices can support their team members appropriately. 

> Read more of this article here.

Kentucky veterinary practice opens daycare for employees’ children to attract workers
An eastern Kentucky veterinary practice has expanded its capacity and attracted new staff through some creative thinking. Among other things, the West Liberty Veterinary Clinic has converted a home on its property to a daycare for staff members’ children. Kentucky has had challenges recently filling open jobs in rural areas, with many positions on a federal database currently open, WKYT reports. 

> Read more of this article here.

Commentary from Breanna Demaline, managing editor of the Veterinary Student Insider: 
It is no secret that the veterinary profession continues to battle individual and team well-being challenges. Whether it’s work-life balance, career fulfillment, or the emotional toll of work, hospitals such as this Kentucky practice have begun to think outside the box. 

While opening a daycare has met its goal and attracted new staff for this practice, it is possible this creative thinking could help address another large challenge: veterinary team wellbeing.  Childcare continues to be an ongoing stressor for many families. With many childcare facilities at or near capacity and others with a long waitlist, finding employment opportunities that meet employee financial and family demands can prove to be yet another barrier. 

Many employers promote “leaving personal issues at home,” but this is often not possible depending on the depth of the personal challenge. With the stress of finding stable, reliable and affordable childcare weighing on their shoulders, team members’ wellbeing may be affected on and off the clock. 

With many employees caring for young children and needing to work full-time to support their families, the opportunity for childcare close to their work may just bring a new innovative approach to supporting veterinary team wellness. 


Petco Love gives one millionth free pet vaccine, commits another million 
Petco Love has given its one millionth free pet vaccine and is committing to give another million vaccines through its Vaccinated and Loved initiative. The campaign, launched in 2021, encourages Petco Love animal welfare partners to host free vaccine clinics targeting areas where fatal pet diseases, such as parvovirus in dogs and panleukopenia in cats, are prevalent. 

In a survey of pet owners attending free clinics, the organization found that despite veterinarian recommendations for periodic vaccinations against these diseases, only 37% of surveyed owners said their pets were previously vaccinated. Forty-two percent said their pet had never seen a private veterinarian. 

> Read more of this article here.

Spiking veterinary care prices reflect how inflation is affecting services as well as goods  
Prices for veterinary services have increased 10% in the past year, according to government data, the biggest spike on record in the last two decades. 

The rising cost of veterinary services demonstrates how high inflation has spread beyond physical goods and is now affecting services. The trend has stoked fears that inflation is growing more entrenched and that the Federal Reserve will keep raising interest rates at an ever-higher risk of causing a recession, according to The Associated Press. 

Inflation rose 0.4% in September, a year-over-year rate of 8.2%, the Labor Department reported last week. 

> Read more of this article here.

The Vet Watch Weekly Insight Report 
For the week ending October 8, year-to-date revenue was up 5% over the same period last year at veterinary practices across the country, according to the latest Vet Watch Weekly Insight Report. 

The report was compiled by Animalytix, whose VetWatch platform each week provides metrics on practice revenue and purchasing trends for thousands of practices across the country. 

For the month ending September 30, year-to-date core and lifestyle canine and feline vaccine practice purchases were up 1.2% over the same period last year. Parasiticide purchases were up 4.3%, while purchases of surgical suite consumables, chronic care products and kennel cough vaccines were all down. 

> Read more of this article here.
This week's Veterinary Student Insider was compiled by managing editor Breanna Demaline.

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