TUESDAYMarch 7, 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!


How unfairness leads to employee burnout         

In the latest Fountain Report, the Galaxy Vets team continues a series focusing on burnout in veterinary medicine, bringing to light the various organizational and management errors that lead to burnout and employee unfulfillment in veterinary practices. 

Of particular note, Galaxy Vets highlights the inappropriate use of the “veterinary technician” title. As a pre-veterinary student working towards applying to veterinary school, I witnessed the veterinary technician title shared between those who were able to perform the tasks but did not earn the degree and those who earned their degree from a licensing program. I saw the consequences of this misuse in the shape of inter-team conflict, task inefficiency and employment turnover. 

As described in Galaxy Vets’ article, credentialed veterinary technicians have felt undervalued and disrespected for the sacrifices they made attaining higher education to perform certain tasks and procedures. While other factors come into play, such as unavailability of credentialed veterinary technicians and high costs of veterinary technician teaching programs, these consequences emphasize the need and demand for protection of the veterinary technician title. 

Additionally, Galaxy Vets focuses on the connection between fear of employment loss and tolerance of inappropriate workplace conduct. During my time working in veterinary practices, I have seen far too often practices refusing to let an employee (or employees) go when they jeopardize hospital values and culture, due to their technical skill and experience. This leads to further employment burnout as the team struggles to overcome the burden of “toxic” individuals and management underestimates the damage of retaining such employees. 

While acknowledging the ongoing struggle to hire veterinary technicians and assistants, we must not sacrifice culture and value in place of able hands. It has been proved time after time that a team fulfilled and united under a shared purpose is not only more efficient, but stays with their employer. Management must work toward this goal if the battle of burnout is ever to be won. More on the demand for protection of the veterinary title can be found online here. 

—VSI Managing Editor Breanna Demaline 

> Read the full article from Galaxy Vets here.


This year’s legislative highlights          

State legislatures are taking up pet care-related bills more than in the past, meaning veterinarians and other industry members should pay attention to what their lawmakers are discussing. 

In his latest Fountain Report column, policy expert Mark Cushing gives an overview of some of the top issues lawmakers are considering and what the implications could be for veterinarians and other industry members. 

“The pace of legislation has accelerated, and we currently monitor 1,270 proposed bills of impact across the veterinary industry and profession and the animal welfare sector,” Mark writes, referring to his firm, the Animal Policy Group. Bills up for consideration involve telemedicine, declawing, dog breeding and a slew of other issues. 

Several states are considering taking action on non-economic damages, spurred on by laws passed in recent years in Maryland and Delaware. 

> Read the full column here.

Veterinarians debate whether it’s time to get rid of noncompete agreements            

The Federal Trade Commission in January proposed banning employers from imposing noncompete agreements on their workers and requiring them to rescind existing noncompete clauses. 

For veterinarians like Lori Rios, this makes sense. She signed an agreement with her first employer saying she wouldn’t take another position within 25 miles for three years after leaving. With few options in Central Virginia, she ended up having to take a job 120 miles from home. 

At the same time, some members of the profession support these agreements. For example, some independent practice owners say noncompetes are essential to ensure associates who leave don’t take clients with them, the VIN News Service reports. 

> Read the full article here. 

Florida bill would create animal abuse registry       

Florida lawmakers have proposed a bill that would create an animal abuse registry, similar to the state’s sex offender registry. If passed, crimes such as animal cruelty, fighting and abandonment would put someone on the list. People who violate abuse laws would have to put their name, headshot and court judgment online for breeders and sellers to see, First Coast News reports. 

> Read the full article here.

The Vet Watch Report    

Year-to-date revenue the week ending February 25 was up 8.5% over the same period last year at veterinary practices across the country, according to the latest Vet Watch™ Weekly Insight Report. 

Total invoices were down 0.5% year-to-date, unique clients were down 0.4%, and unique patients were down 0.4%. 

Month-to-date, revenue was up 4% over the same period last year. Total invoices were down 5.3%, unique clients were down 4.7%, and unique patients were down 4.9%. 

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

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