TUESDAYFebruary 21, 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!


Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the community of Michigan State University as they mourn the loss of three students after a shooting February 13. Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser and Alexandria Verner will be remembered for the bright, passionate and caring individuals they were and the promising futures they had ahead of them. We also keep the five students in the hospital in our thoughts, as well as the rest of MSU’s students and community. We support you. 

—VSI managing editor Breanna Demaline, Michigan State University class of 2023 


Don’t sacrifice the future of your veterinary career.        

In this week’s Veterinary Student Insider, industry recruiter Stacy Pursell discusses good habits that will help your career in the long run. 

Job candidates have leverage in the current market. But the things you say now could have consequences later on, so it’s best to make sure you’re conducting your job search with positivity and respect for others. Things like ghosting potential employers, gossiping or accepting one job after you’ve already accepted another will reflect poorly in the future, Stacy says. 

She refers to this rule as “You reap what you sow”: Future consequences depend on present actions. To stay in employers’ good graces, it’s best to be generous, reliable and open to opportunity. 

“You’re about to start your veterinary career with a clean slate,” Stacy writes. “You can make it whatever you want to make it, so be sure that you’re sowing good seeds and not bad ones.” 

> Read the full column here.


How work overload leads to burnout           

Employees who are constantly stretched beyond their capacity at work risk becoming more vulnerable to burnout. Factors like operational inefficiencies, production-based compensation and lack of teamwork at the practice can all contribute to staff burnout. 

While workers have natural coping mechanisms—known as psychological capital—to prevent burnout, this can become depleted under an excessive workload. 

In the latest article in their series on the issue, the Galaxy Vets team discusses how practice leaders can prevent burnout among staff by easing their workload. Organizations can take steps such as identifying inefficiencies, implementing telehealth, improving inventory management and creating opportunities for breaks and time off to improve work-life balance. 

“Take pride in self-care and lead by example,” Galaxy Vets’ experts say. “Take vacations and days off and encourage your team members to do the same.” 

> Read the full article here.

How can short-staffed practices keep their employees?           

Jenn Galvin, co-owner and manager of Arizona-based Advanced Animal Care, discusses how short-staffed practices can hang on to their employees. While it is important to pay employees fairly and competitively, practice leaders need to offer other benefits, including growth opportunities and a culture of open communication where employees can voice their opinions without worrying they’ll be shut down, Galvin writes for the American Animal Hospital Association. She recommends conducting an employee satisfaction survey and showing appreciation in ways staff members will like. 

> Read the full article here.

Opinion: To keep independent veterinary clinics in business, look to the dental profession     

Veterinarian Mark Helfat believes small independently owned veterinary clinics are the soul of the profession, and he wants them to stay in business and avoid being purchased by corporate buyers. As prospective sellers find it increasingly difficult to get new independent buyers, veterinary medicine may be able to look to the dental profession for a model to follow, Helfat says. The American Dental Association’s ADA Practice Transitions initiative has a process to connect buyers and sellers, with advisers provided by the association. The AVMA could study the ADA initiative and create a counterpart for veterinary practice owners, Helfat writes for the VIN News Service. 

> Read the full article here.

Under inflation pressure, pet owners cut back on everything from pet food to veterinary care   

With pet food costs up 15% year-over-year and pet products up 12%, according to the January consumer price index, owners are cutting back on certain spending. Pet toy purchases are down 16% year-over-year as of February, according to a Jefferies Group analysis of NielsenIQ data, and sales of pet housing are down 21%. About half the 1,000 pet owners surveyed by consumer insights platform Zappi for The Wall Street Journal this month actively took steps to reduce pet care costs in the past year, like skipping or delaying a veterinary visit or routine medication, grooming their pet themselves or even giving their pet away. 

> Read the full article 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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