Although I can’t say that I currently work in a veterinary practice or hospital, I can (due to being a dog owner) say that the veterinary industry is understaffed and overworked. Now, some of you might say that this has been the case for a while now, but it has only become worse since the pandemic.
Although this post won’t solve the problem today, it will continue to make people aware of how important our veterinarians and staff are to our pets and pet owners! Furthermore, there is a considerable financial consequence to burnout and turnover in the Vet industry.
According to the Cornell Center of Veterinary Business and Entrepreneurship, workplace burnout costs the veterinary industry $2 Billion dollars a year! This figure comes from “The Economic Cost of Burnout in Veterinary Medicine” published by Neil, Hansen and Salois. The study used data from 5,786 veterinarians in private practices and calculated the cost of burnout at both the industry level and further at the individual veterinarian level.
The median cost of turnover per veterinarian is about $104,000 while the cost of reduced clinical hours is about $56,000. The below chart breaks out the total cost of burnout and the components across 4 types of vets (Companion, Equine, Food Animal, and Mixed Anima):
“There are multiple factors that contribute to a person’s burnout,” Neil says. The main factor driving workplace burnout is the working environment including long hours; client complaints; and unexpected patient outcomes. These burnout rates have only been heightened post the pandemic. Furthermore, when you factor in licensed veterinary technicians, the reasons change slightly and are usually more client facing.