December 5th, 2023

Exploring Career Paths in Veterinary Medicine: A Guide to Fulfillment and Success

Hate Your JOB, but LOVE Your Work? 

You can wrangle your patients with ease and wield a syringe with one hand, but something is missing in your day-to-day J.O.B.  Veterinary medicine is the best profession in the world because it gives you so many career paths to explore! IVPA provides a high-level overview of careers open to veterinarians and cover pathways to clinical, corporate, and ownership career development. Career specific requirements for technical skills and leadership development will be reviewed as well as resources for finding more information. Don’t let burn out force you to leave all that you love! 

Is Practice Ownership the Answer? 

Veterinary health care teams continue to suffer from burn out and stress for many reasons. Compassion fatigue, high client expectations, and the stress of COVID-19 have been blamed for rising attrition of all health care team members. Research has shown veterinarians experience stress from concerns over financial stability despite rising salaries. Student debt continues to plague veterinarians and technicians alike. In the past, veterinarians owned their practice, but today are increasingly employed by large corporations.  Is the loss of leadership at the root cause of attrition and stress? Research shows veterinarians who own their practice tend to have greater financial stability and even decreased stress. With ownership comes autonomy to manage the things that cause us stress.  As an owner you can manage your time, your team, and your profits as you will. Veterinary care doesn’t have to be balanced with shareholder returns and limitless profit when veterinarians own their practice. The beauty of small business ownership is it allows owners to deliver care which meets their own personal goals for financial stability and their own definition of professional success.  When veterinarians own their medicine, they own their career and destiny.  Starting on the path to ownership can seem daunting and overwhelming. Unfortunately, veterinarians have been unfairly called poor business owners – if veterinarians can learn the Krebbs cycle and perform major abdominal surgery, then they most certainly can learn to read a balance sheet and manage their business. While ownership takes determination and courage, it can alleviate the stress of working in poor conditions with loss of control over delivering care with purpose. Hopefully, more veterinarians will explore ownership as a career option rather than leave their beloved profession in the hands of private equity and high stakes investors. 

Like a Boss: Is Practice Ownership for You? 

Love clinical practice, but want more autonomy? Wish you could better juggle personal, and work demands? Or do you just want to practice your medicine, your way?  Practice ownership could be for you! IVPA guides veterinary professionals along the path of self-exploration to determine if practice ownership is the next step in their progression as a professional. Both the joys & demands of ownership will be reviewed, allowing attendees to dream big about their future. 

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