Poignant stories from veterinary team members aim to evoke change in the profession

Vet med professionals from all over contributed to Veterinary Visionaries’ second “solving event” through video testimonials. The results make it clear: Leaders need to listen, build their empathy muscles, modify policies, and drive systemic change to reverse employee attrition trends.

Veterinary Visionaries launched its second solving event in February 2023, addressing the rising loss of employees in both veterinary practices and in the profession. Studies and statistics from leading veterinary organizations worldwide, including the American Veterinary Medical Association and British Veterinary Association, reveal worker disengagement in veterinary medicine has never been higher, and the apparent shortage of qualified professionals shows no sign of easing any time soon.

Solutions through storytelling

Veterinary Visionaries addressed this issue head-on, inviting all veterinary team members to actively explore and submit approaches to answering this question:

How do we get people who have fallen out of love with the profession to fall back in love . . . and stay?

More than 200 submissions were received, and a compilation video was created conveying the major points of concern. While compensation was an overarching pain point, particularly for nonveterinarians, employees also called for improved practice culture, childcare, and national standards to clarify and define technicians’ titles to more aptly convey their education and garner more respect.

Stories also included insights into retaining employees, including flexible work schedules, mental health counseling, and mentorship.

What leaders can do

However, change within the profession will only occur when those in leadership roles actively embrace the plight of their people and strategically modify policies to keep them thriving in their roles. Humanizing the data through Veterinary Visionaries’ Storytelling Event is just one step toward driving empathy and compelling change.

“Watching this short video was a beautiful, emotion-evoking journey. This short mash-up of heartfelt stories, feelings, and solutions speaks volumes about the ‘state of the union’ in our veterinary ecosystem that cannot be captured in a chart, a book, or a keynote speech,” states Garth Jordan, CEO of the American Animal Hospital Association.

“Our co-workers in veterinary medicine are asking and aching for change that reflects an understanding of and respect for their knowledge, empathy for humans and pets, and desire to live a life of service in veterinary healthcare. They deserve to be heard, but more so, they deserve a concerted effort toward improving our ecosystem so they can thrive in the profession they love.”

“Over the last almost 30 years of being a part of this amazing profession, CareCredit has seen the sea changes that have led to the current state of disenchantment and dissatisfaction for our veterinary teams,” says Boo Larsen, SVP and General Manager of the Veterinary Profession for CareCredit.

“Our company and team are committed to doing everything we can to ensure their passion and purpose are rewarded with satisfaction, self-fulfillment, and success. This solving event provides us with the powerful human stories behind the statistics, which we believe is the true source of inspiration for change to be found. This is why we are once again honored and proud to partner with Veterinary Visionaries in bringing this special solving event to life.”

Stories as a leadership resource

This project aimed to create a love letter to the profession, most notably leadership, to deepen their understanding of and empathy for all veterinary team members. That empathy can further drive change and improve practice culture so co-workers can stay in love with their chosen profession.

The full-length video is a helpful leadership resource for team meetings, leadership coaching, and strategy sessions aimed at creating new policies to enhance employee retention and reduce attrition.

Further exploration

CareCredit generously supports Veterinary Visionaries and this event. Special thanks to PetSmart Veterinary Services for supplying gift cards to everyone who shared their stories.




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