Factors that support retention and drive attrition in the veterinary profession

How to meet the needs of people working in clinical practice


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Why staff retention deserves your attention in the New Year
AAHA surveyed nearly 15,000 veterinary professionals and learned that 30% plan to leave their current job within the coming year. What might make them want to stay? It starts with the right goals. Read more.

How do we keep good people in clinical practice?
New insights from an AAHA survey into why people in vet med leave, and what could make them want to stay. Read more.

VIDEO: Exploring insights and strategies outlined In AAHA’s retention study

Check out the recording of this LinkedIn Live event where AAHA CEO, Garth Jordan, delved into the studies findings of the root causes of high turnover rates in veterinary practices, including burnout, compassion fatigue, work-life balance, and financial concerns.


Dig into the charts below to better understand what’s driving attrition and inspiring retention amongst veterinary professionals.

The dropdown menus allow you to see how these factors differ amongst those planning to leave (attrition) and those planning to stay (retention).

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Different Roles, Different Values
Respondents currently in clinical practice told us whether they planned to stay or leave within the coming year (Employment Status). Then, they named the top three categories they valued most (Value). Use the drop-down menus to view how various factors ranked across multiple roles—and how a respondent’s employment status impacted that ranking.
Based on data from 2023 AAHA Retention in Veterinary Medicine Survey
Career Personas
We identified three key career personas currently in clinical practice based on the tendencies of various roles to stay where they are, change practice or jobs within vet med, or leave vet med entirely.
  1. Loyal to practice, which consists of owners, hospital admins, practice managers, and medical directors. These roles were most likely to say they planned to stay where they were.
  2. The dedicated to vet med persona consists of nonowner DVMs and credentialed techs, who are devoted to vet med but not necessarily their current job.
  3. Our third persona, consisting of uncredentialed techs and CSRs, is most likely to see their current role as a job rather than a career, and this persona is far more likely than any other persona to leave vet med entirely. This doesn’t mean individuals in these roles aren’t committed to veterinary medicine, but as a group, they’re statistically more than twice as likely to leave the field than the other personas.
The top six values named by the Dedicated to vet med persona (associate DVMs and credentialed techs) are highlighted.
Based on data from 2023 AAHA Retention in Veterinary Medicine Survey
The Role of Compensation
Fair compensation is an important retention factor, but a LACK of fair compensation is a much bigger driver of attrition.
Based on data from 2023 AAHA Retention in Veterinary Medicine Survey
Retention & Attrition Factors
Top Reasons for Leaving
Top Reasons for Staying
Based on findings of the 2023 AAHA Stay, Please study