relief

Are Relief Vets Ruining, or Saving, Vet Med?

2 min read
FYI: This article is part of the veterinary culture manifesto — a set of guiding principles to create better culture in vet med.
Read & sign the veterinary culture manifesto here.
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Below is a brief synopsis of a 1-hour course in our extensive CE catalog in Hound Collective: a community built by and for vet med. Join the community and get access to this course and the full library of 20+ courses.

Why Relief Work is Growing in Popularity

Are you experiencing burnout or struggling to maintain a work-life balance? You're not alone! Burnout and generational mindset are the top two factors affecting the industry, with an annual cost of $1 billion. 

Other contributors to burnout include workload, lack of control, insufficient reward, lack of community, unfairness, and value mismatches.

Let's compare the needs of millennial vets with those of boomer vets in 2021. For millennial vets, flexibility, autonomy, mentorship, inspiring cultures, fair compensation, life outside work, and technology-supported work are crucial. 

So, how does relief work fit into this? 

Being a relief vet offers millennials flexibility, autonomy, variety, cultural observation, professional growth, and appreciation.

The Different Types of Relief Vets

Relief vets come in different forms. Many relief vets fit into these categories; some might even become full-time employees!

The Entrepreneur

An entrepreneurial vet might cover shifts, consult, explore practice ownership/buy-in, or expand service offerings. 

The Juggler

A "juggler" vet could offer regular relief, weekend work, last-minute coverage, partial shifts, or even become your virtual vet. 

The Diversifier

A "diversifier" vet might consult on cases or become a mentor or leader at your clinic. 

What are the considerations for Relief workers coming into practices?

Clinics may have reservations about relief vets. Concerns may include cost, the decision to hire an associate vet versus a relief vet, or a mismatch between the clinic's needs and the relief vet's availability. They may also worry about maintaining continuity of care and ensuring consistency in experiences and services. All these concerns are valid, but the key to a successful relationship with a relief vet is communication. Remember, relief vets are not clones, Uber drivers, or mind readers.

Want more info?

Relief Vets are instrumental in preserving the field of veterinary medicine! 

Want more in-depth info? See our extensive CE catalog in Hound Collective: a community built by and for vet med. Join the community and get access to this course and the full library of 20+ courses.

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