In this blog post featured in the April 2013 issue of dvm360, Dr. Rebecca Tudor asks, "What in the world is going on in our profession
We want to know what YOU have to say.
> What will the current trends do to the veterinary
> What are solutions for the overabunda
Edited by DVMnewsmagazine, 1 year ago
What I see in my semi-rural practice area and have noticed becoming more prominent the last 5 years is many of my collegues refusing to assess the value of their skills and their willingness to discount more and more of their fees. I found it interesting that none of the 50 clinics you service are looking to hire a full time associate. I would be one of them as well. Many of the new graduates are willing to take work at spay neuter clinics which just perpetuates the escalating pressure on our fees. Drug companies don't give a flip about our success and are expecting us to heed their suggestions to drop our margins. Dr, Google has become my biggest competitor.
I've seriously thought of selling outright and becoming an associate but I fear I'd be one of the many lookers and regret my decision.
I feel the "funk" our profession is experiencing is of our own making. Whether originating in our schools, graduating ill prepared, highly in debt, lack of self worth graduates. Or out in the trenches with practices letting the "bad economy" dictate how we operate our business to the extent that we have regressed 5-10 yrs in our fee structures.
I wish I had the answers. Maybe one thing is to consolidate practices which would improve our profit margins and allow us to start hiring again.
I would totally agree. Not only the increase numbers but also Arizona will have a new vet school soon I understand. How will all the vet schools make it economically? When I first graduated and the vets I new before I graduated where highly respected and thought of individuals Now not very much at all. Why bother when you have Dr. Google, Pet med, and "low income" services available for just about anything you can think of. I personally place alot of the blame on the, internet /pharmacies, and the "low income" services for poor public opionion and eliminating what little income and respect a private practioner had, no way can a for profit indivudual compete economically or marketing. Seems to me it ultimately devalues both the profession and the professional livelyhood. Had I know what I know now despite the fact I love the work I would never choose this as a profession to make a living on. I am not sure there is any good times ahead especially for the private practioner. I doubt my rural practice will ever sell as a practice or have any real value in the realty market, and am certain despite the over ubundance if you will of graduating students, any will be interested purchasing. The debt to income ratio is just not worth it.
I truely admire the Dr. Robert Miller era, they may not have had TPLOs and MRIs but they where great diagnostitians in an era that practicing was rewarding, fun, not strained with litigation, and while maybe not Donald Trump wealthy it was profitable, without exharborant fees, and you could actually practice veterinary medicine without looking over your shoulder all the time out of concern for the next 'fad', law suit, cost increase, tax increase, student loan default, and new legal requirements, just to stay in business. Guess evreryone looks back at the "good old days" but seems like times truely have changed and I personally can't say its for the better, at least from a business perspective.
We are in deep trouble and I feel very sorry for new graduates. The biggest problem is the enormous indebtedness of new grads. One solution would be to divide students into two training tracks after two years of basic classroom studies: academia and practice. Those on the academic training track would stay at the university and would continue to pay exorbitant tuition and complete their education there. Those on the practice track would leave the universities and embark on a supervised series of rotations through private practices at a much reduced cost. Exposure to the private sector would greatly enhance employability of these students.
Academics won't like this. Students are the cash cows that float bloated University budgets and the Universities will resist streamlining veterinary education. Economically the current situation is untenable where the student of average means is inviting financial ruin by pursuing the veterinary profession.
I totally agree with your opinion. As a student applying for Vet school in 1967 there were only about 13 or 14 schools in the country and all had classes of around 50-60 students. In the 70's Vet Med was changing rapidly and getting more and more sophisticated almost by the day.
I think in the late 80's and the 90's we hit our hay day. Employment was not a problem, we couldn't find a Vet to work, sometimes it took 2-3 years to get someone and you'd pay them WELL. New hospitals were popping up everywhere and people were spending more and more money on their pets.
Unfortunately with all that success came larger classes , twice as many schools and higher and higher tuitions. I'm almost embarassed to tell you what it cost me to get my education back then.
So what we have today is over whelming debt and we get at least 4 or 5 applications for work each year that we can't hire. Now I hear there are still more Veterinary Schools planning on opening in the the future.
I love my profession, it has done me very well all these years and I've enjoyed 90 % of it all, but I too would be hard pressed to recommend a young student interested in Veterinary Medicine to actually apply.