Keep in good financial health with sessions from AVMA economics team

Convention-goers looking to connect better with clients or see how their practice compares in terms of economic performance have a few must-see sessions Saturday, July 30, at AVMA Convention 2022.

Members of the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division will give three presentations—all taking place in Room 109AB at the Philadelphia Convention Center for in-person attendees as well as online for virtual attendees. Among the topics to be covered are educational debt, client communication, and marketing to different pet owner types.

The sessions begin at 1 p.m. with Bridgette M. Bain, PhD, associate director of analytics at the AVMA, reviewing the state of the veterinary profession from an economic perspective during the presentation “Economic State of the Profession Review.”

Bridgette M. Bain, PhD
Bridgette M. Bain, PhD, associate director of analytics at the AVMA, will give the presentation “Economic State of the Profession Review” on Saturday, July 30, at AVMA Convention 2022.

She will analyze and report on veterinarians’ starting salaries as well as salaries across associates and practice owners, educational debt, and practice efficiency.

For example, the mean debt of all 2021 graduates from U.S. veterinary colleges, including those without debt, was $147,394 in 2020 dollars. And 18% of veterinary graduates had no debt—down from 19% in 2020, according to data from the 2021 AVMA Senior Survey.

At last year’s AVMA Veterinary Business and Economic Forum, Dr. Bain recommended communication across institutions, including veterinary colleges, to identify successful strategies for debt management.

At 2 p.m., Charlotte R. Hansen, AVMA assistant director for statistical analysis, will give the presentation “The Language of Veterinary Care.”

The AVMA Language of Veterinary Care Initiative provides a set of comprehensive resources designed to help clinicians use language that works when talking with clients about why and when they should go to the veterinarian, the range of services that a veterinary practice offers, and how to pay for veterinary services.

Hansen was part of the AVMA team that partnered with Maslansky + Partners, a language strategy firm, to conduct language-focused research with pet owners across the United States. The initiative launched last year. Resources include an e-book, “Language That Works: Changing the Way We Talk About Veterinary Care,” which compiles the practical lessons from this research into a tool for veterinary teams. Hansen will reference these materials and insights during her talk.

Finally at 3 p.m., Rosemary Radich, principal data scientist in the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division, will give the talk “Pet Ownership: What You Need To Know.”

She will expound on information from the recently released 2022 AVMA Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook. The report draws on a survey of more than 2,000 pet owners conducted in early 2021, and the data are reflective of 2020.

Pet owners vary in their beliefs, values, and spending habits, and to better explore these differences, pet owners were clustered into five segments in the report: pet pamperers, a group for enthusiastic families, a low-key and child-free group, occupied owners, and casual caretakers.

These speakers will also be appearing at the upcoming 2022 AVMA Veterinary Business and Economic Forum. This event brings together veterinarians and veterinary leaders from across the profession, featuring leading-edge insight on business trends and consumer behavior, interactive dialogue among attendees and presenters, and the latest data and research on issues impacting veterinary financial health.

This year’s event will take place Oct. 24-25 and will be held virtually.