Share your love story to help solve profession’s retention problem
Updated February 14, 2023
The second problem-solving event from Veterinary Visionaries will run Feb. 14 through March 7 to help address the increasing loss of employees in the veterinary profession.
Veterinary Visionaries is a collaboration of veterinary organizations launched by the American Animal Hospital Association with approximately 60 participating founders, including the AVMA, and sponsored by CareCredit. The collaboration created its first crowdsourced problem-solving campaign in May 2022 to help address mental health in the veterinary profession.
For the 2023 event, Veterinary Visionaries is trying to answer this question: “How do we get people who fell out of love with the profession to fall back in love—and stay?”
The collaboration asks veterinary team members to record a video to share their story about what made them fall in love, stay in love, or fall out of love with veterinary medicine. Then, they will be asked what could have been done to solve their issues or make their love even stronger.
Veterinary leaders will have access to the output of the storytelling initiative. The goal is to elevate awareness and inspire a reversal of employee dissatisfaction and current attrition trends.
“One of the biggest problems we face is the loss of well-skilled people,” said Garth Jordan, CEO of AAHA, in an announcement about the event. “There are simply not enough veterinarians and technicians to fill vacancies. The statistics don’t tell the story as to why people are leaving their jobs. We intend to humanize the data with impassioned stories that drive empathy and compel change.”
Details about the 2023 storytelling event are available on the Veterinary Visionaries website. Participants who record the first 200 qualified submissions each will receive a $10 PetSmart Veterinary Services gift card, and all participants will be entered into a drawing for $250 and an Eeyore pillow pet, thanks to CareCredit.
Veterinary Visionaries was established in 2021. The members of the collaboration are veterinary associations along with hospitals, large employers, and institutions of higher education.
The collaboration’s first problem-solving event in May 2022 sought to answer this question:
“How might we build systemic solutions and support for veterinary teams to continuously improve mental wellbeing, especially related to moral distress, ethical trauma, and compassion resilience?”
At the conclusion of the 2022 event, a panel of mental health and veterinary professionals evaluated 133 submissions. Coral Doherty, a Manitoba-based registered veterinary technologist and certified psychological health and safety adviser, submitted the winning idea, focusing on creating standards for psychological health and safety in the veterinary field.
A Solution Squad has been creating an implementation plan based on Doherty’s idea that will be provided to the veterinary profession this fall.
The AVMA offers resources to support personal and professional well-being at avma.org/Wellbeing.