Every business sector has its own challenges and opportunities, and veterinary medicine is no exception. As a profession, veterinarians work as health providers and caregivers to animals, positively impacting millions of households and their beloved pets. Pet ownership is surging at a steady level, increasing Americans’ reliance on quality veterinary care.
However, influential factors and mounting struggles create numerous problems in this profession. Many people may not even be aware of these vocational troubles and barriers. Let’s examine closer the leading challenges facing veterinary medicine today and how they impact the sustainability of this industry.
Care Access and Advancements: Service-Oriented Approaches
Veterinary practice norms constantly change to meet the times, and the need to stay relevant is heavily apparent. Of all the leading challenges facing veterinary medicine, keeping in the loop with these emerging regulatory standards, trends, and treatments tops the list. Strategic treatment and care have become the standard for veterinary medicine, much more than mere healthcare. Transformative approaches alter how people view and maintain animal wellness.
This all comes into conflict with the pricing and financing of practices, clinics, and hospitals. Keeping a veterinary business profitable is no simple feat. Millions of pets live with lower-income owners or families that struggle financially. This division between the rich and poor is a heartbreaking factor when new standard care requirements become more expensive. The recognition of lack of care as a genuine difficulty provides insight into possible solutions—solutions that reconstruct veterinary facilities and their delivery models for greater accessibility.
The Lingering Presence of Stressors and Wellness Hazards
The comprehensive well-being of veterinarians is at high risk due to daily, recurring exposure to stressors and workplace hazards. The toll is highest on physical and mental wellness—long hours, loan debt, client expectations, and poor work/life balance are draining on one’s health.
Safety is another wellness consideration that comes into play in veterinary work. Proper knowledge of animal handling, as well as sharps handling and disposal practices, is key. Education and training provide the best insight into handling these challenges. No one can eliminate these stressors or hazards from the veterinary workplace completely, but a healthier and safer workplace is possible with the right management and strategies.
A Lack of Diversity: Reshaping Culture and Leadership
A lack of gender, generational, and ethnic diversity is a leading challenge across present-day industries. Veterinary medicine sees this non-equilibrium continually, and the lack of representation has critical impacts. When societal needs evolve into private and public practices, divisive issues worsen situations. Veterinary practices need diversity to join unique personalities, perspectives, worldviews, and desires together.
Veterinary medicine has a values-based culture. The future of the profession relies on adapting to maintain a professional level of trust and respect. Ongoing collaboration and communication between industry leaders, veterinary professionals, clients, and employees are essential for an umbrella of success.