Dr. Craig is a 39-year veteran of the industry and has a wealth of knowledge to share. Including insights that track the entire span of a veterinarian’s career.
Veterinary school is where it all begins, where individuals who have always wanted to be a vet go to learn. Dr. Craig spoke of a “problem” that is occurring in admissions. What was once in-person interviews and essays, have turned to grade analysis and only looking at the top of the class, “the cream of the crop”. But as he says, do “the cream of the crop” actually make the best vets? In his opinion personality is far more important than grades and in many cases extroverted, engaging people who would do great as a veterinarian have lower grades and scores than introverted, unpersonable people. As a previous practice owner, he’d hire based on personality over grades because you can mentor and teach skills but you cannot change important personal qualities. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for introverts, he suggests less client-based vet care like research, labs, and academia. He also suggests a filter or aptitude in vet schools where vets are placed and trained in the areas of the field that they are best suited to. There are many areas of the industry other than veterinarians and when people land the jobs best for their skills and personality, they are overall happier.
Student debt is no secret when it comes to getting your degree for this profession, many veterinarians start their careers 300,000+ in loan debt. Dr. Craig urges veterinarians to sternly consider clinic ownership in their careers. It’s the path to independence, financial gain, and general happiness at your job. But there is a lot more to clinic ownership than just vet care, and with it, comes a lot of back-end business that many vets may not understand or be prepared for. There is always the option to seek a certification or even a general business degree, but Dr. Craig also offers the resource, Veterinary Study Group, where you can join a management group and receive assistance and advice in managing your business. But what about those who know they don’t want to own a clinic? He suggests finding an owner who is going to mentor and train you well, he cites that vets in well-managed clinics are earning well above the average clinics that are still stuck earning the same gross wage of the last decade. He explains you work hard, you deserve to earn a living wage, and you deserve a comfortable life.
Dr. Craig also has a great take on the importance of veterinary technicians. He says in most practices vet techs are undervalued, and underused. He states the four jobs of a veterinarian are diagnosis, charting, surgery, and prescribing, everything else should be left in the capable hands of the vet technician. If we can as a whole start hiring more and utilizing vet techs then we can pay them a higher wage, and give them a lot more job satisfaction. Vet techs could be the answer to the staggering shortage of veterinarians in the field.
This is such great information for both new and experienced vets, and hopefully, we can see some of these changes moving forward to improve the industry.
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- How the veterinary school filter affects the veterinary industry.
- The solution to the veterinarian shortage.
- Why every veterinarian should consider clinic ownership.
- A solution for business struggles in clinic ownership.
- Veterinary Technicians, an undervalued and underused asset in the industry.