One of the major impacts on veterinary mental health is the veterinary workforce crisis. Dr. Bob Lester, an accomplished veterinary healthcare executive, joins me with a dose of optimism and some great options for how we can work towards fixing this shortage in the industry.
Dr. Lester calls the workforce crisis a “problem of abundance.” This is so true; pets are now more important parts of our family than ever before. Alongside that, pet numbers are up, pet spending is up, pet lifespans are up, and euthanasia is down. All of these are great things, but in an already overworked profession, there simply is not enough staff to cover the growth.
We can’t ignore this!! At the current rate, by 2030, 70 million pets will be without access to care. Dr. Lester and I discuss some major implications of the continuing workforce crisis, such as more overworked staff, a decline in pet health, the loss of pet benefits to human health, and even major public health risks.
As we talk about solutions, Dr. Lester emphasizes that these must be used in conjunction with one another. As he says, these are AND, not OR. We go into detail discussing 6 really great ideas that can work together to improve the workforce crisis.
- Veterinary wellbeing
- More vets and vet techs
- Technology – labs and diagnostics, telemed, AI
- Team based health care
- Preventative Care
- Open to new models of vet care – urgent care, dentistry, vet tech delivery, etc.
As we close out, Dr. Lester reminds us that there is a lot to celebrate in the profession. Remember to take care of yourself first and help others by being open to change. You can reach out to Dr. Lester via email, and be sure to check out his practice website, WellHaven.com.
Would You Like To Be Featured in Our Podcast?
Join Our Mailing List!
- What is causing the veterinary workforce crisis?
- What is the problem of abundance?
- The implications of lack of vet care.
- Important solutions for the veterinary workforce crisis.