The latest findings on wellbeing in veterinary practices: Things may be looking up.
Veterinary teams are becoming more progressive in addressing mental health challenges among their teams, according to Merck Animal Health’s Fourth Veterinary Wellbeing Study.
The study, conducted in collaboration with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), underscores a positive trend in veterinarian practices taking a more proactive approach toward mental health. This is the first comprehensive study on veterinary wellbeing following the global pandemic and its impact on veterinary professionals.
According to the study, more veterinary professionals are provided access to and are pursuing mental health resources for their overall wellbeing, with continued improvements on the horizon. This year the study was expanded to examine the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary team members—including veterinary technicians and office managers—with nearly five times more responses from these positions than the 2021 survey.
The findings include:
- Almost three-quarters of veterinary professionals express personal satisfaction with their career, but there are still factors they are concerned about, including high exhaustion, work-life balance and a shortage of vets, all of which can contribute to a feeling of burnout.
- There has been a substantial increase in clinics supporting their teams’ mental health and emotional wellbeing, with results showing that 38% of clinics now offer an employee assistance program (EAP) as opposed to 31% in 2021 and 27% in 2019.
- An overwhelming number of veterinarians (98%) and veterinary team members (92%) note that they are invested in their work and take pride in doing a good job.
- Less than 50% of veterinarians say that others in the profession are satisfied with their careers, potentially indicating a continued need for open communication about wellbeing and the resources available.
Both Merck and the AVMA have mental wellbeing resources: