Study reveals non-clinical skills training key to retention of vets

veterinary sustainability pilot study
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Findings have been released from a world-first Veterinary Sustainability Pilot Study that reveals non-technical competency of veterinarians in practice is central to improving their wellbeing and career satisfaction.

The global research project, conducted in partnership by Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business and Royal Canin, tracked 127 practising veterinarians of up to 10 years’ experience across 25 countries over a 15-month period. 

Participants completed 12 months of an evidence-based virtual mentoring program called Leading Edge for Veterinarians. This online video module series targets competencies that have been proven to proactively empower veterinarians to enjoy more professional fulfilment, effectiveness, and resilience to stressors. 

“By chance, this pilot study began in 2021 and was conducted across the height of the supply/demand imbalance in veterinary services due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business director and co-project leader Dr Michael Powell said. 

“At this time, veterinary teams largely stretched by protracted vacancies from the longstanding global veterinary shortage were asked to stretch further still in the face of skyrocketing demand from increased pet ownership and lockdowns. 

“This made the timing of our research timely in tackling the progressing crisis of burnout and attrition of veterinary professionals. 

“At the period when veterinarians may be facing a crossroad in their careers and deciding whether they will remain in general practice, we can take an evidence-based, proactive measure to improve their passion for their profession, their psychological wellbeing, and their ability to positively influence patients, clients, and colleagues alike.”

Royal Canin Australia & New Zealand chief health officer Dr Bronwen Slack added: “The results of this study show how building non-clinical skills can play an important role for veterinary professionals feeling more content in their careers and professional fulfilled.”

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