VetsSurvey 2020: part 2

Here is the second release of the long awaited VetsSurvey 2020 data. Where the first release was focused on the impact of the pandemic, this report covers other aspects of veterinary life (because it’s not all about Covid-19!).

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COVID-19 Global Pandemic impact on the veterinary market

VetsSurvey 2020 – Part 1

In March 2020 we embarked on a small project to track the impact of the pandemic on our Vetspanel members. We resolved to continue this for “as long as the pandemic lasts.” Proof that researchers should not speak in haste.

In December 2020 we concluded the last wave of this project. In partnership with WSAVA, we have interviewed 5000 veterinary professionals in 91 countries.

The goal of this final survey was two-fold. First, to round up 2020 and take stock of where we are as we enter 2021. Second, covering future plans to help the veterinary industry make 2021 a better year.

We thank all 5000 respondents for sharing their experiences and opinions.

Click HERE to download the full report

Help from home – are remote consultations here to stay?

The coronavirus pandemic has not only attributed to a long-lasting backlog for veterinarians but has forced the industry to evolve its methods to meet client demand as capacity in practices needed to be reduced.

Virtually all veterinary practices across the globe have had to implement additional measures or policies due to the coronavirus outbreak which meant less clients were permitted on site and birthed this increasing need for remote consultations and telemedicine appointments.

Data from our 2020 VetsSurvey found that 33% of vets asked pet owners to call beforehand to assess the need to visit the practice, while 45% admitted they asked clients to wait outside while a member of staff brought the client’s pet into the practice.

These figures highlight how the pandemic has not only slowed the consultation process for vets but also tried to reduce the number of clients arriving in person, and, while necessary to limit the spread of the virus, it has only further delayed the consultation process.

The virus did not diminish practices’ intention to stay in contact with clients however and in fact saw a sharp rise in various methods they used to remain engaged with them.

Just over half (52%) of vets surveyed said they communicated via email more with clients now than before coronavirus.

Older methods such as communication via phone actually increased substantially as well, as 65% of vets that we surveyed globally said they communicated via phone with clients more now than before coronavirus.

Just under a third of practices (30%) increased their social media output via Facebook and around 16% admitted they had done so on other platforms.

If this method develops into the “new normal”, this may not necessarily be a bad thing.

According to VetTimes, a new AI software has predicted that as much as 80% of consultations could be manageable at home.

The study conducted by app-based veterinary service Joii, found that the majority of cases it dealt with throughout the coronavirus pandemic did not require a follow-up and could be dealt with remotely.

Remote consultations have not been limited to apps like Joii, however.

Some practices, such as Gortlands Vets in Belfast, The Veterinary Health Center and those part of the Priory Veterinary Group, have started to offer remote consultation services themselves.

As Zoom reported a jump from 10 million users to over 200 million in three months, veterinary practices, such as those listed above, made appointments over the teleconferencing app and even over WhatsApp, an option for pet owners.

The PDSA announced in August that it had conducted more than one million remote consultations since the start of the pandemic.

Despite their usefulness during the pandemic, remote consultations are not perfect and have had their critics. There has been an ongoing debate about prescribing medicines remotely without having physically examined an animal.

However, there has been no evidence so far to suggest that animal welfare has been compromised with this method.

It will be most interesting to see if other practices join those that are already offering online consultations and if app services continue to attract pet owners.

Whether veterinary surgeries will find more alternative ways like WhatsApp and Zoom to consult patients remotely also remains to be seen.

Veterinary nurses overlooked as petition calls for better understanding  

While it is commonly known that vet surgeons have one of the most demanding jobs, veterinary nurses are often overlooked when understanding the stress that those who work in the industry are under.

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Brexit = Vetxit? Vet numbers fall as pet population rises  

While the coronavirus pandemic has created a whole host of issues for the veterinary industry globally, the UK has faced a new number of challenges following Brexit.

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Pandemic delay in vaccination and check-ups a danger as parvovirus numbers rise  

The coronavirus pandemic has birthed a number of challenges for every industry, not least veterinarians.

As there has been a rise in stress levels in vets, delays caused by lockdowns has led to a decline in treatments for pets, particularly vaccinations and check-ups, which has created a huge backlog.

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Less experienced vets working longest hours in veterinary industry

The latest data from over 800 companion animal veterinarians in the US has found that among employed vets, those with less experience tend to work on average around four hours per week more than those who have worked around 10 times as many years as a trained veterinarian.

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Stress: the biggest global pandemic threatening the veterinary industry?

It’s fair to say that the pandemic has caused stress for us all. It’s the caring professions, though, who have probably had the most direct and heavy impact on their stress levels. Veterinary work is often not given the acknowledgement it deserves as a caring profession. In this short blog piece we’ll use data from our recent VetsSurvey to look at stress levels in the veterinary profession across the world.

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Insights on UK vets’ CPD, Continued Professional Development, webinar consumption

With our online content consumption growing in light of the pandemic, vets in the UK are no different; 35% accessed a CPD webinar in the last week and 57% said they watch more CPD webinars now than before the pandemic.

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Women in Veterinary Medicine: Why more women doesn’t equal more equality

Introduction 

Be part of a conversation about women in Veterinary Medicine and the chances are that one of the first things mentioned is how rapidly the industry has become “female dominated”.  

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