Veterinary drugs evolving as new professionals enter workforce

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Implementing workplace incentives that are attractive to millennials and women could be key to attracting longtime veterinary professionals.

This comes from a new report from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) that interviewed graduates, practice managers, and other professionals to get an overview of current industry-wide strengths, changes, and opportunities.

The group’s workplace data showed an annual increase in the number of active veterinarians in the US of about 2.5 percent, with women dominating the industry (more than 60 percent of the workforce). This overall growth is not surprising, according to AVMA, largely given America’s booming pet population and owners’ high expectations for health care, as well as increased demand from the livestock industry.

In addition to demographics, Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994) have maintained their position as the leading generation group in the veterinary industry for the past four years. In fact, that age group made up 35 percent of U.S. veterinarians in 2019, followed by Generation X (32.6 percent) and baby boomers (31.8 percent), reports AVMA.

The industry, the association predicts, could see a significant change in “mindset and culture” as seasoned workers retire and young professionals take over. According to AVMA, these changes could provide new business and marketing opportunities for employers looking to attract new team members.

Wellness research is the largest source of income for prevailing pet practices (up to 32.2 percent depending on the size of a hospital). At the lower end of the scale, food and feed sales account for less than five percent of sales. According to AVMA, this is mainly due to the strong new competition (e.g. online retailers, e-pharmacies, etc.). Hence, practices should adjust their marketing strategies, including digital and social media, to increase sales.

Click here to access AVMA’s 2020 Veterinary Economic Health.