The job market, economy mixed for private practices
Apr 01, 2009
Fresh data from DVM Newsmagazine's State of the Profession survey show that only 43 percent of associate veterinarians have aspirations to own a veterinary practice. The results are down from 53 percent posted in 2006.
That's not all. In contrast, 64 percent of the practitioners responding to the survey, say that they don't have plans to hire additional veterinarians in the next two years. Seventy percent of those practitioners believe they can find qualified associates in their area.If the data signals a trend, it could mean a tighter job market in certain areas of the United States.
But the outlook for the veterinary profession remains mixed. While the profession was thought to be recession proof, veterinary practices have reported downturns in numbers of cases. But most vets agree, it could be a lot worse.
"We see a number of people now who have lost their jobs," says Dr. Jennifer Hicks, a small-animal veterinarian in Indianapolis. "They want to do these treatments, but we may need to adjust the length of the hospital stay or do the procedures as out-patient in order for them to afford them."
The cost of care
The number: $1,407. That's down from an average of $1,451 in 2006, representing a 3 percent decline over the three-year period. But there are differences, and one contributing factor seems to be the size of the practice. In veterinary practices grossing more than $1.7 million, the stop-treatment point swelled to an average of $2,043, compared to just $1,359 for practices grossing between $250,000 and $499,000.
In contrast, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that most pet owners spend just $356 a year in a $24.5 billion veterinary-services market.