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AVMA Reaches 100,000-Member Milestone with Interesting Generational Spread

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently reached a major milestone, with the association now comprising over 100,000 members. The AVMA itself includes around three-quarters of all US veterinarians, with its members belonging to a wide diversity of demographics. 

The composition of the ages of the AVMA’s members is as follows: the Greatest Generation makes up 0.3%, while the Silent Generation contributes 6.2% of members. Baby Boomers comprise 25.8% of all AVMA members, and Generation X makes up 30.1%. Millennials, however, represent 37.2% of the organization’s members, with Generation Z comprising slightly more than the Greatest Generation does, at 0.4%.

The diversity of the veterinary field in terms of gender identity also bucks a trend that is commonplace across a lot of industries: they are, for the most part, dominated by men. However, the AVMA’s members are 61.5% female, 38.4% male and 0.1% nonbinary.

Commenting on the milestone achievement, Dr. Janet Donlin (AVMA executive vice president and CEO) said “When I reflect on the scientific advancements, education, training, and expert care that have brought us to this day, and the dedication, compassion, and service our members deliver for our patients and clients on a daily basis, I see an innovative and ethically grounded profession with an amazing past and a very bright future. As always, we are stronger together.”

Why Should You Care?

Age diversity in generations means that a large breadth of different life and professional experiences will inform the decisions the veterinary community makes. The more generations that are contributing to the profession, the more comprehensive the backgrounds and insights of its members will be. (Think trusted experience and new ideas.) However, generational diversity is not without its issues: the generational divide of ideals means that this diversity requires a lot of communication and understanding to truly make the community work well together. At present things often appear to be more divided than together, so the upside opportunity is not being realized. 

Gender diversity is also incredibly important when tackling the overarching problems of our society that relate to gender roles and gender-based oppression. This form of diversity in the veterinary profession opens a lot of doors for the vets of tomorrow to be able to join. 

However, the ethnic diversity of the profession is lacking: while gender diversity is a good starting point, by ensuring more diversity in ethnicities the doors of opportunity will truly fly open!

Click here to read the full article.


How Taking A Step Outside of Your Practice Helps To Drive Improvement

Oftentimes, owners of veterinary practices may feel as if they don’t know how to improve their practice further. Speaking at Fetch dvm360 in Kansas City, Dr. Michele Drake gave her insight on managing a veterinary practice and how she goes about giving herself a different perspective: 

“I think what is critical is to step outside the practice to make your list of where we are right now and where you want to go. You cannot do that in the practice. My first practice I bought, I had 3 employees and myself and I worked…6 days a week and on-call 7 days a week. And every Wednesday morning, I would just go out for coffee with myself first and just write down: What are the issues? What are the concerns that I have? And then I would bring my little team together and say, This is what I’m thinking, and what are your thoughts and what are the next steps?. And in order to do those things and [do] that planning…you have to be committed to the time. You have to be committed to the meeting. And you actually have to step outside the practice in order to make these things happen, because practices are super chaotic and very busy.”

Why Should You Care?

Removing yourself from a situation allows pause for greater reflection. An improved practice affects everyone within the organization in many ways, including the atmosphere in the workplace, efficiency in handling workload, and staff retention.

Click here to find out more.


Vets Urged to Listen to Next Generation to Ease Retention Crisis

During the BEVA’s annual congress, Huw Griffith, outgoing BEVA president, stated that “the work-life balance is here to stay”. He urged the veterinary industry to listen to its newest recruits to tackle the crisis of staff retention. 

Bradley Hill, clinical assistant professor in equine clinical practice at the University of Nottingham, said that “We really need to move away from [throwaway comments like “lifestyle choice”] because work-life balance is definitely here to stay.”

Ian Bellis, clinical director of Equicall, says: “Salaries are improving, and the ability to work a four-day week or less, or a balance of hours, is out there now. I think an employer who wants a vet to work 8 until 6 five days a week and a one-in-four on-call is probably behind the times now.”

Following the economic and staffing concerns caused by the retention crisis, BEVA made sure to outline its survey on the issue.

Why Should You Care?

While we don’t necessarily agree with the notion of work-life balance as a useful concept at VetX, there is certainty in the statement that ‘humans like to be heard’. Not being heard is frustrating and not something that people will tolerate for long. Giving newer staff more input will allow for more learning and growth potential as a practice. Furthermore, staff who feel listened to are likely to be better engaged and thus retained. 

Click here to read the full article.


Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month: What inspired the creation of the LVMA?

To celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month running from September 15th to October 15th, Dr. Juan S. Orjuela, co-founder of the LVMA (Latinx Veterinary Medical Association), recently sat down with dvm360 to discuss the lack of Latinx representation in the industry, and how it inspired him to co-found the LVMA. 

Dr. Juan S. Orjuela stated that “Through my struggle of being Columbian and a Latinx/Hispanic individual and getting into the profession, I was able to notice some gaps with my experience and I did not want others in my position [that are] trying to get into veterinary school [and] trying to enter the profession to not have it as difficult as I had it. I did not have mentorship [or] true guidance and I had to seek all that out myself.”

Why Should You Care?

A lack of representation in any industry means that we have a fundamental lack of opportunities for many who don’t ‘look, think or sound just like us’.. Such lack of diversity makes a sector less robst, resilient and innovative as one prevailing set of ideas emerges.
It’s also important because, in essence, the more opportunities for people of any background to become vet professionals means that we have the potential for workforce expansion. The benefits of which should be quite obvious for those not living under a rock at present.
In short, equality of opportunity is a win for all concerned. 

Click here to read the full story.


4 Tips for Reducing Workplace Stress

Almost 45% of workers across the world report. that their jobs are extremely stressful. With stress being associated with depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease, prioritizing workplace stress reduction should be a priority for everyone. We have compiled 4 tips for reducing workplace stress to get you started on this journey.

    • Always take your meal breaks: in high-stress workplaces, it can be commonplace to simply work through lunch. If you do this, you won’t be well-rested and could be starved of the essential energy and nutrition to do your job to the best of your ability. Make sure to take your break and have food – your body and brain will thank you. It should be noted that, being a veterinarian in a busy working environment, it’ll be a challenge to stop your workflow and take those breaks. This is why the next point is so important.
    • Set boundaries: while you being on-demand 24/7 is certainly convenient for those around you, it will whittle you down over time and lead to burnout and an expectation that you will always be available. As such, it’s extremely beneficial to set small boundaries such as not engaging in work talk on your break/outside of work, as well as not replying to emails outside of work hours.
    • Lean on a friend’s shoulder: an issue often faced by those who deal with a lot of stress is to be the one who fixes every problem that they come across, no matter how overwhelming it may feel. It’s okay to lean on a friend or colleague for support if they are available to give that to you: talking things through with someone who shows you compassion and empathy can go a long way to improving the sense of stress in the workplace.
    • Open, frank and exploratory conversations with leaders: none of these previous tips will achieve their potential effectiveness without this. Conversing with leaders about the importance of breaks and boundaries. as well as how stress affects you all as individuals, is paramount in achieving a workplace culture where these all make a true difference. An open dialogue makes true change. Are you up to the challenge?


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