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Is Veterinary Education Outpricing Students?

During the last decade, the proportion of vet graduates who paid for their education outright grew from 12% to 17%. These students, also known as ‘zero debtors’ have raised questions about the affordability of veterinary education, and whether it is on track to price everyone out but the wealthy. 

Whilst the veterinary profession has seen a rise in students paying for their education outright, it has also seen a rise in debt for those not so fortunate. A survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has shown that six-figure student debt has become the norm among graduate vets. In 2020, the average vet had $188,853 worth of debt, a substantial sum. 

And with the cost of education not getting any cheaper, the veterinary profession is set to have a disproportionate amount of wealthy students in its ranks. 

‘There’s been lots of increase in people with zero debt, so we’re accepting more rich kids’ said Michael Dicks, former director of the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division.

Although not all zero-debtors are necessarily from wealthy backgrounds, the veterinary field could be losing valuable young talent as a result of rising educational costs. And of course, putting at risk any notion of inclusiveness in the process.

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Incoming RCVS President Gets Set To lead The Organisations First All-Female Team

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), have welcomed their tenth female president since the organization was established in 1844. 

Dr. Kate Richards, a graduate of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, had previously worked as a farm vet for 15 years as a partner in a 15 vet practice in Aberdeen. She then moved into the pharmaceutical industry as a veterinary advisor before joining the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). 

In the RCVS day 2021 speeches, Dr. Richards said:

‘Today is a huge privilege. The tenth female President since the RCVS was established in 1844 and having the honor of leading the first all-female presidential team.’

‘I promise to do my best as president, to be the custodian for this wonderful profession. I won’t be perfect and there will be times when people disagree with the RCVS. I welcome dialogue that’s respectful, courteous, and constructive.’

‘I am excited about my presidential year, thankful for my connections, my iceberg of support.’

‘I’m thankful for the wise counsel of past presidents, especially Mandisa and Niall Connell. My priority is to encourage Connections that Count, making sure we look after ourselves so that we can build vibrant purposeful, and powerful connections across ours and allied professions for the good of animal and human health and welfare, for our communities, society, and the environment.’

‘My aim this year? To amplify and extend the reach of the veterinary voice.’

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Vets Choose Australia Over New Zealand  

Border restrictions in New Zealand are discouraging vets from settling in the country. Many vets instead are opting to migrate to Australia, given its relatively favorable migration policies. 

Julie South, a talent acquisition consultant with VetStaff told Rural News that though many overseas vets she’s been working with have been considering both New Zealand and Australia, many ultimately opt to go down under. 

‘If your dream is to emigrate down under or do your OE down under, of course, you’re going to go to the country that makes it easy and welcomes you the most’ she said. 

Helen Beattie, chief veterinary officer for the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA), added:

‘Australia has recently removed some visa requirements, so it is much easier for up to 800 veterinarians to enter the country – this places us in direct market competition for the recruitment of overseas veterinarians, and our visa requirements are more difficult to meet, meaning we are at a disadvantage.’

This is sure to have implications for practices in New Zealand, which are already struggling with staff shortages.

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Why Your Perfectionism Is Getting In The Way Of Your Happiness

Although perfectionism is a trait associated with success, it oftentimes can accomplish the exact opposite of this. 

Perfectionists tend to be workaholics. Their drive for perfectionism in everything can make them more vulnerable to burnout, anxiety, and stress. This can inhibit perfectionist professionals, and drive them out of veterinary medicine altogether. 

Many perfectionists have the false belief that achieving their goals will result in unequivocal happiness. The reality, however, is that their perfectionism is likely making them unhappier. 

‘We believe we can get to this place of no problems or struggle, where everything is perfect, but as humans, we are innately imperfect and it becomes totally exhausting because the higher the bar you set, the greater the gap between reality and expectation, and so much self-hate, self-disgust, and self-criticism can fill that gap.’ said Poppy Jamie, an author, and entrepreneur.

Perfectionists must remind themselves that the goals they set may not be realistic. If you have perfectionist tendencies, accepting that not all of your work will be your best (which is totally ok!) can be the first step towards workplace wellness. 

For more on this topic, click here. 

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