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Catch up on this week’s top headlines with the weekly veterinary news roundup, presented by VetX International.

Veterinary Graduates Set To Earn More Than Last Year’s Cohort 

The class of 2021 are set to enter the workforce during a favourable economic climate. 

The demand for veterinary services is up, the job market is optimistic, the overall economy is growing and vaccinations are reducing the need for inhibiting social distancing measures in practice. Although veterinary students back in 2020 were concerned about their prospects during the pandemic, these fears have not been realized. 

An American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) study showed that only 6.3% of 2020 graduates had offers reduced or withdrawn due to the pandemic. This rate is not too dissimilar to what we would expect from a non-pandemic year. 

Americans have also been spending more on veterinary care in 2020 compared to previous years, and veterinary hospital revenues are up. Employment rates have been increasing since 2016, and wage growth is expected. Unemployment levels have also improved, and are returning to pre-pandemic levels. 

Given all these factors, forecasters have predicted that graduating vets will receive higher wage packages than previous years.

Although it is not certain, it does seem that this year’s graduating class are entering a period of prosperity in the veterinary industry. 

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How One Veterinary Student Is Pushing For Latinx Representation In The Industry 

A veterinary student is at the forefront of inclusivity and diversity in the veterinary sphere. 

Yvette Huizar, a Cornell veterinary student raised in California, is a first-generation Mexican American. During her undergraduate work experience as a vet assistant, she noticed the lack of diversity in the industry. 

‘Even though they [the vets she practiced with] knew that I wanted to be a veterinarian, I didn’t feel like I had anyone interested in helping me get to that goal.’

Once she got into Cornell, her concerns surrounding the lack of diversity in the profession didn’t cease. 

‘In my class of 120 [people], I think maybe 15 were Hispanic or Latinx’ she said. 

‘And that’s pretty high compared to other schools, some of which are in the single digits.’

This led to her co-founding the Latinx Veterinary Medical Association (LVMA) in February of 2020. The organization’s mission is to empower Latinx veterinary professionals and support the next generation of vets entering the industry. 

‘I do feel that there are certain struggles I’ve faced because I am a daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college student.’ Huizar said. 

‘When someone else has those shared experiences, you’re able to connect to and be inspired by that person.’

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Decision To Form UK-EU Veterinary Zone Lays With Westminster Says Deputy First-Minister 

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has warned that any decisions surrounding the veterinary zone will be made in Westminster, not Stormont. 

The comment was made during talks on the Northern Ireland Protocol. The protocol was introduced when the UK left the EU. The purpose of the protocol was to mitigate for the issues created by the UK when it left the european single market. 

During the Minister’s questions, Michelle O’Neill stated that she and the outgoing first minister Arlene Foster were:

‘Committed to working together to achieve the best possible outcome for local businesses in the region. 

‘As an Executive, we regularly review the impacts arising from the end of the transition period and continue to raise concerns with the Westminster Government and the EU on many issues, including those relating to sanitary and phytosanitary(SPS) checks’.

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Vets Encouraged To Get Involved In Mental Health Awareness Week

Vetlife, a mental health charity for veterinary professionals, has been encouraging vets across the UK to get involved in a multitude of activities during Mental Health Awareness Week. 

The organization is asking vets to donate five pounds to the body, as well as requesting vets to nominate five friends to also do so. 

They are also hosting an array of activities, including:

  • A meditation session 
  • A virtual pub quiz 
  • A yoga session
  • A ‘feel good’ workout session

Mental Health Awareness Week runs between the 10th-16th of May, aiming to raise awareness around mental ailments which commonly affect veterinary professionals. 

To read more about Veterinary Mental Health Week, click the link below:

National Vet Shortage Puts Animal Welfare At Risk 

Shortages in vets across Australia could be affecting animal welfare standards. 

Margaret Riley, the academic head of veterinary science at James Cook University, said that if the situation did not change, it could have long-term implications for pet care and food security in the country. 

‘It may be that the small country town doesn’t have a vet anymore and there is some sort of fly-in fly-out service, but that is going to have a huge impact on animal welfare.’ 

‘We do need vets in our regional areas for surveillance, herd health, cattle production, sheep production, all of that stuff that’s important.’ 

Although veterinary graduate numbers remain quite stable, demands in veterinary service may be pushing professionals out of the industry early on in their careers, having a knock-on effect on availability. 

Calls for government intervention have been made to remedy the situation, by allowing more visa allowances for prospective vets. 

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Three Fun and Creative Ways To Boost Wellbeing 

Veterinary professionals face many challenges throughout their workday. Whether it’s having a tough one-on-one chat with a client or treating a particularly ill animal, these stressors can gradually build over time, having a knock-on effect on mental wellbeing. 

So what are the ways vets can build fun (and stress relief) into their day, helping prevent burnout? 

Find Out What ‘Fills Your Cup’

It’s hard to do your best when you have no fuel in your engine. 

This is why finding the things that renew you is important. If you know exactly what boosts your mood and energizes you, then it is easy to cope with the demands of practice life. 

Try writing down ten things that fill your cup of joy. When you find yourself under pressure, go to this list and intentionally carry out the activities on it to boost your mood after work. 

Get A Mood Journal 

A mood journal can be a good way of identifying mood swings and fluctuations. Being in touch with your emotions can not only help you identify what things bring you joy but what tasks/activities don’t. 

Being more in touch with your mood can help prevent burnout before it happens, by encouraging early intervention. 

Own Your Wellbeing 

There is a culture of burnout in veterinary medicine. For sustainable change to be made, leaders must demonstrate and implement behaviors and policies that encourage worker wellbeing. On the other hand, employees must be advocates for themselves, actively taking the time to practice self-care, to show others how it’s done. 

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