Survey finds fewer than half of veterinarians feel the profession is appreciated

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The research was led by Boehringer Ingelheim and included more than 1000 global respondents

Veterinary client

Photo: Seventyfour/Adobe Stock

A survey of 1056 veterinarians around the world revealed that majority (75%) feel personally appreciated by their clients. However, fewer than half (49%) of responding veterinarians feel the profession in general is appreciated, according to a recent survey.1

The survey, led by Boehringer Ingelheim, aimed to learn if veterinarians feel valued and understood by clients. Results found perceived levels of appreciation for the veterinary profession were nearly consistent across various types of animal care teams, with 48% of companion animal, 55% of livestock, and 42% of equine veterinary professionals reporting that their profession was appreciated.

“Veterinarians are exceptional professionals, who play an essential role in directly maintaining and improving the health and well-being of animals and indirectly, of the whole society. It is imperative that we shine a light on the often-unseen care and effort veterinarians put into forging a healthy and happy society,” Dr Ellen Van Nierop, a veterinary surgeon and president at World Small Animal Veterinary Association, said in a news release.1

Results of the survey was released in advance of World Veterinary Day on April 27, 2024, which shines a spotlight on the essential work that veterinarians do. The survey findings also bring to light reasons why veterinarians feel their profession is underappreciated.

According to the survey results, 66% of veterinary professionals believe their personal clients appreciate their “level of expertise.” Additionally, 61% of respondents feel the “ability to deal with ethical dilemmas, including euthanasia,” and 57% believe providing “a large variety of care” garner appreciation from clients. Conversely, 49% of veterinary survey participants expressed underappreciation by clients in understanding the “resilience to stress and emotional exhaustion” required from the job, with 48% reporting an underappreciation that these professionals “work despite feeling physically exhausted” and the way they “trade-off their work-life-balance to help animals.”

“Raising awareness of often unseen and complex aspects of veterinary work, and most importantly, showing veterinary professionals that we recognize their essential work, is an important first step,” Fabio Paganini, MBA, a member of the Global Animal Health Executive Committee at Boehringer Ingelheim, said in a news release.1 “As a veterinarian myself, I know that there is so much to love about this job. Together, we can showcase the relentless dedication, the genuine compassion, and the scientific know-how it takes to work as a veterinarian. It truly is a vocation to aspire to.”

The survey was conducted in March 2024 with veterinarians in Brazil (212), Japan (201), the United Kingdom (170), France (162), the United States (160), and Germany (151) providing responses. Participants included veterinarians focused on companion animal (57%), dairy (10%), beef (8%), swine (6%), equine (5%), and poultry (3%) medicine as well as veterinarians in mixed practices without a main focus (11%). Computer-assisted web and telephone interviews in local language were used to collect the data.

Reference

Less than half of veterinary professionals feel their profession is appreciated. News release. April 25, 2024. Accessed April 25, 2024. https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/animal-health/our-responsibility/world-veterinary-day-aspects-veterinary-profession

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