The Future Of Vets: How The Industry Has Changed

deborah y. strauss d.v.m the future of vets blog header

Since I first started working as a vet, the profession has changed dramatically, and it shows no sign of stopping. It is so promising to see all the innovative technology at work advancing the care that we are able to give to our patients – your pets.

If you are curious how the veterinary industry has changed in the previous years, take a look at this list:

Client expectations have risen.

In our current “always on” culture, clients expect good service and quickly. If they don’t receive this level of service, they are increasingly more likely to complain – whether that be through word of mouth or online. Practices that offer high-quality, accessible, and personalized service will do well as more pet owners find out about their exceptional service.

Standards of care and service have risen.

Rising client expectations will continue to drive up higher service standards, a trend that will be reinforced by recognized accreditation and the profession adopting a more evidence-based approach to delivering care.  

Businesses have grown.

Corporatization has been leading to significant disruption in the vet world, particularly in Europe. However, there has been some resistance to this, with strong independents expanding as well in a market that values a fast, reliable, and personalized experience.  

The small animal sector remains popular.

Small animal practice is firmly established as the largest sector in veterinary care, a trend that is poised to continue. Most people don’t have large animals as pets, with one exception being horses, so a lot of local vets are mostly focusing on smaller animals.

Increasingly pronounced niches.

More and more, vets have been building an expertise in niche areas, as evidenced by the BSAVA’s 16 satellite or affiliate groups, each representing a specific area of practice. More vets have been gaining postgraduate diplomas to work as specialists than ever before.

More technology.

Technology will continue to serve as a major driver of change. Advances in monitoring platforms, diagnostic equipment, and therapeutics are expected, as well as digital applications meant to improve the sector’s processes. A greater use of telemedicine and more wearable devices to monitor pet health are expected as well.   

Vets have a better work-life balance.

Across the professional sector, including vets, time off is being regarded as a necessity, and there’s been a trend towards more flexible working hours.

Improved nursing skills.

While veterinary nurses have been around for awhile, their full potential has yet to be realized. Yet, we can expect to see growing numbers of nurses running clinics, monitoring long-term conditions, seeing patients post-op, and more.  

Girl power.

While male students have traditionally dominated vet schools, more and more women have been enrolling. Across the profession, the ratio of women to men now stands at 54:46. Since most nurses are female, and most vet retirees are male, this gender gap will most likely continue to grow.