Brakke Consulting View Point
Almost back to normal. That’s how a lot of people, including me, felt this week at the VMX veterinary meeting and expo in Orlando. Attendance was down from non-COVID years, but still over 15,000 attended the conference and many exhibitors felt that their time there was well spent.
At VMX, Merck Animal Health released findings of the Veterinary Wellbeing Study, the third survey of veterinarians since 2017 and the first survey of veterinary technicians and support staff. The concept of the wellbeing study started with Brakke Consulting’s John Volk and with the collaboration of the AVMA, this report showed how COVID impacted people working in clinics. Another notable observation was how serious staff shortages were and the stress that this caused the clinic teams. From Merck’s press release:
“The percentage of veterinarians with serious psychological distress has increased to 9.7% in 2021 as measured by the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, compared to 6.4% in 2019, due in large part to the ongoing pandemic. Among staff, the prevalence of serious psychological distress was nearly twice as high (18.1%). In addition, half of staff respondents (49.6%) and approximately one-third (30.5%) of veterinarians reported high levels of burnout.”
Back to VMX. The Brakke Consulting Industry Overview was well attended, the KCAHC/UVSA/Animalytix Networking Summit was well attended and, in the evenings, the bars at the Hyatt and Hilton were well attended. Almost back to normal.