VIS and Galaxy Vets’ Study Reveals a Significant Increase in Veterinary Burnout

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DALLAS, Nov. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Veterinary Integration Solutions, in collaboration with Galaxy Vets, released findings from the Burnout Study in the Veterinary Profession. Led by Dr. Ivan Zak, the continuing research aims to assess the dynamic in burnout rates across demographics and work settings, examine factors that potentially trigger burnout, and ultimately help veterinary businesses improve well-being of their teams. The research was held in partnership with Galaxy Vets, a veterinary healthcare system co-owned by its employees. With a mission to bring veterinary medicine back to veterinarians, Galaxy Vets has burnout prevention as a strategic priority.

“Evidently, the pandemic stress and restrictions, amplified by the increase in pet ownership and shortage in the veterinary workforce, took their toll on the mental well-being of people in the profession,” said Dr. Ivan Zak, Founder of VIS and CEO at Galaxy Vets. “There is a need to expand our understanding of veterinary professionals’ mental well-being, and by recognizing individual differences, take a more targeted approach to burnout prevention. One of the key findings this year is that practitioners who had professional goals reported significantly less burnout. It’s a practical takeaway that can be immediately instrumentalized by veterinary professionals and practice leaders.”

Burnout rate increased in all groups over the past year

Comparative analysis found a significant increase in burnout levels between 2020 and 2021. Survey participants reported higher levels of work exhaustion and interpersonal disengagement, and a lower level of professional fulfillment.

Younger veterinary professionals and veterinary technicians remain at the highest risk of burnout

The study revealed that veterinary professionals under 30 years of age are more prone to burnout, which is aligned with last year’s findings. Similar to the previous year, the most significant level of burnout was found among veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants.

The study revealed a significant effect of gender on burnout

Female respondents reported a significantly higher burnout rate compared to male. Participants who identified as gender-variant/non-conforming reported the highest level of burnout.

Those who had professional goals reported significantly less burnout and felt happier and more valued

The study sought to determine whether goal-setting has a connection with burnout. The hypothesis was that veterinary professionals might be at higher risk of under-challenge burnout subtype because of their high-achieving nature. The survey showed that veterinary practitioners who have professional goals are less likely to feel burned out. Compared to their peers who don’t set and record goals annually, they report feeling happier and more valued.

Work-life balance is a challenge for all veterinary professionals, especially for women

The study revealed a positive correlation between professional fulfillment and work-life balance and a negative correlation between work-life balance and burnout. The lower one’s work-life balance is, the higher the burnout and vice-versa. Women reported a significantly lower work-life balance than men.

Veterinary professionals want their employers to take action

Respondents who indicated that their employer has a burnout prevention strategy revealed a significantly lower burnout rate than the rest. The majority of participants indicated that they would like for management to help them achieve better work-life balance.

The full study can be found at

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