No matter where I go and speak – I hear the same drumbeat – “I can’t find any doctors or veterinary technicians.”   

Well, with the veterinary industry growing at an annual rate of 4% since the 2008/2009 recession and with unemployment standing around 1.7% for veterinarians, it is no wonder that we face a shortage of doctors and technicians in the workplace.   

The good news, for those practices that are proactive, they are witnessing a good supply of quality candidates accepting positions in their practices.

What is the key to their success?  Mentoring. Developing a culture of mentorship within the practice that attracts and retains the candidates we are all looking for to fill the position in our practices.  You might be saying, “I’ve heard all this before.”

Allow me to share a story about mentorship that resulted in 3 doctors coming to our practice.  We hired Andrea during her senior year of veterinary school. Her top priority was finding a practice that placed a high emphasis on mentorship.  

We had her spend a day in the life of our practice – we discussed what mentorship looks like – developing 3, 6, 9 and 12 month goals.  

Discussing the medical and surgical goals but also looking at things like time management, leadership development, the art of delegation, and truly partnering with us as a colleague. We literally showed her what mentorship looks like through the eyes of someone who just finished their first year.  This was a collaborative effort that involved both us as the mentoring party and Andrea as the protégé.

As a result of this association, Andrea brought her “sib” from the class behind her into our organization and her sib was instrumental in spreading the good word about our group of hospitals and culture of mentorship to her fellow classmates

So if you’re struggling to hire at your veterinary hospital, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. What does mentorship look like in my practice?
  2. How do I develop a culture of mentorship in my practice?
  3. How would I become the best mentor that attracts new graduate doctors?

Want to dive deeper? Join us for FREE LIVE* WEBINAR on 12/12 at 2 pm EST. We’ll be sharing 3 steps to recruiting veterinarians… WITHOUT $40k sign-on bonuses. Register here.

*YES it will be recorded, but you must register prior to the live event. A video recording will be sent to all registrants via email within 1 week of the live event.

Author: Dr. Dan Markwalder