When you quickly look over your practice’s books for the next calendar year, do you see room in the budget to enroll new associates in the Ready, Vet, Go mentorship program? You may not think you have the funds, but consider the long-term picture, and I think you’ll quickly discover that it’s a small investment with an enormous financial return.
We want to explain how you can find room for Ready, Vet, Go by calculating the alternative costs and comparing them with the savings, value, and payoff of veterinary mentorship.
Reality check: The high price of veterinarian turnover
While you’re determining your distribution of practice costs over the next 12 months, remember the one thing no one can afford—attrition. Sadly, a general turnover rate of 21% among all veterinarians and 30% of new graduate veterinarians leaving their first practices during the first 12 to 18 months proves that attrition is a real—but rarely anticipated—financial blow.
The costs associated with losing and replacing a full-time veterinarian are multi-factored and significant. In addition to the obvious profit loss, the ripple effect of veterinarian turnover extends beyond your bottom line and across the entire practice.
Although hard numbers will vary by region, practice, and professional experience level, the following ranges offer a feel for the cost of losing and replacing a veterinarian.
- Turnover — According to a 2020 survey on burnout’s economic cost, the median cost of turnover per veterinarian is about $104,000—and adjusting for inflation, this cost is likely much higher.
- Lost revenue — When you lose an associate, your production numbers take an obvious hit. For example, for a $600,000 producing position, the loss is $50,000 per month—and simply redistributing the workload to other associates only creates more issues.
- Reduced productivity and morale — Remaining associates and team members who take on additional work may not be able to provide the same level of care and will become frustrated, fatigued, and burned out.
- Client dissatisfaction or loss — Pet owners likely will be frustrated by the staffing changes that decrease appointment availability, increase wait times, and disrupt their pet’s continuity of care. Some may follow the departing veterinarian to another practice.
- Recruitment and hiring — According to Veterinary Business Matters, hiring a new veterinarian can cost as much as 50% to 75% of their annual salary. And, with each passing month, these total costs—including your time, marketing, and professional recruitment services—continue to accumulate. If you’re using a recruiter, expect to pay them at least 30% of your new hire’s salary.
- Higher average starting salaries — In a job candidates’ market, new graduates are commanding better pay, with starting salaries averaging around $120,000.
- Training — Consider the time necessary to onboard your new hire and get them up to speed. For example, if you hire a new graduate, will you need to cut back on your own appointments to make time for one-on-one training or mentorship?
- Retention — Many employers are putting safeguards in place not only to attract but also to retain new hires. They are giving sign-on bonuses, retention bonuses, and other financial incentives awarded over time—plus, sign-on bonuses have soared over the past few years and can be more than $200,000!
Take a look at your budget again. Did you allocate for these expenses? Probably not!
Investment strategy: Early action may help your practice avoid the anticipated veterinarian shortage
One key to a successful investment is knowing when to make a move. And, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook reporting anticipated job growth of 19% by 2031 (i.e., an estimated 15,000 to 18,000 unfilled veterinarian job openings), that time is now.
Your efforts today to strengthen your current team’s skills, job satisfaction, and professional loyalty should help ensure that your practice is well-supported and staffed when everyone else is desperately looking for available candidates. And, although you may still need to hire for growth purposes, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your core team feels fulfilled in their present roles.
The RVG ROI: Turning one small investment into long-term gain
I understand that budgets have practical limitations and that Ready, Vet, Go membership is still a financial investment for many practices, but practice leaders will see the long-term savings and profit from a high-quality mentorship experience when they understand how much they receive in return, which includes:
- Small initial cost — Right now, individual Ready, Vet, Go memberships are $3,500. This includes six months of online content, mentor-facilitated virtual gatherings, downloadable resources, special guest speakers, and access to our Ready, Vet, Go online community.
- Better retention — Ready, Vet, Go graduates have an average turnover rate of only 10%—a significant improvement over the national average, which speaks to our mentees’ increased confidence and job satisfaction.
- Increased productivity — New grads who feel supported quickly integrate into their practice and become productive associates. Our program accelerates the transition between vet school and clinical practice by giving new grads the tools they need to bypass common challenges, gain self-confidence, and work independently without a prolonged training period.
- Improved recruitment for new graduate hires — In a competitive market, desirable benefits such as a formal mentorship program can help your practice stand out from the crowd and attract new and early career veterinarians. Including Ready, Vet, Go Veterinary Mentorship in your practice’s sign-on package shows new veterinarian job seekers that your practice values education and empowerment and will invest in their long-term growth with a proven, structured, RACE-accredited program.
When you consider the significant costs of losing, hiring, and retaining veterinarians, you can clearly see the need to invest in your new graduates. Ready, Vet, Go Veterinary Mentorship is affordable, convenient, and powerful, and provides new veterinarians with the support, guidance, and community they need to quickly become valuable, productive, and loyal associates.
Contact our team to learn more about our membership options, including our group and corporate practice packages.