Monday, April 26, 2010

What makes veterinarians go rural, then leave?

Two new reports published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association illustrate why veterinarians work in rural areas and why they leave. The first report reveals that rural vets place a preference for the rural lifestyle at the top of their list, says an AVMA news release. Other top reasons include working in animal care at the herd level, working with individual animals, the location of family and friends and the desire to practice where a community needs for veterinary care.

The second report lists several quality-of-life concerns as top reasons for leaving rural practices. "Emergency duty and time off were the top two reasons cited by veterinarians who left rural practice," says the release. Salary, practice atmosphere and family concerns rounded out the top reasons for leaving rural practices.

In February we most recently reported the growing shortage of veterinarians in rural areas. The journal offers one way to stem it: "To promote retention of personnel in rural veterinary practice, these positions may need to evolve over time to meet the changing needs of veterinarians. As practitioners mature, they may place an increased emphasis on salary to support a growing family and additional time off to pursue other interests." (Read more)

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