New Survey Reveals Veterinary Students’ Top Concerns During COVID-19
COVID-19 has changed the veterinary industry in many ways, and veterinary students are not immune. According to the latest survey by Harbor – an industry-leading web platform and network of veterinary professionals – optimism for job opportunities upon graduation remains steady, but clinical hours have become a growing concern.
While 45% of students* said they are “comfortable” that there will be job opportunities upon graduation, only 6% said they are feeling “no concern at all”. Furthermore, optimism for job opportunities remains high for 4th year students, with nearly 37% saying they feel no concern, though they are the class that could see the most immediate impact due to COVID-19.
The more abundant concern within veterinary students focuses on the availability of clinical hours. While most prevalent in third year students, 85.4% of all respondents claimed to be very or somewhat concerned about the availability of clinical hours because of COVID-19.
Other highlights to emerge from the survey include:
- 72.4% of students that had received a job offer prior to COVID-19 are moving forward as planned, while 20.7% are no longer moving forward as planned, and 6.9% still secured a position, but with a delayed starting date.
- Seemingly, veterinary practice ownership interest is still high, as 24.5% of students say ownership in a veterinary hospital is a top priority, and 36.4% plan on it later in their career.
- An overwhelming 98% of students believe it is important to have a structured mentorship program when searching for job opportunities.
“Veterinary students are arguably one of most affected groups by COVID-19 in the industry” said Courtney Post, a founding partner of Harbor. “It’s important that we understand their concerns and create an environment that empowers them as they build their careers.” Harbor recently launched virtual internships to help veterinary students gain business experience remotely.
As veterinary hospitals pivot and adapt to COVID-19, it’s important to be inclusive of veterinary students to ensure a strong future for veterinary medicine.
*The figures are contained in a survey taken from a five day period in April of 2020 and completed by 184 first to fourth year veterinary medicine students from 24 schools.