Daily Vet Life: Challenges of Equine Veterinary Practice

There is good and bad news for veterinarians about today's equine veterinary practice according to Dr. Amy Grice.
horse trail riders
Horse owners maintaining the number of horses they have, but the number of veterinarians is decreasing.

How are those in equine veterinary practice faring since the pandemic? Dr. Amy L. Grice, VMD, MBA, owner of Veterinary Business Consulting, talked about The Challenges of Equine Practice at the 2021 AAEP Convention.

Grice, the current AAEP treasurer, quoted several sources of information and statistics to review the equine veterinary industry. Those sources included EquiManagement’s “The State of Equine Veterinary Practice” survey conducted in October/November of 2021. Other sources included the AVMA, American Horse publications and American Horse Council.

Busier and More Profitable

The good news was that equine practices were busier and continued to have more revenue year-over-year comparing 2020 to 2019 and 2021 to 2020. That “business” included more revenue, more appointments, new clients, more hours worked and more emergencies.

“It’s no wonder people [in equine practice] are exhausted!” said Grice. “We have a problem attracting and retaining vets. We are busier and have less people.”

AAEP reported that 44% of its members are over 50 years old, said Grice.

Telemedicine

Grice encouraged equine veterinarians to use telemedicine as a charged service in their practices. “As vets, the only thing we have is time to sell,” said Grice. “Telemedicine can improve efficiency, but we need to charge for it.”

In the EquiManagement survey, 79% of practices did not charge for telemedicine. In addition, Grice noted that 35% of veterinarians now are Millennials. “There is a generational workplace change” as the Millennials are taking over equine veterinary practices.

Hear more about Grice’s views and the statistics about the equine veterinary issue in this podcast.

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