Hiring a newly graduated veterinarian is an exciting moment for any veterinary practice. These fresh graduates bring enthusiasm, new knowledge, and a passion for animal care. However, retaining them in the long run requires thoughtful strategies and support. In this blog, we will explore essential steps to retain your newly graduated veterinarian, ensuring their growth and success within your practice.
Access to Mentoring Resources
Newly graduated veterinarians need guidance and mentorship as they transition from the academic setting to real-world practice. Provide them with access to mentoring resources to foster their professional growth:
– Outside Mentorship and Network: Encourage your new veterinarian to seek mentorship outside the practice. Online platforms like “Ready, Vet, Go” can connect them with experienced veterinarians who can offer valuable insights and support.
– Continuing Education Opportunities: Invest in continuing education (CE) opportunities for your new veterinarian. Whether through conferences, webinars, or workshops, these learning experiences will enhance their skills and knowledge.
Have Your SOPs/Workflow Documented
Documented standard operating procedures (SOPs) and workflow are invaluable resources for new veterinarians. Clear guidelines and protocols help them understand the practice’s expectations, procedures, and workflows, leading to smoother operations and increased confidence.
Give Regular Feedback
Constructive feedback is crucial for the professional development of your new veterinarian. Establish a feedback system that includes regular check-ins, performance evaluations, and open communication. Assigning a “work buddy” (who may not necessarily be a doctor) can also provide support and feedback during their early days.
Demonstrate your support for the new veterinarian in various ways:
– To the Clients: Encourage the new veterinarian to build a rapport with clients and grow their clientele. Provide opportunities for them to take the lead in patient interactions under supervision.
– To the Staff: Foster a positive and supportive team culture. Discourage gossip or talking behind their back, and instead, promote a collaborative environment where everyone feels valued and respected.
– Introduce Them on Social Media, Email, Website: Highlighting the new veterinarian on your practice’s social media, email newsletters, and website introduces them to clients and creates a sense of recognition and belonging.
Ensure that your new veterinarian feels welcome and included from day one:
– Provide a Welcoming Workspace: Prepare their desk with necessary supplies, set up their scrubs, and offer a welcome basket to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
– Sense of Belonging: Encourage team bonding and camaraderie through team-building activities and events, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie among all staff members.
Ease Them In
The transition from veterinary school to professional practice can be overwhelming. Provide your new veterinarian with the necessary support and autonomy:
– Provide Autonomy: Allow them to make decisions and take ownership of cases, even if it means making mistakes. Learning from these experiences will contribute to their growth and confidence.
– No Production Calculations for at Least 6 Months: Avoid putting undue pressure on the new veterinarian to meet production goals in their initial months. Instead, prioritize their learning and development.
Retaining your newly graduated veterinarian is crucial for the long-term success of your practice. By providing access to mentorship resources, clear guidelines, regular feedback, and a supportive team culture, you can create an environment where they feel valued, supported, and motivated to grow within your practice. Investing in their professional development and making them feel like an integral part of the team will lead to a fulfilling and rewarding journey for both the veterinarian and your practice.