New research indicates a proud profession despite disillusionment

New research indicates a proud profession despite disillusionment picture

91% of respondents said that they were proud to work in the veterinary profession.

At a time when the recruitment and retention of veterinary professionals is increasingly challenging in the UK, a recent survey by VET Festival, in partnership with Centaur Services, has revealed that there is however still great pride amongst the veterinary profession.

91% of respondents, comprising of veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, rehabilitation professionals, practice managers, assistants and students, said that they were proud to work in the veterinary profession, with half stating that they feel part of a respected community. 51% of respondents share similar feelings that they feel valued by their local community, and are respected and are highly-regarded by their clients:  “People recognise the hard work to reach the role as a vet and appreciate [vets] helping their four-legged family members greatly.” A misconception of high fees, client demands and social media criticism were most frequently disclosed as reasons why the other 49% of respondents do not feel part of a respected community.

Evidence suggests that whilst there is currently a cloud of uncertainty and disillusionment surrounding the ever-changing veterinary world, professionals continue to feel motivated and committed to their core values and key aspiration: to make a difference to the lives of animals. It is vital to address the real issues that veterinary professionals experience every day in order to inspire the next generation to pursue such aspirations despite such challenges.

Half of the respondents (51%) agreed that their vocation in veterinary medicine has met their early expectations from when they first started their career. There was a notable increase in professionals who graduated over 20 years ago (60%), whereas a decrease (40%) was found in professionals who graduated less than 5 years ago. ‘A low work-life balance’, ‘financial concerns’ and ‘high demands from clients’ were the highest ranked reasons from those professionals who felt that their early expectations have not met their reality.

Accordingly, the survey results show that client expectations are the top aspect that veterinary professionals would change about their vocation: “I feel as a profession our integrity is continually questioned in the public and in the media. There is a shift in client expectations above what we can provide and they can afford and this is perceived as vets being greedy.”

‘Making a difference to the lives of animals’, ‘a healthy work-life balance’ and ‘personal skill development’ were ranked as the most important aspirations that veterinary professionals would like to achieve in their own vocation.

VET Festival invites all veterinary professionals to reflect on their vocation within a community of compassionate fellow professionals. The outdoor two-day conference encourages delegates to discuss whether a career in veterinary medicine is all they thought and hoped it would be, creating a sense of belonging whilst learning practically relevant material in an open-air festival environment. A Wellness & Practice Development stream as well as a dedicated Wellness Hub, both sponsored by Centaur Services, aims to inspire delegates to make their vocation exactly how they want it to be whilst gaining peace of mind and health of the body. VET Festival seeks to change the paradigm of veterinary learning, by which delegates interact with each other and how they feel leaving the field at the end of the day.



For more information about VET Festival, please visit the relaunched website:

Contact: Sarah Copson for more information, interview requests and images.

E: | [email protected] | T: 01483 423761


Almost a quarter of vets (23%) are unsure how they feel about the future of the UK veterinary profession.

53% of vets describe the veterinary profession to be ‘cautious to change’.

Vets perceive the greatest threats to lie in changes to the marketplace: growing corporatisation, potential oversupply of vets, competition from the internet, and perceived concerns about pricing.

(VetFutures ‘Voice of the Profession’ panel, BVA, June 2015)


VET Festival
VET Festival is a CPD conference for companion animal veterinary professionals and is in its fourth year. Conceived by Professor Noel Fitzpatrick (Managing Director of Fitzpatrick Referrals), VET Festival launched in 2015 at the University of Surrey before it relocated to Loseley Park in 2016. VET Festival has presented many world-class speakers from across the world to make it the most engaging, clinically relevant and innovative CPD conference in the UK. Multiple lecture streams take place in a professional and contemporary atmosphere, which is combined with an exhibition arena for industry representatives.

The full 2018 conference programme is now available. A Practice Package is available offering a two-day pass to groups of four, with the Practice Manager attending free. Tickets are available to buy on Eventbrite

Centaur Services
Centaur Services was founded in 1964 by a group of veterinary surgeons that wanted to increase their buying power and improve the range of products available to them. Fast forward more than five decades and Centaur Services has grown to be one of the UK’s leading veterinary wholesalers, supplying over 22,000 veterinary medicines and ancillary products to over 1,200 veterinary practices throughout the UK. Centaur Services’ company mission is clear: to be the best resource to the animal health profession by delivering superior value, efficiency and innovation.




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