Mentorship in the Veterinary Industry


As a new class of veterinary students gets ready to graduate this spring, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the importance of mentorship in the veterinary field.

It’s no secret that there is a national shortage of veterinary doctors, and that trend is expected to continue with the limited number of students being accepted to Veterinary schools each year, and experienced doctors continue to leave the profession. One way to combat this problem is by having an active mentorship program at private clinics.

A mentor does more than train a new associate. A mentor is there to listen to and guide the young doctor. Having a mentor has also been credited with a feeling of being seen or understood, especially during those first few years which can be overwhelming to an associate.

There are guidelines to follow to ensure that a mentorship will be successful:

  • Schedule regular meetings to check in with one another and decide how long the mentorship term will last
  • Both parties should actively listen to the other when discussing ideas or concerns about the profession or specific task at hand
  • Set an end of term review to discuss how the mentorship worked for both parties and to decide whether to continue for another term

Remember, a mentorship is a two-way relationship between peers – one with years of experience and one just getting started. It should not be treated as though the duo are a teacher and student. The purpose of a mentor is to guide and advise the mentee.

If you have any questions about starting a mentorship program at your practice, or if you’re ready to take steps to find your next associate, I’m happy to help. Give me a call and I will let you know how my team has a 93 percent success rate in bringing quality candidates to our clients within the first 90 days of beginning the recruiting process.