Veterinary Workforce Shortage
Across Canada, veterinary professionals (veterinarians and veterinary technologists/technicians) are increasingly concerned with the current state of the veterinary profession and its future. A severe shortage of veterinary professionals is negatively impacting the health and well-being of the veterinary workforce and places additional pressures on the level of quality care they can provide for their clients.
Why it Matters
The shortage of veterinary professionals is a worldwide issue. In Canada, clinic owners and other veterinary employers struggle to hire and retain veterinary professionals while maintaining the highest levels of quality care for their clients. Canadian veterinary colleges’ annual graduation rates for veterinarians barely meet the rate of attrition from the profession. Net annual growth to the veterinary professional base in Canada is essential to retaining veterinary professionals and continuing to provide quality service for veterinary clients. In a highly competitive market for veterinary professionals worldwide, it is imperative to address these Canada-wide shortages urgently.
The CVMA has initiated the Veterinary Workforce Project to assist and support veterinary stakeholders in identifying and delivering on solutions to both veterinary workforce shortages and workplace well-being.
CVMA investments and initiatives to date include:
- Veterinary Workforce Research Study 2020 - examined the current and future supply and demand balance for veterinary services across companion animal, food animal and equine sectors.
- 2022 – Letter of request sent to the federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada for changes to immigration requirements for foreign veterinary professionals to ease the hiring burden on clinic owners in Canada.
- 2022 – launched a three-part Workforce Recruitment and Retention miniseries:
- May/June 2022 Veterinary Workforce Congress where veterinary sector stakeholders will meet to collaborate on actions and pathways needed to advance the priority initiatives that will help resolve the workforce issues and improve workplace well-being in the short (1-2 years), medium (5 years), and longer term (10+ years).
- July 2022 – a Summit on “Time for a Veterinary Workforce Paradigm Shift” in conjunction with the CVMA annual convention.