Should I stay or should I go – a qualitative assessment of experiences of recent veterinary graduates in bovine practice
Keywords:recent graduates, veterinary practice, mentorship, injury
Twenty-three recent graduates (< 8 years in practice) participating in the 2022 AABP Recent Graduate Conference or practicing in the Texas Panhandle were recruited for participation in focus groups to engage in dialogue about why they choose to remain in bovine practice, why they might leave bovine practice, and challenges that they face in bovine practice. All focus groups were recorded and transcribed. Transcription was performed by a commercial source and anonymized for analysis. Full coding and thematic analysis were performed utilizing NVivo software.
Recent graduates report that they choose to stay in bovine practice because they love the industry and the associated people. They have a deep respect for their clients and how they care for their animals. However, participants did voice concerns about a career-ending injury causing them to completely leave bovine practice. Multiple participants had already sustained injuries due to the physical demands of bovine practice including a back injury, numbness of arms and hands, and diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Other
concerns that were voiced by the participants included unmet needs for mentorship, a feeling of loneliness and isolation, percentage of time spent on-call, and gender inequities in practice.