The veterinary industry needs to conduct a monetary reward evaluation of the professionals who hold it up.

Many veterinary professionals leave the industry because they feel they can make a better living by taking a different career path. Veterinary professionals are also more vulnerable to
burnout, stress, and compassion fatigue, and when that is coupled with low wages, it becomes difficult to sustain their careers.

This situation can be further exacerbated if the practice owner decides to sell their business or retire. The team will be rightfully concerned about their financial well-being and professional future, as they rarely reap any rewards, let alone monetary, from the sale.

Current stats

Many veterinarians don’t feel satisfied with the compensation they receive for the hard work they put in. Average salaries in the veterinary profession are far less than other professions in the medical sciences. According to a Bureau of Labor statistics report published in May 2020, the median pay of physicians in the U.S. was $218,850, whereas veterinarians have a median pay of $99,380, and things have not changed much since 2020.

A traditional path, when associate veterinarians would eventually buy out the practice, or build a business of their own is no longer attainable. As consolidators are willing to pay top dollar for successful practices, corporate acquisitions are outnumbering private sales. Individual veterinarians find it increasingly harder to compete. But there is one company that is working to bring veterinary medicine back into the hands of veterinary professionals.

Galaxy Vets

Galaxy Vets is a veterinary healthcare system that has introduced a financial upliftment formula poised to bring positive changes within the industry. It offers a unique profit-sharing model and by partnering with Galaxy Vets, practice owners can make their team members part owners in the entire organization.

Founded and run by veterinarians, Galaxy Vets is the first veterinary group in the U.S. that
implemented an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). It provides equity to all employees and retirement benefits without any costs to the staff.

Employee ownership is part of Galaxy Vets’ burnout prevention strategy and its long-term
commitment to improving mental well-being in the profession. With this purpose in mind, Galaxy Vets implements a number of incentives for its team members:

  • Salary enhanced by an employee stock ownership plan with no monetary investment.
    Every employee – veterinarians, technicians, administrative staff – is a co-owner and
    can accumulate significant retirement savings as their shares appreciate over time
  • Generous PTO for employees to achieve an ideal work-life balance
  • Structured CE, including business acumen training, with the purpose of continuous improvement
  • No non-competes

“When all employees are owners, they are motivated to work together on solving problems, they share a purpose, and by seeing how their work contributes to our overall success, they feel rewarded. Think of it as a rented versus owned house. You are more incentivized to improve something that you own,” says Dr. Ivan Zak, Galaxy Vets CEO.

Galaxy Vets’ mission

As Galaxy Vet is led by veterinarians and industry veterans, the organization is more aware of the challenges that veterinary professionals face, and hence, they are more concerned about uplifting the veterinary industry. Galaxy Vets is not only bringing financial improvements, but also taking important steps to counter issues like veterinary burnout and work-life balance. Visit their website to learn more:

Galaxy Vets Bottom Banner 2


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