The results of the second FVE survey have been released. Conducted between November 2018 and March 2019 and answered by more than 14,5000 participants, the objective of the survey is to help understand the current situation of the veterinary profession and to evaluate what actions shall be taken to shape the future of the profession.
The veterinary sector as it is today
The findings suggest that the majority of European vets in the future will be female - while in 2018 58% of veterinarians of all ages were female, 82% of those under 30 were female. The study also showed that only 37% of vets feel that they are very highly or highly regarded by the general public, leading the FVE Executive Director to state that "an improved communication of what veterinarians contribute to European society is key". The survey also confirmed that the use of preventive treatments such as vaccines are increasing, whilst the use of antibiotics decreases, in line with attempts to avoid antimicrobial resistance.
The future outlook
Using the survey's results to look towards the future of the profession demonstrates that vets will be needed most in terms of pet health in the family, food safety and food quality, disease control for public health, animal welfare and environmental health. In order to face these challenges, one of the top priorities for European vets is to become more specialised in several areas, as opposed to just one. Improved digital skills will also be crucial, in line with the emergence of new technologies and rise in social media use. Concerns regarding recruitment specific to the equine sector were confirmed, with findings demonstrating an increasing number of vets choosing to specialise in small animal practice, thus leading to a likely shortage of large animal vets in the future.
A press conference relating to the findings and a copy of the survey and its results are available here.
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