Say you’re an associate veterinarian living in Kentucky who would love to spend a winter working and snowboarding in Colorado. Or you’re a Minnesota practitioner tired of February ice fishing and you long for a working vacation in South Florida. Or perhaps you like your current job but need a second paycheck.
Companies like Holiday Vet, VetIQ Staffing, RSVP and Get A Vet Staffing as well as the mobile app Retriever — all exhibitors at the VMX conference — are ready to place you at hospitals looking for temporary help. If you want to stay close to home, the companies should be able to find you work. Or they can send you across state lines, provided you have the necessary license.
Caren Carney, DVM, the founder of Holiday Vet, practices in Georgia when she’s not too busy pairing veterinarians with clinics nationwide. She’s also licensed to practice in Nevada, Utah and California.
“I have family in California,” she said, “so I can go visit and work a couple of times a year and not take it out of my vacation budget.”
The hospitals her company contracts with range in size.
“The people that need relief the most are your single-doctor practices,” Dr. Carney said. “They’re looking for a day off. They need fill-ins for surgeries or maternity leaves. We also do a lot with clinics that should be staffed heavier than they are — a four-doctor practice that can’t yet find that fourth doctor.”
Relief veterinarians are employees of Holiday Vet and VetIQ Staffing. The companies issue paychecks and provide fringe benefits, which at VetIQ include health insurance, a 401(k) plan and stock options.
Who does relief work? “We have some vets who recently sold a practice and want to pick up shifts here and there,” said Kellie Williams, the recruitment manager with VetIQ Staffing. “We also have vets who don’t necessarily want to be an associate somewhere but want to work full time. We can give them a little variety and a full-time gig.”
Ken Niedziela, editor