01 cze 2019

What do veterinary doctors like in veterinary practice the most?

In the research on education needs of veterinary doctors carried put in frame of the COMVET Project we asked important questions to veterinary doctors, about challenges in their everyday practice, their motivation and needs.

One of important questions for proffessionalist is „what do you like in your job the most”?. That  question is in fact the question about the motivation in a job performance.

We asked that question in our survey dedicated to veterinary doctors in frame of the project COMVET. The question was an open question. It meant that each respondent replied to that freely. All collected answers were grouped into groups/ categories of answers. We have received variety of answers, which differed slightly between countries. In Poland we received over 279 questionnaires accomplished by the veterinary doctors. Below data presents answers from the Polish veterinary doctors.

Over 44% of veterinary doctors in question answer that what they like in their job is „contact with animals, helping animals as well as contact with people (owners of animals)„.  Second the biggest group of answers (about 28% of respondents) presenting what veterinary doctors like about their job was achievement of „successes and good effects of therapy carried out”. Over 13% of veterinary doctors declared they appreciate in their job the most „diversity and lack of predictability in a job performance„. Among veterinary doctors in question, about 10% liked the most in their job „surgery”, and respectively 3% appreciated „job independence” (understood as lack of supervisor/ the boss) and 2% – indicated „professional development”.

We also received 2 answers (per 279 answers in total) where the main motivation were financial aspect of practice (salary) and 2 answers stating that veterinary doctor did not like his/her job at all.

What kind of answers were given by veterinary doctors?

Doctor A

I like my job, obviously, beside animals curing , I do like continuous training. What does continuous training mean? It means you cannot stand still. When you stand still, you go back. Continuous knowledge raising, participation in training, courses, reading literature is part of the profession. It is also important to exchange experiences with colleagues – it is not important how old is the age of the internship, if a colleague, a friend says something sensible, I try to learn from his / her experience.

In my job I also like contact with the client.I value conversation, building relationships and success in treatment. I like when a client values ??my work, even when he ceases to be my client. When we meet, after some time, completely private and the client says: „Doctor, you treated my dog some time ago, he is healthy, everything is fine with him.” It is very nice. Because it means that the client values my work.


Doctor B

In my every day work I like very much satisfaction: healing the patient, the possibility of helping the patient (animal) and the owner. I do appreciate also the opportunity to achieve financial satisfaction from doing what I really like- curing animals.

I also like independence, running my own practice I do not have a boss- I am my own boss, so no one is standing over me, no one imposes hours of work. The only factor that impose my working hours is the market. Also for me important is the diversity of work: I do something different every day, every case is different, which gives me the opportunity to learn and improve constantly.


Below you can read some examples of answers given by the Polish veterinary doctors in our COMVET survey carried out by KIKO Educational Solutions within the project. 

What are the motivators of veterinary doctors in job performance? 

To help animals, to have a contact with animals and with clients 

The main motivator for the Polish veterinary doctors in question is having a contact with animals but also with owners of animal-patients. The social aspect of the job performance (e.g. communication with owners) seems to be very important for over 50% of veterinary doctors in question.  For those veterinary doctors who appreciate contact with owners the job performance will be more effective and more pleasant, as doctors will have the opportunity to satisfy their social and communication needs. This kind of motivation is seen as strength in a job performance, but is also important in building veterinary practice as a business.

Contact with animals, helping and curing them, was very important for the most of veterinary doctors in question. For most of veterinary doctors  it is combined with contact with other people, owners. Only several answers were dedicated only to contact with or helping animals. For those veterinary doctors who do not appreciate communication with owners the job performance as practicing veterinary doctor might be challenging, as the owners are the main source of information about animal-patient health status and also clients are responsible for implementation of veterinary treatment on an animal. Those veterinary doctors may increase their social competences, that will  help them in further job performance, through dedicated trainings or coaching.

Successes and good effects of veterinary therapy 

Also very important for the Polish veterinary doctors in a job performance is achievement of successes and good effects of therapy carried out. It might be treated by veterinary doctors as a kind of confirmation of well given diagnosis, but also a type of self-check as professional. This approach focused on successes achievement might be very motivating in a job performance, and it might be very helpful in further self- and professional development.

Diversity and lack of predictability in veterinary practice 

For some of veterinary doctors in question the important is diversity and lack of predictability in a job performance, which might be a very strong motivator in a job performance. This type of approach, including openness to unpredictability, might be great strength in a veterinary job performance. Medial professions, due to their specific, includes a factor of unpredictability, uncertainty of outcomes of medical procedures, so if veterinary doctor appreciate and likes this approach is very valuable for her/him.

Surgery in veterinary practice 

For those veterinary doctors that appreciate surgery the most in their job, it might be an information about their more manual and technical approach in their veterinary practice. It might be connected with their manual/ medical talents, but also might be an information about their lower need of deeper social contacts with owners.

Job independence

For some veterinary doctors the most important aspect of veterinary practice was job independence. Those veterinary doctors like the most not having the direct supervision or having the boss. Often it is connected with appreciation of flexible working hours. Those veterinary doctors often appreciate market orientation and like to be evaluated by their veterinary clients. This market orientation approach and self-authority might be valuable for business development and evaluation of the veterinary practice. On the other hand at the beginning of veterinary practice it might be useful to collect experiences, especially in medical professions, in safe environment with supervision and support of more experience colleagues in a clinic of veterinary office.

Proffessional development

The last but not least what veterinary doctors like in their job is professional development, which is very important in all medical professions. New medical techniques, different medicine, innovative types of treatments are being introduced constantly. As some of veterinary doctors in quality interviews confirmed, the constant education and self- and professional development is important for veterinary profession. It is good to know if we like it, appreciate. To find out what kind of learning is the most interesting for each veterinary doctor. How she/ he can combine this crucial need of constant learning with pleasure and effectiveness.

Learning and educational needs of veterinary doctors will be subject of next article.

Stay tuned 

The Polish version of article ia available on: kiko.com.pl