Veterinary Classes 2020 and 2021 COVID-19 Impact Survey

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | Veterinary Classes '2020 and '2021 COVID-19 Impact Survey

Veterinary Classes 2020 and 2021 COVID-19 Impact Survey

The home stretch of veterinary school is filled with one change after another: applying and interviewing for employment, learning the skill set it takes to succeed at clinical rotations, studying for and taking the NAVLE, graduation (including moving for many), starting new jobs or internships, and ideally, celebrating with family and friends. It’s exhausting just to think about.

 

During normal circumstances, all that takes a village. During a pandemic, it takes more. How much more? To answer that question, VBMA, the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), and VIN Foundation developed a survey to shed light on if, and how, the pandemic is impacting the wide range of demands placed on those entering, and about to enter, the veterinary workforce.

More than 1,000 veterinary students from the classes of ’20 and ’21 at U.S. and Caribbean veterinary schools responded. Before discussing the results, we’d like to extend a big thank you to every student who gave some of their precious time to provide insight. Without your participation, this would not be possible: thank you.

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | COVID-19 Veterinary Student and New Graduate Impact Survey

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Mental well-being: increased feelings of depression (50%), isolation (68%), & anxiety (75%)
  • Class of 2020: most (88%) had signed or verbally agreed to employment; of those, few (14%) experienced a change to that agreement
  • Class of 2021: nearly two-thirds (64%) had externship experiences postponed or canceled
  • School’s pandemic response: most (83%) felt their school’s reaction to COVID-19 was reasonable

 

Data transparency and sharing is a core value of VBMA, VIN and VIN Foundation:

Below you will find more detail for each survey topic. Each of the following highlights includes a link to more survey response data. There are also links to all survey questions and responses, including segmentation by class.

Mental Wellbeing:

Many respondents reported an increase in feelings of depression (50%), isolation (68%), & anxiety (75%):

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | COVID-19 Veterinary Student and New Graduate Impact Survey

Class of 2020 Employment Experiences:

Most (88%) had signed or verbally agreed to employment; of those, few (14%) experienced a change to that agreement:

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | COVID-19 Veterinary Student and New Graduate Impact Survey

Class of 2021 Externship Experiences:

Most of the class of 2021 has had externship experiences postponed or canceled as a result of the pandemic. Nearly two-thirds (64%) had externship experiences either postponed or canceled:

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | COVID-19 Veterinary Student and New Graduate Impact Survey

Reaction to Veterinary Schools Pandemic Response:

Over 80% of students feel their school’s response to their learning as a result of COVID-19 was reasonable:

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | COVID-19 Veterinary Student and New Graduate Impact Survey

Additional Survey Results:

The full COVID-19 survey results are available in a variety of reports listed below. If there are other report views you would like to see, please email us and we’ll see if we can create and share those for you and others.

 

  1. All Survey Questions and Answers

  2. All Survey Questions and Answers segmented by class

  3. Health and Travel Questions and Answers only

  4. Employment and financial concerns for the class of 2020 only

  5. Employment and financial concerns for the class of 2021 only

  6. Reaction to school responses

 

Thank you again to the more than 1,000 students and new graduate veterinarians who completed the survey!

NEXT STEPS:

How can we learn from these results to help colleagues? We want your feedback! Please share with your networks, and leave a comment below with questions/suggestions/ideas. Thanks!

Additional Resources:

The VIN Foundation was founded by members of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) in 2005. VIN is an online community of veterinarians and veterinary students with over 75,000 members worldwide. The VIN Foundation’s charitable efforts are centered around the belief that a healthy veterinary profession is essential for healthy animal and human communities.

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