As the largest general veterinary practice in the U.S. with more than 1,000 hospitals and 19,000 associates, Banfield Pet Hospital takes seriously its responsibility to proactively address the challenges that exist within the veterinary profession.
For example, high levels of student debt are plaguing the veterinary industry, with the American Veterinary Medical Association estimating the average debt of most veterinary college graduates is more than $180,000. The industry is also facing a mental health crisis, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating one in six veterinarians has considered suicide, and one in 10 suffers from severe psychological distress.
"Seeking to raise the bar in health and wellbeing for the benefit of associates, pets, the broader veterinary industry - and society as a whole"
Banfield is a firm believer that high-quality, compassionate veterinary care for pets starts with healthy, energized associates. As such, the practice created a health and wellbeing program to build awareness and education through programs, tools, benefits and services that support their associates be their best selves. This includes launching Banfield’s Veterinary Student Debt Relief Program in 2017, an industry-leading initiative aiming to address the significant impact student debt can have on associates’ financial and thus mental and emotional wellbeing.
Banfield’s health and wellbeing efforts and initiatives are driving positive feedback and results. For example, since launching its Veterinary Student Debt Relief Program in late 2017, more than 45% of their over 3,500 veterinarians are participating in the program, and Banfield has already contributed more than $8 million toward helping their veterinarians pay off their student loans as well as enabled nearly $14 million in educational debt refinancing for associates.
And the practice’s efforts are not stopping there. Banfield remains committed to raising the bar in health and wellbeing to create meaningful change and make a positive impact on their associates, pets, the broader veterinary industry – and society as a whole.