Burnout and Work-Life Balance Study in the Veterinary Profession

Veterinary medicine attracts the outstanding individuals whose calling is to help animals, oftentimes at the expense of personal time and well-being. Exceptional dedication to the profession can easily lead to overwork and imbalance.

VIS continues its burnout investigation and development of a management methodology in an effort to empower the healthcare teams to live their passion.

Last year, Dr. Ivan Zak defended his MBA thesis, “Implementation of lean thinking in healthcare organizations to improve the employee experience.” In his presentation, Dr. Zak proved that lean thinking principles can be an effective way to prevent burnout among veterinary professionals. He surveyed veterinary professionals to determine the level of burnout in the industry and develop a solution to the problem. The 2020 study can be found here.

This year’s study will use the same methodology from the 2020 survey, allowing for data comparison. We are also adding a new block of questions to assess the work-life balance in the profession, as this is a leading reason that veterinary professionals consider leaving the profession.

The results will be aggregated, analyzed, and communicated across the industry to be considered by veterinary businesses in their efforts to improve employee well-being.

The research is conducted in partnership with Galaxy Vets, a new veterinary healthcare system co-owned by employees. With a mission to bring veterinary medicine back to veterinarians, Galaxy Vets has burnout prevention built in its growth strategy.


The survey is based on mixed methodologies. A Brief Instrument to Assess Both Burnout and Professional Fulfillment in Physicians (PFI) is used to measure the burnout rate and job satisfaction, and the methodology of “Psychometric Assessment of Fisher’s Instrument Designed to Measure Work-Life Balance,” proposed by Hayman, is used to assess the work-life balance situation in the veterinary profession.

The survey consists of three blocks:

  1. General information and several questions to test the hypothesis for the VIS methodology
  2. PFI tool (3 blocks, 20 questions in total)
  3. Work-life balance self-assessment (a 15-item scale)

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. All answers will be anonymous.