Challenges facing the farm animal veterinary profession in England: A qualitative study of veterinarians’ perceptions and responses

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/621453
Title:
Challenges facing the farm animal veterinary profession in England: A qualitative study of veterinarians’ perceptions and responses
Authors:
Ruston, Annmarie; Shortall, Orla; Green, Martin; Brennan, Marnie; Wapenaar, Wendela ( 0000-0002-5979-8016 ) ; Kaler, Jasmeet ( 0000-0002-3332-7064 )
Abstract:
The farm animal veterinary profession in the UK has faced a number of challenges in recent decades related to the withdrawal of government funding and a contraction of the agricultural sector. They have come under pressure to respond by developing skills and focusing on disease prevention advisory services. However, this puts veterinarians in competition with other providers of these services, and moves in this direction have only been partial. Failure to respond to these challenges puts the veterinary profession at risk of de-professionalisation—a loss of their monopoly over knowledge, an erosion of client beliefs in their service ethos and a loss of work autonomy. This paper explores how farm animal veterinarians in England perceive these challenges and are responding to them. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were carried out with 28 veterinarians from Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon farm accredited practices. Veterinarians were chosen from high, medium and low density cattle farming regions. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and themes identified through the constant comparison method. The majority of respondents recognised the challenges facing the veterinary profession. Most believed their role had changed, moving towards that of a disease prevention adviser who was part of the farm management team. In terms of maintaining and redefining their professional status, farm animal veterinarians do have a defined body of knowledge and the ability to develop trusting relationships with clients, which enhances their competitiveness. However, while they recognise the changes and challenges, moves towards a disease prevention advisory model have only been partial. There seem to be little effort towards using Farm accreditation status or other strategies to promote their services. They do not appear to be finding effective strategies for putting their knowledge on disease prevention into practice. Disease prevention appears to be delivered on farm on an ad hoc basis, they are not promoting their disease prevention services to farmers effectively or using their professional position to stave off competition. Farm animals veterinarians will need to realign their veterinary expertise to the demands of the market, work together rather than in competition, improve their skills in preventive medicine, consolidate information given by non-veterinary advisors, develop new business models appropriate to their services and develop entrepreneurial skills to demonstrate their market value if they are to avoid becoming marginalised
Affiliation:
University of Derby; Univeristy of Nottingham; Canterbury Christ Church University
Citation:
Ruston, A. et al (2016) 'Challenges facing the farm animal veterinary profession in England: A qualitative study of veterinarians’ perceptions and responses', Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 127:84
Publisher:
Elsevier
Journal:
Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue Date:
May-2016
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/621453
DOI:
10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.03.008
Additional Links:
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0167587716300939
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
01675877
Sponsors:
The study was funded by AHDB Dairy.
Appears in Collections:
Health and Social Care Research Centre

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorRuston, Annmarieen
dc.contributor.authorShortall, Orlaen
dc.contributor.authorGreen, Martinen
dc.contributor.authorBrennan, Marnieen
dc.contributor.authorWapenaar, Wendelaen
dc.contributor.authorKaler, Jasmeeten
dc.date.accessioned2017-02-23T10:02:03Z-
dc.date.available2017-02-23T10:02:03Z-
dc.date.issued2016-05-
dc.identifier.citationRuston, A. et al (2016) 'Challenges facing the farm animal veterinary profession in England: A qualitative study of veterinarians’ perceptions and responses', Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 127:84en
dc.identifier.issn01675877-
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.03.008-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10545/621453-
dc.description.abstractThe farm animal veterinary profession in the UK has faced a number of challenges in recent decades related to the withdrawal of government funding and a contraction of the agricultural sector. They have come under pressure to respond by developing skills and focusing on disease prevention advisory services. However, this puts veterinarians in competition with other providers of these services, and moves in this direction have only been partial. Failure to respond to these challenges puts the veterinary profession at risk of de-professionalisation—a loss of their monopoly over knowledge, an erosion of client beliefs in their service ethos and a loss of work autonomy. This paper explores how farm animal veterinarians in England perceive these challenges and are responding to them. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were carried out with 28 veterinarians from Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon farm accredited practices. Veterinarians were chosen from high, medium and low density cattle farming regions. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and themes identified through the constant comparison method. The majority of respondents recognised the challenges facing the veterinary profession. Most believed their role had changed, moving towards that of a disease prevention adviser who was part of the farm management team. In terms of maintaining and redefining their professional status, farm animal veterinarians do have a defined body of knowledge and the ability to develop trusting relationships with clients, which enhances their competitiveness. However, while they recognise the changes and challenges, moves towards a disease prevention advisory model have only been partial. There seem to be little effort towards using Farm accreditation status or other strategies to promote their services. They do not appear to be finding effective strategies for putting their knowledge on disease prevention into practice. Disease prevention appears to be delivered on farm on an ad hoc basis, they are not promoting their disease prevention services to farmers effectively or using their professional position to stave off competition. Farm animals veterinarians will need to realign their veterinary expertise to the demands of the market, work together rather than in competition, improve their skills in preventive medicine, consolidate information given by non-veterinary advisors, develop new business models appropriate to their services and develop entrepreneurial skills to demonstrate their market value if they are to avoid becoming marginaliseden
dc.description.sponsorshipThe study was funded by AHDB Dairy.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherElsevieren
dc.relation.urlhttp://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0167587716300939en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Preventive Veterinary Medicineen
dc.subjectFarm animalsen
dc.subjectVetinary practiceen
dc.subjectDisease preventionen
dc.subjectDecision makingen
dc.titleChallenges facing the farm animal veterinary profession in England: A qualitative study of veterinarians’ perceptions and responsesen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Derbyen
dc.contributor.departmentUniveristy of Nottinghamen
dc.contributor.departmentCanterbury Christ Church Universityen
dc.identifier.journalPreventive Veterinary Medicineen
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