How YOU Benefit Being a Relief Veterinarian

September 21, 2023

What’s this? The relief work company is going to tell us how great relief work is? Again? Yeah, that’s exactly what we’re gonna do. Honestly, we think being a relief veterinarian is pretty great. In fact, we’re a company filled with veterinarians, technicians, and practice owners, current and former, working together to improve an industry that desperately needs some TLC. 

Here’s the truth: relief work is a multi-tool, a career Swiss Army knife for you to use however best suits your unique needs, and Roo is set up to support those needs, whatever they may be. Sure, we could rattle off a whole bunch of benefits of being a relief veterinarian, but it’d be a better use of everyone’s time to explore how YOU can benefit from relief work no matter who you are, what your priorities may be, and where you fit into the vet med landscape. 

Dr. Lifelong Learner, DVM

Always be learning. We’re sure the mentors you look up to have been banging this drum all through vet school. Medicine is a science that’s constantly evolving, which means DVMs have to constantly be consuming new information to be up to date on best practices. That’s why Continuing Education is built into every vet’s license renewal process — it’s that important to stay current.  

Every vet is a lifelong learner, and every relief shift is a chance to learn something new. More importantly, it’s a safe space to explore and experiment without a shred of long term commitment. Want to dip a toe into emergency medicine or try out a different specialty like large animal medicine? Ever helped out at a local shelter for the day? Relief work is a doorway to infinite pathways of new experience. Plus, you’ll enjoy the benefits of working alongside a veterinarian with a wealth of experience in their unique specialty.

Through relief work, you’ll meet other veterinarians, try out new hospitals, and work with incredible support staff teams. Everyone does things a little bit differently, giving you the opportunity to pick up best practices from a whole host of hospitals and bring them back to your own clinic. Maybe you’ll even find a clinic you like more than your current one and take the leap to a new full-time home. 

If you’re a recent grad entering vet med for the first time or simply just looking for a change, let relief work be your sampler platter. Try every appetizer on the menu before committing full-time. 

Already working full-time?  Feeling stuck? Relief work breaks you out of your usual routine to have a new experience, learn new things, and meet new people, and it’s completely risk-free because you won’t have to commit to anything beyond a single shift.

Feeling extra ambitious? Get a license or temp license in another state and find out what vet med looks like outside your home town. Roo currently services a variety of metro areas across the country. There are so many benefits of being a traveling relief veterinarian, we've dedicated an entire blog post to it with a whole How To Series on the way!

The possibilities and opportunities are endless, and there is zero commitment: nothing gambled, nothing lost. Whatever spice your life’s in search of, Roo’s got it on the shelf.     

Dr. Extra Income Overachiever, DVM

Student debt is real. Earning those three letters at the end of your name isn’t just hard, it’s expensive. Unfortunately, the industry doesn’t always pay doctors enough to tackle this debt in a reasonable time period. We all have financial goals: dreams of home ownership, supporting a family, eventual retirement, and more. Relief work offers an opportunity to make a little extra or a lot of extra income. It’s completely up to you.

Here’s the really neat part, relief veterinarians typically get paid more per hour than the average full-time vet. Hospitals across the country need relief coverage, especially as staffing shortages mount, and they’re willing to pay a premium for it. 

If you’re a full-time vet looking to make a little extra to meet your financial goals, picking up a relief shift here and there may be the answer. Snag a shift on your day off if you can swing it. You get to keep doing what you do best and what you love, and you’ll make big bucks doing it. No one with a top tier medical degree should need a side hustle. 

With Roo, flexibility is a way of life. Roo has no minimum shift requirements or monthly fees, so you can pick up a shift or two here and there when you need a bit of extra income with no penalties at all. There’s literally nothing to lose, and the financial gains are what you make of it, like a giant pile of money just there for the taking. Who wants in?      

Dr. Full-Time Work-Life Balance Warrior

Maybe you’ve simply had enough of the vet med industry and the way things have traditionally been done: the low wages, the long hours, infrequent vacation and time off. For veterinarians who feel this way and still want to enjoy a career doing what they love, relief work is a freeway exit to a new way of life. 

Becoming a full-time relief veterinarian puts you in complete control of your life and career. You’ll make your own schedule by picking up as many or as few shifts as you want to meet your personal financial goals. You’ll get unlimited vacation days to use whenever you want. Roo has no penalties for inactivity because we want you to take vacation, or parental leave, or whatever it is you need. Roo even has an unlimited vacation policy for our own employees because we get it.

There are many benefits of being a full-time relief veterinarian, but to be fair, we fully appreciate it’s quite the leap to make. Being fully in control means being completely independent as well. Full-time relief vets are responsible for their own health and liability insurance and taxes at the end of the year. 

Thankfully, Roo does everything we can to make this easier for our vets who need it. First off, all your relief work earnings with Roo will be consolidated into a single 1099 if you earn more than $600, which you will because you’ll probably make more than that in a single shift. On top of that, we’ve partnered with Fit Money CPA to help provide tax support to any relief vets who need extra support or guidance. Coming soon, we'll be partnering with Stride Health to provide health insurance to any of our veterinarians who need it.

If work-life balance is what you crave, transitioning to full-time relief work is the way to go. It doesn’t get more balanced than being completely in control of your schedule, income, and time off with no higher-ups telling you what to do.

Dr. Part-Time for Personal Reasons, DVM  

Now, we’re getting deep into the relief work Swiss Army knife to the tools that have very specific uses in very specific situations but maybe don’t apply to everybody. It’s a sewing needle by the way — that weird Swiss Army tool that looks like a teeny blade with a hole in it. Yeah, we were wondering too. 

This may not be you now, but here are a few situations a veterinarian may find themself in where cutting hours back to part-time can provide huge benefits:

  • You’re returning from parental leave and want to wean yourself back into full-time work as your baby weans off you.
  • You’re retiring and winding down but still want to have some income and/or help a few more animals along the way.
  • You’re taking an extended hiatus but still want to work a few shifts here and there to keep your skills sharp.

Whatever your reason may be to reduce your hours, working as a relief veterinarian makes this transition simple and costs nothing. Like with all relief work, you make your own schedule and Roo’s here to help. That’s why we’ll never penalize you for being inactive and never charge you monthly fees. 

The ultimate benefits of being a relief veterinarian are what you make of it 

The flexibility to do what you want is what makes relief work special. Being a relief veterinarian isn’t just one thing, there are dozens of different benefits for dozens of different vets. You decide what you want to get out of it, and Roo does its job by getting out of the way, leaving you free to control your career. 

That’s why Roo is the most flexible relief services platform in the business. Free to join. No monthly fees. No penalties. No minimum shift requirements. No limits, no rules. We want you use relief work however works best for you. 

To quote The Rolling Stones, “You get what you need.” However, that’s the only part of the song that applies here because you CAN always get what you want, and it's Roo’s mission to make sure of that.    

Whoever you are, whatever you want, Roo supports you.

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