Dr. Casey Robinson
Words by:
Casey Robinson — Area Medical Director, MI, OH, IL, IN

Becoming a dad is hard—even if you’ve done it before. The sleepless nights, the crying infant, and the overall cluelessness of how to be a good parent; it is all challenging. Trying to do all of this and work full-time is nearly impossible.

2023 AVMA ReportSadly, the United States maintains no federal law guaranteeing paid parental leave. In fact, the only federal statute regarding parental leave is the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new parents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 27% percent of private industry workers had access to paid family leave and 89% had access to unpaid family leave. For veterinarians, it’s much worse. According to the 2023 AVMA Report on the Economic State of the Veterinary Profession, paid parental leave is received by only 10% of associate veterinarians. That’s in comparison to other benefits that rate much higher like discounted pet care (82%), liability insurance (75%) and medical plans (62%). That is a staggering and unacceptable statistic for my female colleagues (who represent 67% of the profession).

 

As a male veterinarian, I always assumed I would never be afforded the luxury of generous paid parental leave even though parenthood was always part of my life plan. I figured I would just muscle through it when the time came. When my first child was born, I was working full time and was awarded slightly less than 2 weeks off to grow close to my son.  I returned to work on a busy Saturday and the stressors of being a full-time associate quickly began to weigh on me. I knew that, in order to be the dad that I wanted to be, I needed to make a change.

And then I found IndeVets. When I began considering making the switch from my full-time associate role to IndeVets, I assumed I would have to sacrifice many of the benefits that I had. I knew I wanted much more freedom to work when and where I wanted. It was not until I interviewed with one of IndeVets’ practicing veterinarians that I discovered this company genuinely cares, offering so many amazing benefits (including paid parental leave)!

I am now an Area Medical Director with IndeVets, which means that I manage between 30-40 IndeVets in addition to practicing at some of my favorite clinics. It has been amazing to have the opportunity to grow as a father and as a veterinarian without feeling as though either role was being neglected. We are lucky enough to have recently welcomed a little girl into our family this past summer.

 

 

While taking time off from a job can be stressful, with the dedicated team that IndeVets has, I felt comfortable leaving my team in the hands of my colleagues while I focused on my family. I knew that they had my back and would ensure that my team was well cared for while I was away. This level of trust and confidence helped me be able to fully focus on my family.

As a father, I feel so fortunate that IndeVets offers paid parental leave, allowing me to bond with my daughter and spend time with my growing family. Since we also have a toddler at home, it made all the difference to my partner that I could help with both of our children. The time I was able to spend with my family was invaluable. Additionally, prioritizing family time ahead of work (without judgment or guilt trips) was very refreshing.

 

Dr. Casey Robinson, dad, dvm

 

The transition back to work has been challenging, but I am fortunate for the time that I was given, as it has helped me to strengthen this connection and become the father I want to be. When I did return to work, the company continued to allow me to prioritize my family as I navigated a new situation with two children and work duties.

IndeVets has always supported me as a veterinary professional, leader, father, and human being, and I will always be grateful for this.

I look forward to continuing to forge my career as a leader at IndeVets. I will always treasure the time I was provided to be the dad I strive to be.