How to hire a relief veterinarian
Learn how to hire a relief veterinarian for your animal hospital. Learn how much it costs to hire a relief vet and what to expect from your temporary doctor.
There are several ways you can hire a relief veterinarian for your animal hospital: you can hire a solo relief (or locum) veterinarian, or you can use a relief service, like IndeVets, who provides a team of relief veterinarians.
Using a solo relief vet is like hiring a freelancer — you’re contracting/negotiating with an individual directly. The advantages of using a solo relief vet are that often their services are more affordable. The downsides of using a solo relief vet are that you’re responsible for scheduling, insurance and invoicing together with your doctor, whereas when you use a service, these items are often handled by the company.
Relief services make finding coverage easier, because you have access to a suite of doctors, rather than just one doctor. It’s important to note however that not all relief services are created equal. To ensure you’re getting a highly competent, nice doctor, ask how the company vets their doctors. At IndeVets, all of our doctors go through a rigorous vetting process, including personality scans, clinical assessments, drug tests and more — to ensure we highly only the best and brightest.
IndeVets also makes requesting a shift easy — our online portal allows you to log in, post your shifts, and you’re done! You’ll receive an email when your shift is covered, along with a detailed profile and video interview with your relief doctor.
One company that provides veterinary relief services is IndeVets. There is no fee to sign up for IndeVets, and you’ll only be charged if your shifts are covered. You can sign up to partner with IndeVets here, and learn more about how IndeVets works here.
Other companies that provide relief services include:
- Relief Rover
- Holiday Vet
- Vet IQ Staffing
- Roo Vet
Rates for relief veterinarians vary, depending on where you’re located and how experienced your relief doctor is.
IndeVets charges by the hour. Our hourly rates range from $105 to $133 for exam shifts, depending on your region. Speciality shifts like urgent care, ER and surgery are charged an additional premium.
While these costs might seem high, it’s because all the extraneous costs — insurance premiums, liability taxes, licensing costs — are already rolled in. IndeVets also takes the headache out of finding a veterinarian yourself — our scheduling team is available 24/7 to help answer questions. And all of our doctors have been vetted by our vet-led team.
To learn more about the costs associated with hiring a relief vet, check out this article on “Your top 5 questions about relief work, answered.”
It depends. If you’re hiring a solo relief vet — maybe. Make sure to ask your relief vet before they work their shift and take care of any necessary paperwork. The same goes with relief companies — some companies will take care of this for you, and others will not.
At IndeVets, all extraneous costs — licensing fees, liability insurance, taxes — are included in your hourly rate. This means all YOU need to do is post your shifts, and breathe a sigh of relief.
At IndeVets, we only hire the best and brightest, responsible, accountable doctors to work for us. If for any reason one of our doctors is sick or has an emergency and needs to call out, our scheduling team will notify you right away.
Some relief vets perform surgery, while others prefer to only handle GP cases. Once again, it depends — on who you are hiring, and their comfort levels.
At IndeVets, we encourage our doctors to do whatever type of work they enjoy. Many of our doctors do perform surgeries, as well as urgent care and ER shifts.
Because anesthetic procedures carry an increased risk and require more detailed protocols, surgery and dentistry procedures must be requested separately. We generally require an Associate IndeVet perform at least two exam-only shifts prior to accepting a surgery/dentistry shift. This ensures our doctors know your staff, protocols, medications, equipment, and space.
Once this protocol is completed, an Associate IndeVet can select procedure shifts at your hospital. They may only select a few shifts to start; this ensures it is a great match between the Associate IndeVet and partner hospital.
We provide detailed doctor profiles as well as a video interview to allow our partner hospitals to get to know our IndeVets! If you would like to meet an IndeVet before you leave for vacation, you can schedule a shift when you are in hospital to allow time for you to work alongside them.