OBJECTIVE To develop a comprehensive taxonomy of practice-related stressors experienced by US veterinarians.
DESIGN Cross-sectional survey.
SAMPLE A subset of 1,422 US veterinarians who provided written (vs selected) responses to a question in a previous survey regarding practice-related stressors.
PROCEDURES Using grounded theory analysis, 3 researchers inductively analyzed written survey responses concerning respondents’ main practice-related stressors. In 5 iterations, responses were individually coded and categorized, and a final list of practice-related stressor categories and subcategories was iteratively and collaboratively developed until theoretical and analytic saturation of the data was achieved.
RESULTS A taxonomy of 15 categories of broad practice-related stressors and 40 subcategories of more specific practice-related stressors was developed. The most common practice-related stressor categories included financial insecurity (n = 289 [20.3%]), client issues (254 [17.9%]), coworker or interpersonal issues (181 [12.7%]), and work-life balance (166 [11.7%]). The most common subcategories were clients unwilling to pay (118 [8.3%]), low income (98 [6.9%]), cost of maintaining practice (56 [3.9%]), and government or state board policies (48 [3.4%]).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE This study provided a comprehensive list of the types of practice-related stressors experienced by US veterinarians, building a foundation for future research into relationships between job stress and mental health in this population. Frequency data on the various stressors provided an initial understanding of factors that might be contributing to high stress rates among US veterinarians.