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You can now schedule your in-person care, hop on virtual appointments, and access records and results right from your phone with the Papaya Pet app. 

 

How Papaya Pet Care is changing the professional veterinary experience.

A career in veterinary medicine can be equally rewarding and challenging. We think outside the traditional veterinary care model to empower employees and strengthen entire communities of pets and people.

Veterinarians choose their careers because they're passionate about helping animals. A job in veterinary care can be immensely rewarding. However, veterinarians also have to be prepared for whatever comes their way.

In one exam room, they might greet excited families with a brand-new puppy. In other interactions, they might see traumatic injuries, identify signs of abuse, or have to help a family say goodbye to their best friend. These experiences are all part of the job, but the emotional demands can take a serious toll on one's mental health.

And it does. A 2020 study from the American Medical Veterinary Association (AVMA) and Merck Animal Health found that although veterinarians rated their job satisfaction highly, they're simultaneously very concerned about high stress levels, student debt, and suicide in the profession. The study's findings are troubling:

  • Veterinarians are 2.7 times more likely to die from suicide than the general population.
  • Female veterinarians have higher rates of suicide ideation than male counterparts, but male veterinarians are more likely to attempt suicide.
  • Even though veterinarians may recognize they need help, they might not have access to quality mental health care.
  • Veterinarians face higher rates of burn out than physicians.

So, what's behind the numbers?

1

High Student Debt

According to the AVMA, the average debt for the 2019 graduating class was $149,877, and 33% of graduates accrued anywhere between $200,000 to $400,000. Some veterinarians choose to work overtime or find second jobs to help pay off debt.

2

Poor Work-Life Balance

In high-stress, demanding veterinary clinics, it might be hard to find time away—and this can be a slippery slope to depression, anxiety, and burnout. The Merck Animal Health study found that even though veterinarians and physicians report similar work-life balance, burnout is higher among veterinarians.

3

Ethical Conflict + Moral Distress

This type of distress occurs when veterinary professionals face complex ethical challenges consisting of obligations to the patient, the pet parents, other veterinary professionals and society at large. 69% of respondents to a 2018 survey published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine said they felt they had moderate to severe amounts of distress as a result of not being able to provide care they deemed appropriate. When asked about coping mechanisms, 11% of sought professional help but 20% "did nothing."

We're leading the way to a brighter future for veterinary professionals.

We founded Papaya with a clear vision: to make the veterinary experience better for the people who dedicate so much of their lives to their practice.

From the beginning, we've placed employee wellbeing at the center of our business model, establishing specific processes and tools to help them confidently face everyday challenges—and get extra support when they need it most.

"We know that unless our employees feel supported, pets aren't going to get the high-quality care they deserve," says Clayton Webb, Papaya's founder and CEO. "That's why we give our team tools and resources to be empowered in their professional journeys. It's important that they feel positive about coming into work and good about the work they do."

Here are a few of the ways we're taking now to create a better future for our profession.

Mental Health Support

Though we may not always be able to prevent stressful circumstances from arising, we have an open dialogue with our team about the importance of accessing professional support. We know that working with a certified counselor can help individuals build emotional resilience, identify healthy coping mechanisms, and define work-life balance. At Papaya, we provide regular team check-ins and ample paid time off. We also have a thoughtful scheduling approach that makes sure team members aren't overworked.

Mental Health Support
A Fear Free® Approach

A Fear Free® Approach

We take specific steps (including the way our clinics are designed and how our employees are trained) to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress among pets. This isn't just good for animals, though—it also makes our jobs better. When we're working with calm, happy animals, providing care is easier, reducing room for error or injury. It also results in faster appointments and smoother recovery.

The Papaya Comfort Visit™

We created the Papaya Comfort Visit, a non-exam appointment at our clinic, to create a positive association between pets and their vet. Pets and their pet parents can come in, meet their veterinary team, explore the space, and (of course!) get plenty of treats. This is also an opportunity for our staff to make better connections with their patients, getting to know the pet's personality and unique needs. After a Comfort Visit, pets are much calmer and happier when they need to come in for an exam.

The Papaya Comfort Visit™

Technology to Improve Efficiencies

We've built a cutting-edge veterinary telemedicine app that makes it easier to administer care. Thanks to the app, we're able to provide care for in-need pets from the comfort of their homes. Beyond the telemedicine features, the app is also an advanced scheduling and record-keeping tool, which improves communication and visibility between our team and pet parents. Not to mention transparent pricing means happier clients! Learn more about the app and download it here.

Technology to Improve Efficiencies

Welcoming Interior Design

Thoughtful design choices at our clinics help pets and people feel more comfortable and at ease. Employees enjoy spacious, aesthetically pleasing breakrooms (stocked with refreshments). We also include a designated "Quiet Room" at many of our clinics for a private moment or phone call.

Welcoming Interior Design

On-Going Education

Our employees should feel empowered in their professional journeys, which is why we support them in their professional development, such as attending conferences or learning new skills. We want to remain on the front edge of emerging best practices, so we can continue providing exceptional care that exceeds expectations.

On-Going Education

Commitment to Local Communities

Did you know that helping others is scientifically proven to boost your own mood? Each Papaya clinic finds creative ways to give back to the communities in which they belong, whether it's through group volunteering, participating in neighborhood events, or assisting with Papaya CMO Dr. Kwane Stewart's organization Project StreetVet.

Commitment to Local Communities
Memberships to Build Lifelong Friendships

Memberships to Build Lifelong Friendships

Anyone can join Papaya for free, but our membership system allows our team to get to know each individual pet and pet parent on a deeper level. We build strong, rewarding relationships with our members that can last years and years. Memberships ensure the pet is getting the regular care they need and we can identify any issues sooner than later.

Unmatched Company Culture

Our employees are an enormous part of what makes Papaya special. We show our appreciation with work anniversary celebrations, personalized gifts, or fun team outings, and more. By hiring the right people and providing the right amount of training, we foster a company culture that's endlessly positive and supportive.

Unmatched Company Culture
You can be part of our mission.

Transforming the veterinary care field won't happen overnight, but we do what we can in our clinics to make each day a little better for our people. And we're growing! With clinics opening in Southern California and beyond, we're seeking talented veterinary professionals to join our team. A career with Papaya means you get to care for animals, grow professionally, get the support you need, and support those around you. It's a win-win-win.