Chief Medical Officer at Thrive Pet Healthcare
Dr. Schatzberg stepped into the role of Chief Medical Officer in September 2020. Prior to joining Thrive Pet Healthcare, Dr. Schatzberg was founder, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of The Animal Neurology & Imaging Centers (The ANICs). In the clinical world, Dr. Schatzberg is recognized as an international authority in the field of veterinary neurology. Over the past two decades, Dr. Schatzberg has worked in hospital operations, specialty practices and academia, where he conducted field-changing research.
Pet ownership has skyrocketed over the last year to become the highest in history. Multiple factors likely play a role in this increase, but one stands out: loneliness. In 2019, about 70% of Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z reported experiencing a rise in loneliness, and COVID-19 only exacerbated this trend. Adopting a pet has offered much-needed companionship for many families who now spend more time and money caring for their new family members’ health and wellness.
The increase in pets and the corresponding need for pet healthcare are bumping against another trend: a shortage of veterinarians. A limited number of veterinarians enter the workforce each year, contributing to an industry unemployment rate of 1%. Among those in the workforce, many have significant debt from the rising cost of education and face other stressors that toll their mental health.
Together, these trends have created unsustainable conditions: overrun clinics and hospitals, long wait times, missed appointments, and stressed-out staff and pet parents.
Everyone deserves better.
Veterinary professionals deserve a professional environment where they can thrive, and pet parents deserve access to consistent, quality care that helps their pets thrive throughout their lives. By creating a connected and innovative pet healthcare ecosystem, we can improve the experience for everyone.
The continuum of care model
The continuum of care model creates a comprehensive pet health and wellness network, supported by the industry-first membership program, where veterinary professionals and pet parents get what they need at each stage of their journey.
Thrive Pet Healthcare has created this model, connecting parents with pet healthcare providers who can support any primary, acute, or specialty care need. For the veterinary care providers, we offer an organization and a community — led by veterinarians themselves – with a deep understanding of their needs, whether it is medical excellence, career pathing, or holistic well-being.
Focus on the holistic well-being of veterinary professionals
Thrive Pet Healthcare believes that taking better care of people leads to better care for pets and their parents. From the very beginning, we have been focused on preserving a private practice feel with the benefits and resources of a larger organization.
Our team has access to holistic care that supports their financial, mental, and family well-being. We ensured that all team members are guaranteed universal minimum wage of at least $15 an hour. Our incredible Customer Service Representatives, Veterinary Assistants, and Veterinary Technicians are celebrated with the Milestone Award Program (MAP), with up to $25,000 and $50,000 in anniversary bonuses. All Thrive doctors can benefit from Veterinarian Incentive Plan (VIP) that offers up to $450,000 in incentive opportunities.
Financial well-being means that you are spending within your means and you have a plan that allows you to feel confident about achieving your goals. We’re fully committed to supporting our people in pursuing their professional goals. In partnership with Penn Foster, we offer a sponsorship for obtaining a vet tech associates degree. In addition to educational resources, our students have access to a comprehensive mentorship network to elevate them on their journey. In the last two years, about 5% of our veterinary assistants have already been admitted to Penn Foster, and some of them will obtain their veterinary technician credentials next year.
Paid parental leave is still uncommon in veterinary practice. We want our team members to know that we care deeply about their family life as much as their daily experience at the hospitals. Just a year ago, we introduced an industry-first paid parental leave, and this year we added a paid “purr-ental leave” to provide comfort for all parents.
With Thrive Pet Healthcare, veterinary staff has more options for personalized, professional growth. Those looking for new opportunities can move beyond the four walls of their first practice and work in different locations. We also offer mentorship opportunities and the Clinical Year Externship, created in partnership with veterinary schools, which offers soon-to-be veterinarians complete immersion in acute, primary, and specialty care medicine. Hospitals also experience greater community and connectivity through a broader hospital network with Veterinary Growth Partners (VGP).
The continuum of care is enabled by an intuitive and easy-to-use platform called Vetspire that allows veterinary care providers to manage patient charts from clinic to clinic and reduce the hours spent on clinical notes. This is one of the advantages of working for an organization that is run by veterinarians. We understand our people’s purpose, passion, and what they need to be successful – so it is reflected in everything we do.
Benefits for the pet parent
In the continuum of care model, pet parents enjoy the comfort and convenience of a network of trusted, empathetic veterinary care providers who will be with them throughout their pet’s life, no matter how their health needs might change.
Many pet parents are unaware of the specialty care providers available to them, should their pet need it. Our network includes not only primary care providers but specialists like dermatologists, ophthalmologists, neurologists, and oncologists. Thrive Pet Healthcare makes it easy to find the care you need and supports the pet’s health journey all along the way.
Our digital ecosystem will provide pet parents with the information they need to give their pets the best care possible and help them find the providers that meet their needs. In addition, the Thrive Plus Membership Program provides an easy and accessible way to stay up to date on care while enjoying special member perks.
Leading the way for others
Industry-wide change only happens when you believe in a bigger purpose, commit to act on it, and make it easy for others to follow suit. Thrive Pet Healthcare is driven to deliver solutions that provide genuine care for pet parents and the professionals who care for pets. As a result, we’re paving the way in the industry so that every pet parent has access to the exceptional care that meets their specific pet care need when they need it.
Learn more about Thrive Pet Healthcare’s mission and model at thrivepetcare.com