About this idea
For animal hospitals, it's a constant challenge to find "relief" veterinarians — veterinarians who fill in when the regular vets are out sick, on leave/vacation, or the clinic just needs an extra set of hands. Every day, these clinics scramble to find qualified veterinarians who can help them meet the increasing demands of their practices. This is especially true for small, independently-owned clinics that don't have the time or office resources to hunt down extra assistance on short notice.
Today, these clinics' best option is either essentially a low-tech listserv or various job boards. Of course, these options are both terribly inefficient and create a clunky, burdensome process for both the clinics and the relief vets.
If only there was an easier/cheaper/better way for clinics to find relief veterinarians (and relief vets to find available clinics), then these clinics could streamline their administrative duties and focus on what matters: treating people's pets. With approximately 40,000 animal hospital clinics in the US, and over 25,000 relief veterinarians available to fill in, there is a clear opportunity to meaningfully impact a huge industry.
I propose building the Relief Retriever app where hospitals and relief vets can seamlessly connect. Today's veterinary clinics are overwhelmed, overworked and exhausted with the sheer number of clients they have to see every day. Fortunately, Relief Retriever can help these clinics via an app designed to help connect hospitals with the qualified relief veterinarians they desperately need.
Relief veterinarians will more easily control their schedules and the mileage they drive to these jobs. This will lead to increased job satisfaction and increased income.
Veterinary hospital management will be able to much more easily find and retain veterinary staff to fill in for drastically overworked owner and associate veterinarians during vacations, maternity leave or when trying to find their next permanent associate. This will lead to better a better hospital/vet associate fit and improved quality of professional life for all veterinarians.
This will encourage more veterinarians to pursue relief work. Vets often leave associate positions and hop from job to job trying to find the right "fit" that will bring work/life balance and improved mental health (mental health issues plague the veterinary industry). Doing relief work affords these doctors to take their time, get paid and find the exact right fit thereby decreasing hospital turnover. If they decide to continue doing relief work exclusively, they can build a complete career using this app. They can schedule work at a few clicks on their phone and free up time for other aspects of their busy lives.
What I'll do with $5,000
I have researched the cost of app/website development. Costs to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) range from $18,000 - $27,000. This MVP is a beginning product that will be able to produce an income leading to further development over time. $5000 will cover the downpayment on that process. I will pursue other means of financing the remainder of the cost. I plan on investigating other startup grants and loans as well as using my personal funds. My family is offering a $10,000 investment as well.
Scalability is built into the MVP from the beginning. That means that I have already spoken with developers to ensure that my MVP will be able to be easily expanded. Once up and running in West Michigan, it will be possible to expand this project nationally.