About this idea
The Relief Retriever app will be found at www.reliefretriever.com. At this site, there will be the possibility of choosing to interact as a veterinarian or as a hospital. Future versions will be expanded to include veterinary technicians (vet nurses) as well.
When a Relief Vet wants to find a job they can create a personal profile including: name, veterinary school attended and graduation date, certifications, specialties, preferences such as appointments only or able to do dentistry and surgery as well, types of animals seen (small animal, large animal, exotics, pocket pets, etc.), etc. They will be able to access our interactive calendar to see jobs available in the area of their choosing (10, 25, 50, 100 mile radius from location) in a calendar format. Hovering over one of these color coded hospital options on the calendar will pop up a link to bid on that job for that day and shift time. Once a bid is accepted the job will be posted on that relief doctor's personal job calendar maintained on the site.
The veterinary hospital interface will also have a profile link. It will contain another link enabling them to post shifts needed on the calendar. Notifications of the post will be sent immediately to favorited vets in the area and vets who have chosen that hospital as a personal favorite. The hospital will get a notification that a vet has bid on their posted job. The hospital manager will be able to accept that relief vet's bid at the click of a button to have their shift filled immediately. Or, they may contact that vet for more information or to schedule an in person "meet and greet" before hiring. The hospital will also have access the personal profiles of hundreds of vets to help choose the perfect relief doctor.
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. Veterinarians will be empowered 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.
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.
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.