Frequently Asked Questions
by Relief Veterinarians

Am I restricted from accepting relief work or employment independently from VetRelief?

No, our user agreement counters against acting as an online 'referral service' or 'employment agency' where you might compete against VetRelief and provide veterinarians other than yourself to any veterinary facility.
Learn more: our agreement.

How do I search for work and bid on Jobs?

The first step is to create an account.

The hospital's reply will be emailed and posted online.

Am I restricted from accepting relief work or employment independently from VetRelief?

No, our user agreement counters against acting as an online 'referral service' or 'employment agency' where you might compete against VetRelief and provide veterinarians other than yourself to any veterinary facility.
Learn more: our agreement.

What are the relief veterinarian's obligations to VetRelief when additional work or employment is offered from a referred hospital?

Your main obligation is to inform and updated us when you schedule additional work at a hospital where we referred you. As a courtesy we will email you a reminder each month.
Learn more: our agreement.

My surgical skills are limited. Is it appropriate to submit a bid for employment at a hospital?

In general bids should always be welcomed. However make a note in the comment section of the bid form indicating your limitations.

My bid was accepted by a hospital. Should I confirm it by email or go to the web site to confirm?

Either way is fine. We prefer that you confirm via the web site whenever possible.

If I find that I don't like the hospital may I remove myself from other relief work dates?

First, don't do anything. Let us try and unwind the upcoming work dates. We will post a back-up project/job and try to find someone else. If we find another doctor there may be a difference in fees. You may be liable for breach of contract if your employment relationship was not 'at will'.

How much should a relief veterinarian charge?

To derive a reasonable introductory fee consider your interpersonal skills, your income generation abilities, medical and surgical experience, and your professional demeanor. Hospitals located in metropolitan areas pay more than those in rural zones but usually expect a doctor to generate more income. You should also consider whether the time period is during a peak relief season such as holidays, summer, or during a major veterinary conference.

I bid for relief work but have not received a reply. How do you know if the job or project has already been covered? Who informs me if my bid is not accepted?

VetRelief will follow-up and notify you of our progress and the outcome of your bid. In the meantime bid on other jobs or projects. Do not wait for a reply! Locate the job using its id#. If it is still listed then it is considered an active job or project and still open to bids.

My strategy is to bid my fee high to see if the hospital will negotiate.

You are not negotiating from a position of strength. If you want to gain their attention and put your foot in their door give them your special introductory rate first. You will gain negotiating strength after youíve worked at the hospital, when they ask you to work there again.

Once a bid has been accepted can the hospital change the schedule?

Yes, and so can you. However when the schedule is changed, negotiations are re-opened. Meaning to say you are no longer bound to the original agreement and schedule. When you and the hospital accept the newer changes then the agreement is in effect once again.

What is your advise when searching for relief work away from home?

Here's our recommendation for a traveling vet: Well ahead of your travel plans bid on jobs. You may have to alert a hospital that your bid is conditioned upon you successfully scheduling a critical number of work dates. Once you've scheduled enough shifts traveling becomes profitable. Finally and along these same lines new jobs or projects are constantly being posted to the web site. You may still bid on newer jobs or projects that are complementary to your confirmed schedule and travel plans.

What can VetRelief offer me?

Access to relief work or employment that may compliment your life-style. Relief work depends upon where you are licensed, your availability, interpersonal relations, income generation capabilities, and clinical skills. To get started create an account. There is no obligation to do so.

How to conduct relief work as a business?

Great question! Learn more: download the Relief Vet Handbook

Are there states that offer reciprocity?

Yes, do an Internet search for the veterinary state board of interest. Also the AVMA devotes a section in their membership book and on their web site for state veterinary boards and their respective requirements.

When I login an agreement page appears.

The first time you login you'll be presented with our agreement. Read it. To accept our agreement click the checkbox and then click on the I accept button. The next time you login the page will no longer appear.

Email us your last name. We will email your login name and a temporary password. It is not necessary to login to download a copy of the Relief Vet Handbook.

I don't see any relief job listings or projects in my area.

You are not seeing any jobs or projects because there are none currently posted in your area.

How do I determine what to charge a hospital for relief work?

To derive a reasonable INTRODUCTORY fee the main considerations are your interpersonal skills, income generation capabilities, medical and surgical experience, as well as your professional demeanor. Secondarily you may want to factor-in if the relief coverage is needed during vacation or holiday seasons or a major conference.

Can I withdrawn my bid for relief work before the hospital replies?

Yes, and you may bid on other jobs or projects. When one of your bids is accepted, the conflicting bids will be automatically notified and withdrawn.

Before I bid on a job/project what kind of neighborhood it is and am I going to be alone at anytime?

When you bid on a job or project we provide a general comments section in the bid form. Enter your prerequisite questions regarding the hospital. Also we encourage you to visit a facility during the bid/acceptance period to further evaluate its suitability. [top]

The hospital just called and cancelled me. What recourse do I have?

Call or send them an itemized invoice explaining any expenses you've incurred to uphold your commitment. If you have turned down other work ASK for some remuneration. If no response or a good-faith offer is not forthcoming you may have to resort to small claims court for recourse.

What happens if a hospital cancels me? How will I know?

Use the website to check a bid's status. When VetRelief is notified of a cancellation at minimum we will immediately post a message and email you a cancellation alert.

If my bid has been accepted can the hospital cancel me after the first work day?

The answer is complicated and beyond the scope of these faqs. First off it depends upon your employment relationship. It is important that the employment status is defined clearly ahead of time. If you are hired as an employee then you may be terminated 'at will'. If you are hired as an independent contractor then you may seek recourse through small claims court.

A clinic wants me to work permanent part time. What should I do?

Negotiate their employment offer. During their search for permanent part-time associates, hospital's hire relief veterinarians. It is also common for relief doctors to accept additional work as well as a permanent position through their relief contacts. You agree to notify us of any new arrangement and schedule with this hospital. Upon notification you are released from any financial obligation to us.
Learn more: our agreement.

May I modify or withdraw my bid?

Yes, you may modify or withdraw a pending bid. Simply post a bid memo. [ top ]

When should I notify the hospital of my personal policies for doing relief work?

When you create a bid enter your provisions into the comments section of the bid form.

Is a relief veterinarian obligated to work if my bid is accepted?

Until a hospital responds to your bid, you are free bid on other jobs. Once a hospital accepts your bid, then yes you are obligated and agreements are drawn confirming the bid. [ top ]

Does a relief veterinarian need a business license?

Yes, if the relief veterinarian is in business for himself. The requirements for a business license vary from town to town. Check the web site of your town. [ top

What guaranty does the relief doctor have to get paid?

There are no guarantees. However, we provide written contracts stating the specifics of your agreement: fees, work dates, when and where payment is to be sent. In addition an invoice is prepared in your name and presented on your behalf to the hospital.

When is the relief veterinarian paid?

Payment of fees should be discussed after a bid is accepted and before the project or job schedule begins. When you first initiate contact with the hospital during the course of that conversation a well-timed' when may I expect payment?' should be all that is required.
Also provide the hospital with an invoice and a W-9 form.
Learn more: W-9 form

My question is related to the statement that offers a written contract to the employer describing fees, work dates, when and where payment is sent, etc. Does this mean that I do not have to provide such information? Are there any other recommended protections I can make such as requesting payment be made at the end of the shift?

Payment expectations can sometimes be a sticky point. Along with employer contracts that describe your fees, work schedule, and when and where payment for services are sent, automatically prepares and sends an invoice on your behalf to each hospital as well. This invoice however does not make a specific time-demand. When time is of the essence and your expectations are precise (payment be made at the end of the shift, for example) here are our recommendations:
When you initially bid on a job, use the comment section of the bid form to articulate your payment expectations. When a bid is accepted expects that you will call and introduce yourself to the hospital well in advance of your schedule there. This is especially true for a hospital where you have not worked previously. At some point in your telephone conversation re-visit your payment expectations. Be satisfied that your payment requests will be met timely. Otherwise clear-up any miscommunication that might exist during this telephone call..
Also provide the hospital with an invoice and a W-9 form.
Learn more: W-9 form

I just bid on a job/project where I already work part time.

If you withdraw your bid and then work the date inform us. However you should leave your bid as-is based on the fact that you learned of the opening from our website,