Marissa,The struggle is real! I left private practice because I was unhappy and wanted to return to shelter work. The moment I walked into my current shelter, I fell in love with veterinary medicine all over again. Unfortunately, it pays less and makes me question how long I can stay. I don't want to leave, I love the people I work with, and I love taking care of my community in this way. I'm a strong leader within my organization and have a list of programs and ideas I want to see through to fruition. I've been able to pick up some single day jobs elsewhere but it's exhausting. I'm fortunate to have an ED that allows me to have candid conversations about this, but it remains a constant source of concern because I've recently had job offers that are $30-50k more than I'm currently bringing home. We've discussed some solutions like periodic bonuses when finances allow, but I'm not sure it's a realistic expectation. Other creative solutions involve adjusting my schedule so I can make extra money by picking up shifts in other clinics.
Regarding staff that may have health care/insurance concerns, encourage them to look into Direct Primary Care options (https://www.dpcare.org). It provides high quality medicine without the third party headache of dealing with an insurance company. That may be of some small help.These are good conversations to be having right now.