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Is Burnout Driving Veterinarians to Suicide?

It has been reported that across the USA, veterinarians have a higher risk of dying by suicide than other professionals. In comparison to the general public, it was found that male veterinarians were 2.1 times more likely to commit suicide, whilst female veterinarians were 3.5 times more likely. 

CEO of Galaxy Vets, Dr. Ivan Zak believes that one of the reasons for this is having to euthanize healthy pets when the owners cannot afford treatment. He also believes having a poor salary (compared to other regular medical professionals) accounts for this. 

You’re facing the dilemma where you know how to help someone, but due to lack of finances, you’re making a decision for the owner — and they hate you for it — to let go of their loved one.” Dr. Ivan Zak.

Read Zak’s struggle with suicide here. 

For mental health support, contact:

USA

Mental Health America – call 1-800-985-5990 or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746

National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

UK

Samaritans – call 116 123

Vetlife – 0303 040 2551

Australia

Beyond Blue – call 1300 22 4636

Mental Health Australia – access the website (linked) for a list of resources

 

The Journey For Teams Announces Their Profession-Wide Program to Enhance Diversity 

The Journey for Teams, a new initiative that aims to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the veterinary profession, has launched a new program that aims to educate veterinary professionals on DEI principles and create a more diverse and inclusive environment. 

“Journey for Teams is our most ambitious DEI undertaking to date—a comprehensive and collaborative process to be incorporated into every sphere of activity within veterinary medicine,” said Jose Arce, DVM, president of the AVMA.

“Historically, veterinary medicine has not been a very diverse profession. That has been changing, and Journey for Teams will support our progress. Veterinary teams will find the new ‘Journey’ inviting, welcoming, and rewarding, and it will help move all of us forward.

We want to mobilize the entire veterinary profession. A profession that better reflects the demographics of the nation will benefit clients, patients, communities, and the workplaces themselves,” said Randy Wheeler, DVM, president of the Veterinary Medical Association Executives.

Find out more here. 

 

Illegal Animal Medicine Seized in the West Midlands, UK

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has reported their seizure of illegal animal medicine, under Regulation 4, in the West Midlands of the United Kingdon during a routine inspection. 

It was reported the VMD inspector found Worming Capsules manufactured by Meditech within Jubilee Pharmacy. These capsules are unauthorized in veterinary medicine within the UK and are only intended to use on pigeons. 

Read the full story here. 

 

Veterinary Shortage Is Causing Vet Bills to Rise

As the veterinary shortage continues, it has been reported that pet owners will start to see a rise in vet bills to level out the imbalance. 

The Executive Director of the Iowa Veterinary Medicine Association, Dr. Randy Wheeler, has said that rural states and larger cities are facing the worst of the shortage and are struggling to find veterinarians and technicians to keep up with the demand. 

”As far as why we’re seeing shortages, again, salaries, the number of years it takes to get through vet school and then in the rural areas, it’s the rural lifestyle versus urban or suburban areas,” Dr. Randy Wheeler explained.

Read the full story here.

 

The Hunt for AVMA President Begins

The race for the 2023-24 AVMA president has officially begun, with three individuals announcing their candidacy for the position. Let’s meet them. 

One of the three candidates running for the position, is the current AVMA Vice President, Dr. Sandra Feah Butler. “For me, the definition of a true leader is not to show up with a list of things they want to accomplish, to not show up with an agenda. A leader is someone who identifies problems or challenges and uses the tools that are available. If elected, I will listen, and I will guide, and together we will be the avenue to solutions.” said Dr. Feah. 

Dr. Arnold L. Goldman, 2017-23 the current AVMA treasurer is also in the running. “As your president-elect and president, I will tirelessly promote these values as the basis of who we are. Unity among us is essential for success in preserving our profession’s vital standing throughout society,” said Dr. Goldman

The last candidate (thus far) is the former chair of the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties, Dr. Robert Murtaugh, who said “Our AVMA needs to be the lead on access-to-care solutions as it has been on other pressing issues, such as well-being, student debt, and diversity and inclusion.”

Find out more about each candidate here

 

4 Signs It’s Time to Leave

Life as a veterinarian can be stressful and tiring, throw in toxic workplaces, unsupportive managers, and colleagues, and it can leave you feeling low. So how do you know when it’s time to move on from a place of work? Here are our 4 signs. 

    1. You’re unhappy and/or stressed consistently at work: A little work stress can be normal, however, if you notice yourself in a constant state of stress and unhappiness, it might be time to move on. Working plays a huge part of your day so if you’re unhappy the majority of your day it may be time to reassess. 
    2. If your work is affecting your physical or mental health: If you work in an unhappy culture this can create a huge negative impact on your both physically and mentally. If you notice this, it’s time to get out.
    3. You have no work-life balance: Having a healthy work-life balance is integral for both your sanity and your surrounding friends and family. If you no longer have time to see your loved ones, it’s time to leave or at least talk to your manager and work out a solution. Having time to socialize outside of work is hugely important in creating your support system.
    4. You lack passion: If you’re waking up every morning dreading going to work and lacking passion, then ask yourself, why am I doing this, could I be happier elsewhere? Getting a new job can help bring back your spark all over again.

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