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Education And Communication Key To Preventing Veterinary Suicide


Experts invited to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) suicide prevention roundtable have emphasized the need for better communication and education around the subject.

The meeting (the first of its kind) was called into session to address suicide and the misinformation spread around it.

The participants highlighted how the causes of veterinary suicide were often oversimplified and not solely caused by a singular factor. They also criticized narratives circling the veterinary community perpetuating that the profession was in a suicide ‘epidemic’- claiming that other professions had much higher rates.

‘Saying suicide is an epidemic is saying it’s more of a problem than it is, and that there is nothing you can do about it when we actually can’ said Dr. Doreen Marshall, overseer of the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) Prevention and Education Program and Loss and Healing Program. 

According to Dr. Marshall, 40% of suicides by veterinarians were by poisoning, ‘which says to me there are preventive strategies to think through for lethal means.’

For more on this story, click here. 

World Small Animal Veterinary Association Elects First Female President


The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has elected its first female president, Dr. Siraya Chunekamrai.

Dr. Chunekamrai is the founder of Thailand’s first private equine surgery practice and is the former president of the Veterinary Practitioners’ Association of Thailand.

She now heads an organization that represents 200,000 small animal vets across the globe.

The new president has pledged to increase the standard of care in countries where companion animal practice is still emerging.

She has also promised to improve diversity in the profession.

For more on this story, click here.

Animal Vaccine Shortages Could Continue For Months, Says Providers


Animal vaccine shortages are not looking to ease up any time soon.

Shortages (caused by covid and Brexit-related disruptions) will continue to affect services for the next couple of months.

As a result, veterinary clinics have had to ration vaccines for their most ‘vulnerable’ patients, many being young cats and dogs.

‘At the moment, it seems like only cat vaccines are affected, and they [the manufacturers] are saying it will be sorted by the New Year,’ said Dr. Cat Henstridge, a locum veterinarian in Sheffield.

‘But I do wonder if we are being eased gently into a crisis.’

For more on this story, click here.

25% of Veterinary Nurses Looking to Leave the Profession 


Research has found that a quarter of veterinary nurses are looking to leave veterinary medicine due to poor career progression and pay.

This research comes from the VN Futures Interim Report (2021), which is a joint initiative from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA).

Responding to the report, Veterinary Management President (VMP) president Rich Casey said remuneration must be a part of the conversation going forwards.

‘While salary is certainly an issue, given that the second most important reason for RVNs leaving the profession is that they don’t feel valued, it’s possible that a perceived avoiding of conversations about pay may be making things even worse.’

‘What we don’t want is a situation in which RVNs are paid more, but continue to leave the profession because it turns out that the cumulative effects of not feeling valued and challenged, limited career progression, and a poor work-life balance are also root causes of their dissatisfaction.’

For more on this story, click here. 

Vets Turn Down Job Offers Over Quarantine Spaces


Veterinarians wanting to work in New Zealand are turning down job offers due to long quarantine processing times.
National Agriculture spokesperson Barbara Kuriger told Scoop Parliament that:

‘Earlier this year, MPI and Minister O’Connor advocated for 50 border exceptions for vets to enter the country.’

‘But these vets are unable to book spaces in the lottery that is this country’s MIQ system (managed Isolation Allocation System).’

‘Since then, the association has been lobbying for a dedicated MIQ allowance of two spaces per week to let those 50 vets in.’

Without these spaces, Barbara says, vets will look for work elsewhere, putting continued strain on an already overworked workforce.

For more on this story, click here. 

Questions Leaders Need to Ask Themselves to Get on Top of Employee Burnout


Cultivating a culture that prevents burnout in leaders as well as their teams can be tricky.

If leaders truly want to pave the way for better working cultures, they should ask themselves the following:

1- What characterizes their work culture? Is it performance-based? Are people expected to exert themselves for extended hours and made to feel guilty if they don’t?

2- How well does their work prioritize appreciation and recognition? Does it show meaningful appreciation and recognize and celebrate outstanding work in an equitable way?

3- If their workplace is understaffed, how do they motivate their employees to do the best work they can?

By being curious and honest, leaders should use these questions to evaluate what parts of their work culture could be improved.

For more advice on this topic, click here. 

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