The Burden of Veterinary Medicine ~ Suicide Rates Among Veterinarians is Exceedingly High
I imagine reading the title of this post will cause some to feel uncomfortable and perhaps even think, “Really, I didn’t know that?!”. Sadly, this is a topic not often discussed and a silent epidemic is running rampant among veterinarians and their staff.
Each time we take our pet to the animal clinic we go with the hope, belief and faith that the veterinarian is going to remedy whatever is ailing our four-footed friend. Please remember they are not magicians or superhuman. They are people, trained and practising their daily best, but sadly the results of their efforts may not always achieve the outcomes hoped for, by us and them selves. Over the past 20 years that I have been a pet-parent and have taken my dogs to the veterinarian, I have been fortunate to have received care and kindness provided to both myself and my pets. Veterinarians more often than not give their heart and soul to what they do and they do it because of their love of animals.
To be a practicing veterinarian, it will take at least six years of education to receive a degree as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with which they will have the qualifications to provide appropriate medical and surgical care for animals. Many choose to practice in companion animal pet clinics and approximately one-third work with food-producing animals and mixed practices. The hours are long, the expenses are extremely high and they are dealing with highly emotional clients and often agitated and uncomfortable patients. These are just a few of the daily stressors that can easily take a toll on their own emotional and physical wellbeing. Not only do they have to navigate with the aforementioned, they also have to confront death each time they euthanize an animal, many times on a daily basis. The loss impacts them as well. When we ourselves are in the throws of grief it can be difficult to remember that others may be hurting too.
I am writing this blog because it’s an important topic which has been left silent and in the dark for far too long. This article, written by Garret Pachtinger VMD/Physician, will provide you with first-hand knowledge and insight.
I conclude by saying, we all have to deal with the ups and downs of life, but if we all take a few minutes too examine and look into someone else’s life it will perhaps make us a little more compassionate and understanding. I have always been amazed by the power of a simple “thank you” and how it can change the trajectory of a person’s day.