Today, we’re gonna touch on a tough subject. I’m gonna talk for a minute about veterinary suicide.
You all know the statistics. Most of you have heard that we lost 2 more vets this week. Many of you knew at least one of them personally.
My heart breaks every time I hear of another one, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
But I get how hard it is, because I was very close to joining them.
We all know that the problem isn’t us. As veterinarians, we do the best we can to save every animal within the budget we’re allotted.
And we beat ourselves up about it when we don’t succeed. Even when it’s not our fault.
Maybe the client didn’t have any money. Maybe the case was too severe.
We can’t save everyone. And intellectually, we absolutely know that.
But intellect has nothing to do with our emotions.
Of course, this is made 1000 times worse when that owner takes to social media.
The attack from the owner is usually fueled by their own emotions. Grief over the loss of their pet, wishing they had someone/anyone to blame! But it’s also often fueled by guilt, that they didn’t take action sooner. And so they blame us.
It’s not fair.
And I’m working on that side of things too. I’m extremely outspoken to clients and anyone I talk to who owns a pet.
But… here’s the thing.
Changing societal perceptions is going to take some time.
And we can’t wait for it.
I kind of compare our situation (admittedly not a great analogy) to the girl who goes running on her own through the park.
Should she have to be worried about being mugged or raped? Absolutely not.
DOES she have to worry about it? Yes.
Is it fair? HELL NO! But she’s still gonna carry mace and take self defense courses. Because even though the situation is blatantly not fair, she’s gonna make sure she’s taking care of herself.
Similarly for us.
Is it fair we’re being attacked by social media bullies? Absolutely not!
Should we be taking care of ourselves anyway, because we live in a society where that is part of our reality?
(Of course, while trying to educate the public at the same time!)
So what do we do?
We learn skills that we weren’t taught in school.
We learn how to set boundaries that feel right to us (boundaries relating to our interactions with other people, but also with ourselves!). We learn how to be resilient. We learn how to have lives outside of work so that things don’t bother us quite so much.
Admittedly, I’m primarily relief now so I’m not as affected by some of these things because I don’t see consistent clients regularly (although I do at one of my clinics). But I still own a practice, and I had to learn these skills BEFORE I was truly able to outsource myself.
So I encourage you to think about these things. If you’re struggling, then schedule a call with me right now. Let’s talk, I can help.
If you’re doing okay, let’s make sure you stay that way.
Ask yourself some questions.
How are your boundaries?
How good are you at letting cases go?
Do you have things in your life that you’re excited about? Goals you’re working towards? Or are you floating, just getting through day to day?
Do you have people in your life who truly support you? Who understand what you’re going through and are truly there to cheer you on, no matter whether you’re leaving the field or staying in it? (This is why I hired my first coach, and why I’m building a mastermind for veterinary women.)
Do you have time to yourself? Time to decompress, to do whatever you need to do to take care of you?
If you answered negatively to any of those questions, then it’s time to start making some changes. Time to get on top of things before they get worse.
Is it fair that we have to be thinking so hard about these things?
But we’re gonna do it anyway. Because WE ARE WORTH IT!
And here’s the deal. For real, if you want help, talk to me. This is what I do. I’m here to help. I’ve spent years now studying these things, and I’m available to help you. Whether you want more long term help and decide to join my mastermind or sign up for coaching, or whether we can get you enough help to get you started in one call, that’s up to you. I’m here to help.
So talk to me. Schedule a call. It’s free, and you are worth it!