Wellness

You Are a Skilled Professional…What’s Next?

  |   Wellness

INTRODUCTION I vividly remember the conclusion of my academic career. I was in a room, participating in a rounds discussion with nine classmates when we were dismissed. As my classmates jumped and hooted with glee, fleeing the room to meet other classmates exhibiting the same amount of enthusiasm, I stayed seated. I recall thinking that I was going to miss the academic rigor and structure in which I had been immersed for the past four years. I also recall being scared....

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Preventing Back Injuries

  |   Wellness

During the past five years, ergonomic injuries represented 27% of the total dollars spent by our insurance companies on workers’ compensation claims. The risk consultant at the AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust (PLIT) has provided preventative measures for the common causes of back injuries, which are some of the most costly and debilitating employee injuries at veterinary practices. Ergonomic injuries are generally more expensive and debilitating than bites and scratches, especially if they involve the back, because they often involve damage...

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What do we do about suicide? It’s time to limit access to means

  |   Wellness

Want to do something about suicide in veterinary medicine? Make it so no one in your clinic can access lethal drugs alone. Do it now. WARNING This article contains detailed discussion of suicide and suicide methods. If you are having thoughts of suicide, text 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor right away or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) The topic of suicide is a potential trigger for those struggling with feelings of guilt after the loss of a...

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Veterinary Professional Mental Health Research Study

  |   Wellness

You are being invited to participate in a research study about mental health experiences and attitudes toward seeking mental health services among veterinary professionals. This study is being conducted by Kerry Karaffa, PhD and Tamara Hancock, DVM, MS, DACVP, PhD. Dr. Karaffa is a licensed psychologist and Mental Health and Wellness Coordinator for the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Hancock is a veterinarian and Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri. This study will provide...

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Finding Wellness on the Camino

  |   Wellness

If you read my previous President’s article, you will know I just returned from a six-week pilgrimage across Spain called the Camino de Santiago. All completed, my 20-year-old daughter and I walked 550 miles in 35 days, from just on the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains to the western Spanish coastal town of Muxia.  I knew it would be a trip of a lifetime, but I underestimated how life changing it would be. During our journey, we met amazing people...

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Seattle Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Workshops and Classes

  |   Uncategorized, Wellness

The Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals program is designed to promote mental health by engaging the mind and the body through experiential learning. The course is adapted from Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. As defined by Dr. Zinn, “Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Mindfulness is an excellent antidote to the stresses of a modern medical practice as it invites us to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with one’s inner experience. Winter Meeting Mindfulness Workshop, Sunday January...

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Wellness Risk Factor Study Finds Positive Correlation to VMA Membership

  |   Uncategorized, Wellness

In a recent article published in JAVMA, Nett et al. (2015) found that membership in a veterinary medical association is positively correlated with less mental illness and suicidal ideation. The authors also found that 9.3% veterinarians were experiencing severe psychological distress at the time of the survey and that 16.8% had contemplated suicide since graduation.  These distressing numbers are higher than that of the general US adult population. The number of veterinarians currently in psychological distress nearly doubles when controlling for membership...

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Do Clients Think You’re Interested in Their Pets?

  |   Uncategorized, Wellness

According to the results of a recent Pet Owner Survey, “Interested in my pet’s well-being” is the top factor for pet owners when choosing a veterinarian.  How are you and your staff demonstrating to clients that you are truly interested in their pet’s well-being? Ensure all team members focus on showing clients how much you care about the well-being of their pet. This starts from the moment you speak to the client on the phone to when they walk through...

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New website for the veterinary team addresses pet nutrition

  |   Uncategorized, Wellness

The Pet Nutrition Alliance has launched a new website to assist the veterinary healthcare team in promoting nutrition as essential to optimal pet health. The Pet Nutrition Alliance is an independent non-profit organization and collaborative effort including the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition among others within the veterinary industry. Goals for the organization are two-fold. They aim to educate and assist the healthcare team to integrate nutritional assessments and dietary recommendations...

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