How to be happy in 4 simple steps

This month’s JAVMA features confirmation of what those of us in the profession for more than a year or two already suspected: veterinarians are a sad bunch, compared to the general population. Consider these stats from the CDC’s first-ever survey of the veterinary population:

  • 1 in 6 have considered suicide;
  • 25% of men and 37% of women in the profession report depressive episodes;
  • 1.1% of men and 1.4% of women have attempted suicide;

That last stat is the only one where vets figure in below the national mean, but before you cheer consider this: it’s because more veterinarians successfully complete suicide.

This preliminary data doesn’t delve into the causes or the proposed solutions, though those are currently hotly debated. Nonetheless, it’s good to see on paper what so many who are struggling have needed to hear: You’re not alone.

Stayin’ Alive

After watching my Ignite talk on being a Death Fairy, a veterinarian asked me how I avoided compassion fatigue in my work. I told her I would answer that, but first I have to admit this:

For a long time, I didn’t avoid it at all. I didn’t just float out of vet school and find an amazing job and love every second and plan to be a hospice vet because I knew that was the right thing for me to be. I wish I could tell you I was that organized and thoughtful, but the truth be told I did what most people I know in this field do when they’re stressed: power through bad situations until they became untenable, taking on more responsibility every other second.

So no, I didn’t avoid compassion fatigue. In fact, I burned out and quit. But then I reincarnated, I guess you could say, with a lot more perspective and a healthy understanding of what I’m really supposed to be doing here. But not until after I got really sick, like going to specialists and talking about scary tests sick, did I decide to get my priorities in order. Once that got sorted out, life got really good!

How to be a zen vet in a Prozac profession

 

1. Don’t underestimate the importance of your co-workers

 

team

I think there is no greater indicator of how happy you will be at work than how well your team works together. They will prop you up when you’re down, have your back when things get nuts, and inspire you to do better every day. Unfortunately, the converse is also true. The saying “turd in the punchbowl” exists for a reason.

2. Don’t settle for a toxic environment.

temporary

Temporary Like Sadness by Dominic Alves on Flickr

 

Sometimes you think you’re starting in at the best place on the earth, but something happens. The office manager is stealing. Your mentor turns out to be Voldemort. You get pregnant and can’t work overnights anymore. So many people stick it out in a bad situation because 1) we’re taught not to whine and 2) we’re scared there’s nothing better out there.

There’s always something better out there, but you won’t find it if you don’t look. If you are in an office that is causing you physical symptoms of anxiety, it’s time to start looking for a new job. Living in modern day American comes with certain advantages, like the whole “no indentured servitude” thing.

3. Don’t be afraid to explore. 

ROAD

I had no intention of being a veterinary writer. Blogs didn’t exist when I started vet school, nor did hospice veterinarians. Sometimes you just have to strike out in a direction that looks good and see what’s out there. Because guess what? I don’t care what anyone else has told you, you’re allowed to come back and be a vet if you leave. Taking time off to explore another career, take care of family, get another degree, none of it is a one way valve- unless you want it to be.

4. Set boundaries. Mean it.

boundaries

Out of every rule I laid out, this is seriously the number one important one. With the exception of the rare shining star who really does want this to be their life, most of us want a life of which veterinary medicine is only a part. This is a profession where it is very easy for it to take over your life, because there will always be more asked of you than you are able to give. Always. It is not a failing to recognize that.

Set boundaries with your clients, your co-workers, and yourself. Take vacations. Exercise. Enjoy your family. Do not let work intrude on this or else you will begin to resent it, and that is the seed of burnout. You can (and should) work your butt off, then go home and play your butt off.

Set those boundaries, and enforce them like your life depends on it.

you-shall-not-pass-o
It was an ironic realization to figure out that point of diminishing returns in terms of giving of yourself. You cannot truly understand compassion unless you’re willing to extend it to everyone, including yourself.

Resources

AVMA list of Wellness Resources

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

A place to talk to other vets- I am aware of several online and Facebook groups for vets to talk and support one another. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like more information.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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The Endless Winter

Can’t help but find a bit of irony in that I just left San Diego in December, a city that never snows, to record breaking snowfall in New England.  It’s been a long, harsh, unforgiving, and at times perilous winter but it’s impossible not to appreciate the absolute beauty of it.  
There are two photos nearby that embody this dichotomy – the first is of while taking the boys out for their evening constitutional, shadowcasting.  Nothing more than a rustic rotted out fence and a distant light but witness the symmetry and the simplicity.  

The other photo is of Hudson trying to take a piss in the several feet deep of spongy soppy messiness that makes it difficult for him postoperative.  I’m sure there’s a greater metaphor here but right now it’s buried beneath two tons of snow.  It’s been so unending here we’re about to make Winterfell look like the Sahara.  

He’s recuperating super well, we slept on the kitchen floor last night but brother, can you spare some green grass?  
YBD’s Notes 1:  Didn’t post it here but Hudson had a mast cell tumor removed yesterday.  Off social media sites for a spell to prepare for the upcoming filming for the interview.  To get updates here’s the link: Puppy Up Foundation
YBD’s Notes 2: Ginger called me up this morning to complain about the 3 inches of snow they got in TN but in all fairness, she has a Doxie and I’m sure his pecker is snowier than Hudson’s.  

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

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Outdoors: Tick-borne Powassan disease now in the area

Outdoors: Tick-borne Powassan disease now in the area
Just when you think the tick-borne diseases couldn't get worse, the Center for Disease Control just released the data on the new Powassan (POW) virus that is now made its way here to the North Shore. Although only four cases were reported in …
Read more on Gloucester Daily Times

High-sugar foods may lose the Heart Tick
There used to be a specific sugar requirement for getting the Tick, but it was replaced in 2001 with an "energy" criteria, which included sugar and fat. This was because evidence at the time showed a stronger link between energy intake and
Read more on Stuff.co.nz

Tick, tock, check your clocks and your alarms says Herts 999 service boss
The check is being urged by the Herts fire and rescue service which is supporting the national Fire Kills 'Tick, Tock, Test' campaign. A working smoke alarm can buy you and your family the valuable time you need to get out, stay out and call 999. You
Read more on Comet 24

Labor gets tick from NSW costings umpire
A NSW Labor government would deliver healthier budget surpluses than the coalition over the next four years, figures from the state's Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) suggest. BUT NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance says it is easy for Labor to perform
Read more on NEWS.com.au

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Sled Dog Action Coalition has her pants on fire

From her apartment in Miami, Margery Glickman has for many years tried to shut down the Iditarod. It seems to be her purpose in life. She trolls the internet for stories about the race and leaves a link to her website. Going to her website for facts is like going to a clothing store to get ice cream. There is a big difference between using facts to support a position and making up things that…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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World’s most notorious Islamic creationist busts a move

We know him best by his pen name, Harun Yahya.

Source.

He’s also best known for his Atlas of Creation, which argues evolution doesn’t occur. He has 42-million-year old wolf fossils to prove it! And he has Siberian huskies pictured as wolves!

The oldest fossils of canids are only about 40 million years old, so he’s a bit off. Those first dogs were more or less like genet-fox-racoon looking things than anything like wolves.

His argument isn’t like Kent Hovind’s. Kent Hovind says the earth is 6,000 and non-avian dinosaurs still roam the earth. All life on earth descends from kinds that were on Noah’s Ark, so the Hovind type of creationist allows for some level of evolution. All dogs and wolves descend from a pair of dog kind that were on the Ark.

Adnan Oktar would says that no evolution ever happens. All life has remained the same for millions of years.

I can’t decide which of these two types of creationism is worse, but they both require ignoring tons of evidence.

Like his Christian counterpart, Oktar has been in prison for a few things. He is also prone to conspiracy theories involving Freemasons and Zionists.

But at least he knows that Islam allows you the right to live like Hugh Hefner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Canis lupus hominis

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“Jag dricker hellre ketchup” | Pest eller kolera | Tag Torsdag

Den älskade pest eller kolera taggen, två hemska öden och du måste välja! Mycket skratt och svåra beslut. Wilmas kanal: https://www.youtube.com/user/WilmasBeauty Smillas kanal: https://www….

How to get there, how to start a game and how to perform and excell in that game weather you be a defender or an attacker.

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Medical Marijuana May Soon Be Legal for Dogs in Nevada

A new bill introduced Tuesday in the Nevada Legislature by Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom promises relief for ailing dogs. It will allow pups to use pot, according to the AP.

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Medical marijuana by Shutterstock.

Of course, a veterinarian must first certify that the dog has an illness or condition that might be helped by the drug, but as medical marijuana increases its spread in acceptance across the country, more and more vets believe cannabis should be used on pets. 

Late Los Angeles veterinarian Doug Kramer told the AP in 2013 that cannabis helped his Siberian Husky after tumor surgery. Pot eased the pain, prompted her to eat, and gave her an extra six weeks of quality life before she was euthanized. 

The decision to use pot was a simple one for Kramer.

"I grew tired of euthanizing pets when I wasn't doing everything I could to make their lives better," Kramer told the AP. "I felt like I was letting them down."

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Dr. Doug Kramer administers medical marijuana to Mason the Vizsla, who has late-stage cancer.

Dogster has written on medical marijuana for dogs a handful of times, including stories about Dr. Kramer, who was the first vet in the country to offer cannabis consultations as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for pet patients. 

In doing so, he risked jail time, but that didn't stop him. 

“The decision was an easy one for me to make," he told Dogster in 2013. "I refuse to condemn my patients to a miserable existence for self-preservation or concerns about what may or may not happen to me as a consequence of my actions. My freedom of speech is clearly protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. This is an issue of animal welfare, plain and simple. Remaining silent would represent a clear violation of the veterinarian’s oath I took when I was admitted into this profession."

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After receiving his dose of medical marijuana, Mason looks very relaxed. Photos via Dr. Kramer's Facebook page.

As for our own resident vet, Dr. Eric Barchas, who was thrust onto the frontlines of the pot-for-pooches debate after his non-judgmental 2007 article on the subject became the go-to document for pro-veterinary marijuana advocates, his feeling were mixed as of 2014. 

"So, how do I really feel about veterinary marijuana?" he wrote in an article on Dogster at the time. "I'm neither in favor of it nor against it. My experience has been that dogs don't respond well to current varieties of medical marijuana and medibles. However, experience with humans has shown that marijuana has valid medical uses. Research is necessary to determine which strains or varieties might be beneficial to dogs. I'm in favor of doing that research, but at this time I cannot recommend medical marijuana for my patients."

With the Nevada bill jumpstarting the debate, that research will likely start happening. In Nevada, the pot-for-dogs proposal is tied into a larger bill that would overhaul Nevada's medical marijuana law, dealing with issues such as drivers with marijuana in their blood and training for owners of marijuana stores.

What do you think? Should dogs have access to medical marijuana? Let us know your feelings in the comments. 

Via the AP.

More food for thought on the marijuana-for-dogs debate:


The Scoop | The Scoop

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Sleep Train Arena to host Wiener Dog races

The 20th annual Weiner National race comes to Sacramento at Sleep Train Arena today, where you can bring your dog and race for the title of “Fastest Wiener Dog.” Subscribe to KCRA on YouTube…

A bunch of bikers saw a dog jump out of a car on highway, decided to rescue the poor dog. Heroes, I tell you! Just a bunch of friends rescuing a dog in danger. :)
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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The Salem Shill Trials

1692

In the early days of the Puritan settlements, colonial Massachusetts was gripped by fear. Between the British and French warring over colonial dominance, smallpox, and potential attacks from Native American tribes, the residents of Salem Village lived in a constant state of anxiety and worry for their safety. In addition to these real concerns, an overlying and persistent worry that some people possessed supernatural powers tickled away in their psyche.

When two young girls began exhibiting strange symptoms of fits and screaming (now believed to be caused by fungal contamination of grain stores), the local doctor diagnosed ‘bewitchment’, because why not. The first to be accused were a family slave, a homeless beggar, and an elderly woman- but they weren’t to be the last.

800px-Witchcraft_at_Salem_Village

 

As the hysteria spread and some of the accused confessed in an attempt to save their own skins, others took note: accusing someone you don’t like of witchcraft is an effective way to get them out of your hair while also setting yourself apart as someone virtuous enough to be worthy of bewitchment. Rivalry, desire for power, fear and suspicion, ego- pretty much everything except reality itself seemed to play a role in the accusations.

 

WondersoftheInvisibleWorld-1693All you had to do was point your finger and yell “witch!” and out came the pitchforks.

It was quite effective- after all, how can you prove you aren’t a witch? After all was said and done, 19 people were hanged that year before everyone came to their senses.

The evidence that sent them to the gallows? Dreams and visions; and of course, some very self-assured charlatans.

Nowadays, we scratch our heads at how this could happen, how people could go so easily down the road of hysteria and gullibility. Or do we?

 

1998

In 1998, a medical researcher named Andrew Wakefield published a now discredited study linking the MMR vaccine and autism. Young parents, petrified at the increasing incidence of autism in children and worrying that their own choices could play a role, began delaying or declining vaccines altogether.

In first world countries where preventable diseases were being, well, prevented, parents felt the risk of a vaccine injury was now greater than the risk of the disease itself. There’s only one problem: it wasn’t true.

As the research proved Wakefield a fraud and everyone came to their senses, the medical community assumed that people would go back to business as usual. But, people are funny creatures, and sometimes we don’t really evolve. It only took the people of Salem a year to come around, but a funny thing happened at the turn of the millennium.

scumbag-jenny-mccarthy

The “all natural lifestyle” turned out to be a very lucrative phenomenon, tapping into all our current fears: corporate conglomerates controlling the food chain. Large pharmaceutical companies more interested in lining their pockets than curing disease. Money over health. Go back to nature, they proclaim, and the world will be a better place.

2015

The era of social media. There was a time where in order to be heard, you had to earn a spot at the podium through having something worthwhile to say. Now, you just have to get there first and have the loudest megaphone. Also: be a babe.

vani

On the sidelines of the ‘nature vs chemicals’, people with no stake in either the pharmaceutical industry or the coconut oil industry shook their heads. “But look!” they said, holding up science papers. “That’s not how it works! GMOs aren’t causing cancer, vaccines aren’t causing autism, and pet food doesn’t contain dead cats!

bill

“I appreciate your desire for transparency in consumer goods,” they continued, completely misconstruing the authenticity of those with the pitchforks, “but do we have to say things like airplanes should contain 100% oxygen and Subway bread is made out of yoga mats? Surely we can be reasonable here.”

They smiled, holding their papers in front of them with their palms up, waiting for the coconut salesmen to welcome them with open arms.

The coconut salesmen, who had just celebrated their millionth Facebook fan and launched a new website selling crystals, lowered their pitchforks. They looked at the people with the papers, pointed their fingers, and in a clear, loud, voice they yelled-

“SHILL!”

And the pitchforks came out, because how can you prove you aren’t?

shill

A word from the stake

Whenever I speak on the worrisome outcomes of the current trend of science illiteracy, people say to me, “but don’t you agree that pet food should be transparently sourced? And that companies should tell you where their food comes from?” I imagine them saying this as they hold a match to the pile of wood underneath my feet, shaking their heads sadly.

And to those well-meaning but nonetheless about to burn me people I say, “Yes, but I don’t understand how you can make the leap from ‘I’d like more information about my food’ to ‘Subway contains yoga mats’ and ‘vanilla ice cream contains beaver butts.’ ”

Industrialized society is a double-edged sword. There are great benefits and some pitfalls, worthy of trying to improve. But why bother with such nuanced debates? It’s much easier and faster to call someone a shill. Next!

Toxins are today’s sorcery. Shills are the modern day witch. I take pride in being put to the stake, because I know history will vindicate me. And the only reason I’m not laughing at the absurdity is because while we sit here and have these nonsensical fights, children are dying. And there’s nothing funny about that.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Dog SINGS Whitney Houston on Belgium’s Got Talent”

cute, hapy ,new, day, lol, time, firt day youtune videoDog SINGS Whitney Houston on Belgium’s Got Talent”- Belgium’s Got Talent judges won over by a dog singing Whitney Houston; The pet named…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Puppies are adorable and stupid at the same time. This particular puppy has a cuddly little face that you just want to rub, and you can rub all you want because he’s stuck in an exhaust pipe…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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