Dr. Phil Zeltzman’s Blog
Get inside your vet’s mind…
So you think being a vet is all fun and games, right? Cute puppies and purring kittens all day, right?
Sadly, our profession is riddled with problems (like any other): an obscene student debt load (often hundreds of thousands of dollars), low income compared to most healthcare professions, difficulty providing excellent pet care while keeping fees affordable, rising costs etc. Therefore, vets face an enormous amount of stress.
What could possibly make vets stressed out? After agonizing for several weeks over my choice, I decided to share openly some the challenges vets face on a daily basis.
The veterinary magazine DVM360 recently asked colleagues what causes stress in their lives. Here are the answers:
- Time management issues (23%)
- Difficult clients (21%)
- Clients’ inability to pay (16%)
- Difficult coworkers/staff (14%)
- Others sources (11%)
- Difficult boss (8%)
- Fractious patients (2%)
- Performing euthanasia (1%)
Without a doubt, I have experienced all of these. Fortunately, the numbers of happy days greatly outweigh the number of stressful days.
I was going to comment on each item, but honestly, this should be self-explanatory. Vets are extremely sensitive creatures who take it very personally when a pet owner:
- behaves badly (yelling, cussing, threatening and more);
- is in obvious denial (about their pet being in pain, having a poor quality of life or being overweight);
- or refuses treatment to their pet (whatever the reason).
There isn’t much you can do about the other reasons, but please remember that the vet in front of you has sacrificed at least 8 to 12 years of their life to get there.
Still, I still firmly believe that being a vet – and a surgeon – is the greatest profession on earth!
Until next time,
Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ