Burnout and compassion fatigue are depleting the veterinary industry. Here are some findings from studies conducted by Dr. Ivan Zak and others:
- Veterinary students have a comparatively low level of burnout
- At the same time, burnout is the highest among young specialists who have been working in the industry for several years
- 44% of veterinarians have considered leaving the profession, up from 38% last year.
These findings are definitely sad and alarming for the veterinary industry. We believe that this problem needs to be solved on a systemic level. Veterinary leaders must start putting their people first. However, the importance of self-care should also be embedded in our minds as individuals and we suggest starting with the veterinary professional oaths. Modern challenges that veterinary professionals face call for a reevaluation of the language in these most solemn and deeply meaningful vows.
Similar problems are depleting human healthcare, which led the World Medical Association to incorporate the concept of physician well-being into the revised Declaration of Geneva, or “The Modern Hippocratic Oath” and add the following statement:
I WILL ATTEND TO my own health, well-being, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard.
We suggest following this example. Take part in a just cause – our initiative of revising the veterinarian oath in the same matter as the Hippocratic.
If we commit to good self-care alongside good patient care, we will become one step closer to combating burnout in our profession.
Please follow the link and support our initiative. Here you can also find more details about how we want to change the industry for the better with our campaign: https://www.change.org/p/a-call-for-progress-updating-veterinary-professional-oaths.
We appreciate your help spreading the word about this initiative! The campaign hashtags are #ISwearToSelfCare and #CareForPetsCareForVets.
Want to learn more about the veterinary industry? Check our Learning Center.