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Coping with Stress and Burnout as a Veterinarian


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements About the Author Foreword Introduction SECTION ONE - THE CHALLENGE Chapter 1 - The `dark side' of the veterinary profession The Problem Why do so many vets contemplate suicide? What do we do to help vets at risk? The Coping and Wellbeing Program for Veterinary Professionals SECTION TWO - THE REALITY Chapter 2 - Being a vet Impacts on Vet Wellbeing Students and Fresh Graduates Major Strengths Supporting Vet Wellbeing The Next Step SECTION THREE - WHAT CAN HELP Chapter 3 - Positive Psychology Authentic Happiness Theory to Wellbeing Theory PERMA Positive Education The Core Virtues of Positive Psychology Another Step to Go Chapter 4 - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Psychological Flexibility Mindfulness Core Pathological Processes Overlap Among Pathological Processes A Further Step Yet Chapter 5 - Career Construction Theory Life Themes Vocational Personality Career Adaptability Career Construction Theory in Action One More Step Chapter 6 - Resilience Keys for a Resilient Life SECTION FOUR - INTERVENTION The Coping and Wellbeing Program for Veterinary Professionals Module 1 Stress management Module 2 Time management Module 3 Communication and assertiveness Module 4 Relaxation Module 5 SMART goal setting Module 6 Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Module 7 Positive Psychology Bibliography

About the Author

Psychologist Dr Nadine Hamilton has spent the last ten years researching why the mental wellbeing of vets has become so compromised and what can be done about it. In her own private practice, she has helped many vets develop better coping strategies to get on top of stress and psychological fatigue to avoid burnout and suicide. She also works with veterinary practice managers and owners to increase wellbeing, productivity, and retention in the workplace. She is also the proud founder of Love Your Pet Love Your Vet, a not-for-profit charity raising awareness about the issues within the veterinary industry and reducing stigma in veterinary professionals seeking help.


"The suicide rate among veterinarians is a concern for the WVA and we use Nadine's book as a reference while working on the issue of stress in the profession." Dr. Zeev Noga, Deputy Executive Director, World Veterinary Association "Nadine's book greatly helps VetPartners meet its vital HR commitment to the wellbeing of all of our staff and our goal as a veterinary employer of choice." Dr. Brett Hodgkin, Chief Veterinary Officer, VetPartners "Highly recommended, a very easy and enjoyable read, this book should be readily available in clinics for all staff. Many of the stressors will be experienced by anyone working in a clinic, and our veterinary nurses and receptionists often bear the brunt of grief and unrealistic client expectations." Dr Jenny Weston, Massey University Dean of Veterinary Sciences "Finally a practical self-help book aimed specifically at the veterinary profession. Easy to read and with lots of practical advice and the tools to traverse the corrugated road of professional life." - Dr Brian Mc Erlean, Trustee, AVA Benevolent Fund and Veterinary Suicide Prevention Advocate "It is almost an unspoken rule or even a general acceptance that stress and burnout are just a fact of life if you are a veterinarian. It doesn't have to be that way. I believe this book will make a difference, help veterinarians have successful and fulfilling careers and also most importantly save lives of our dear colleagues." Dr. Gerardo Poli, Hospital Director, Animal Emergency Service "Provides valuable insight into a sadly under-appreciated issue within our profession. I'd recommend it wholeheartedly for all veterinarians and those that care for them." - Dr Scott Campbell, Partner, Ipswich Vet Group "Thank you Nadine, for recognising and building awareness around such an important issue. I highly recommend this book, it may just save a life one day." - Dr Andy Pieris, Owner, Casuarina Seaside Vet "As a clinical psychotherapist with over 30 years working with high performer medical professionals, I can say that Dr Nadine Hamilton has a deep understanding of the stresses, conflicts, and unique challenges facing veterinarians today. I highly recommend this book to veterinarians and to the educators and mental health professionals who work with them." - Dr. Fern Kazlow, Clinical Psychotherapist, New York, Founder of The No Doubt Zone

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