Coping with the loss of a doctor

Coping with the loss of a doctor

Are there any guidelines that a practice should follow after the death of a veterinarian?
source-image
Dec 01, 2009


Shawn McVey
Remember that everyone grieves differently and at his or her own rate, says Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and CEO of Innovative Veterinary Management Solutions in Phoenix. For many team members, the initial grieving process takes a few months.

To cope with the loss as a group, the best thing to do is ask someone to take charge of the process. Appoint a team member to address the issue at every staff meeting and at the start of each shift. This acknowledges that the loss is on everyone's mind and reminds team members that they're allowed to take time-outs to grieve if they need them. A public eulogy during a staff meeting is also a good way to put closure on such a shocking and tragic event.

McVey also suggests that the point person arrange a memorial area at the hospital where clients and staff can write notes or express feelings. For those folks who are better at action than tears, it may also be helpful to start a memorial fund in the doctor's name.

Hot topics on dvm360

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.

The war between shelters, veterinarians needs to end

Despite practitioners’ legitimate gripes, they’re hurting themselves.