My worries in veterinary practice are stressing me out

My worries in veterinary practice are stressing me out

Balance your stress with these tips to keep your work and personal life separate.
Dec 01, 2012
By staff

Q My client compliance and preventive care is up, but so is my stress level. How do I keep from bringing my veterinary practice worries home with me?

Veterinary medicine can be a very stressful environment, and working through that stress—instead of bringing it home—is crucial to keep your passion for the business.

Dr. Ernie Ward, Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and owner of Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, N.C., says he was faced with this problem and finally tackled his own stress. Early in his career, he and his wife, who also works at his practice, found they needed to set clear boundaries between their work life and their personal life.

"We decided we were going to allow 30 minutes to discuss work-related problems at home," Dr. Ward says. "To this day we strictly adhere to this. Conversations are usually cyclical so you're just revolving around the same points. That's not healthy. Just spit it out and move forward."

He also says hobbies outside the workplace are extremely important. Use the energy caused by stress and channel it into something outside of the veterinary profession.

Lastly, if your stress is becoming debilitating, Dr. Ward says you should seek professional help. And don't be afraid to talk to your colleagues about this either. Dr. Ward says everybody suffers from this stress.

"No one prepares you for this," Dr. Ward says. "No one tells you in school how stressful this profession is. We went into it so we could take care of dogs and cats, but no one tells us some days will really suck."

Hot topics on dvm360

Veterinarians: Your clients are going to Google with these cat questions

Search engine shares the top 10 questions people asked about dogs and cats in 2014.

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.