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Dear New Grads,

Congratulations! We are thrilled you have chosen your profession. The world needs you. As you embark on this exciting journey, we want to share some tips to help you navigate the challenges ahead and avoid compassion fatigue and burnout.

For most of you, becoming a veterinarian has been a lifelong dream, and we recognize the dedication of your time, energy, and resources to reach this point.

We also recognize that compassion fatigue has been on your minds throughout your academic careers, and that you’ve seen its significant impact on the student population — including yourself and your peers.

It comes down to this: the veterinary profession needs you. As a result, it is crucial to contemplate moving forward with your professional lives in an intentional manner that fosters a balance between excelling in your career and prioritizing self-care. That’s the only way to make it sustainable and keep you in the profession.

Here are some tips to help you along the way:

1. Have a hobby

Engage in activities entirely outside the world of veterinary medicine. Make it a priority to do something that brings you joy every day. Whether it's a creative outlet like playing a musical instrument or painting, something competitive, or any other activity to tap into different parts of your brain, make time for activities that recharge you outside of work.

2. Maintain healthy boundaries

It's crucial to set boundaries, even with loved ones and clients and patients you care about deeply. It won’t be easy, but you must learn to say no when necessary so you can prioritize your well-being.

3. Practice self-care

Taking care of yourself is not a luxury; it's a necessity. Even though it might seem impossible, forgoing self-care will eventually catch up with you and take you out of the game. Make time for activities that recharge you and prioritize your physical and mental health.

4. Prioritize good sleep hygiene

Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it. Quality sleep is vital for your overall well-being and performance. Use tools such as bedtime alarms and relaxation podcasts to help calm your mind after a busy day.

5. Make exercise a priority

Physical activity is beneficial for both your body and mind. Set yourself up for success by starting with achievable goals and gradually increase your fitness routine. Build it into your work day so it remains a priority and remember that doing something vs. nothing is key. You’ll feel better afterwards.

6. Utilize technology

Embrace technology to enhance your work efficiency and streamline tasks at home. From devices that transcribe electronic medical records to smart home appliances, utilize tools that simplify your life.

7. Integrate telehealth into your practice

Integrating veterinary telehealth into your workflow can revolutionize the way you provide care. This innovative approach offers numerous benefits, including enhanced flexibility and a relaxed pace that allows you to focus on what you do best—building relationships with pets and their owners.

8. Engage in meaningful work

Meaningful work is a fundamental human need. While your everyday job already makes you a hero, finding ways to give back professionally can recharge you in an entirely new way. It doesn’t take much time to do charitable work every so often or engage in advocacy for the underserved. Once again, telehealth enters the picture as a tool for improving access to care.

9. Build a support network

Maintain friendships with people outside the veterinary world, and surround yourself with positive influences who understand the demands of your profession. Don't hesitate to seek help when needed.

10. Value your worth

Remember that you are a highly trained professional deserving of fair compensation. Don't sell yourself short or let imposter syndrome undermine your value.

11. Know your resources

Familiarize yourself with organizations that provide financial assistance to pet owners. Being aware of available resources can help you offer solutions without feeling overwhelmed.

12. Choose your first job wisely

Your first job can shape your entire career. Look for environments that support your well-being and professional growth, avoiding settings that undervalue your contributions. Consider the importance of strong mentorship, no on-call duty, positive work culture, virtual care options, technology tools, and a workflow that fully leverages technicians.

13. Keep perspective

Focus your energy on things you can control and let go of what is beyond your reach. Recognize where you have agency and direct your efforts accordingly.

As you navigate the challenges and rewards of being a veterinary professional, remember to prioritize your well-being and personal fulfillment. By living an intentional life and maintaining a healthy balance, you can thrive in your career while caring for yourself. Congratulations on reaching this milestone, and best of luck on your journey ahead!


Vetster Team