Article 543: Post Covid Psychological Crisis
The sudden impact of COVID-19 on the veterinary profession has had far-reaching effects with most practices adopting a new normal to ensure patients continue to receive essential veterinary care while staff and clients are protected.
Article 542: Moral Injury
Research into mental health in the veterinary profession has recently unearthed the fact that there are connections between veterinarians’ mental health and the damage caused by Moral Injury.
Article 541: Veterinarian Suicide Crisis
Recently there was an episode of Insight on ABC in Australia regarding issues of mental health, stress, and suicide in the veterinary profession, which is receiving great feedback from the general public (https://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/tvepisode/veterinary-care). This enlightening snippet, coupled with numerous worrying news headlines about the current worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, the tanking economy, and other related stresses, has prompted the VDA to once again explore the data regarding suicide in veterinarians.
Article 540: Don't get caught with your pants down!
Some practice owners make the error of employing assistant veterinarians, locums and relief veterinarians as well as nurses and techs without making it conditional that they are fully paid-up VDA members in good standing before they set foot in the practice.
Article 539: Covid 19 - Dilemmas
With thousands already dead, the airports closed and the streets empty, Covid- 19 is proving to be an underestimated pandemic. Unfortunately no one is an exception to the rule in these unique times with every country being affected by the infected. The VDA is here to support members in any way that we can. With so much news circulating, please bear with us and read through the following.
Article 538: Dysfunctional Vets and Dysfunctional Boards
It is a very disturbing experience to have one’s employer (the person who should be your protector and mentor) turn against you. More so when your employer ‘throws you under the bus’ by lying under oath to the veterinary board, in order to save themselves. It is even more distressing when you discover that the veterinary board is so dysfunctional that it cannot even get the most basic part of the disciplinary process right.
Article 537: Latest Developments Regarding Telemedicine
Following Barks ‘n Bytes article Issue 173 (Telemedicine: Are Virtual Vets Really The Future?), published on 23 August 2019, there is an update to Telemedicine Regulations from the California Code of Regulations (CCR) which effectively makes Telemedicine illegal from 1 January 2020 in California.
Article 536: Ivermectin Toxicity - A Cautionary Tale
It is practice policy in Dr A’s practice to deworm pregnant bitches prior to whelping. Dr A is experienced in breeding and is located in an area renowned for its resistant worm population. Dr A’s experience is that doramectin is an effective dewormer, and that the health benefits (in treating morbidity and in preventing mortality from verminosis) outweighs the risks of side-effects.
Article 535: Pet Abandonment
Pets being abandoned at a veterinary practice is a common problem. The veterinarian gets stuck with an animal at their practice, taking up space and resources, all the while not being paid. Presenting a pet for treatment and then refusing to pay is fraudulent and places veterinarians in an invidious and unenviable position, since they are naturally empathetic to the animal’s plight but still have to maintain a businesslike approach.
Article 534: Developing Coping Skills
This article is a follow on from the previous article “Mental health concern- when should we worry?” Veterinary medicine is an incredibly stressful occupation, where professional people have to face more than their fair share of traumatic events. With recent revelations of high suicide rates in veterinarians, we need to address possible preventative methods.
Article 533: Mental Health Concern- When should we worry?
Nowadays, mental health issues are being addressed more tenaciously. The VDA has been focussed on mental health in veterinarians, as well as in the mental health of veterinary clients, for many years, long before this became a “trend”. We, as veterinarians, need to take special heed, since we are more at risk than most other professions, of suffering mental health concerns. Poor mental health is closely associated with the stresses of professional life, such as excessive work hours, poor work-life balance and student/other debt. Practice owners and chief veterinarians need to look out, not only for themselves, but for staff members as well.
Article 532: Vets Treating Stolen Property
Dr A, a VDA member and practitioner in a small town, contacted the VDA for advice and guidance regarding a sticky situation in which one of her clients, Mrs X – acting as the local rescue group - had “saved” an injured dog by taking it to Dr A. Dr A was uncertain as to who was responsible for the dog and its well-being and who should act for it.
Article 531: Resilience: Finding Your Confidence as a Vet
Resilience has recently become a buzzword in many areas, including veterinary practice. Finding the strength to keep going during trials and tribulations is a trait that some people seem to ooze, whilst others continually struggle to overcome setbacks.
Article 530: Telemedicine: Are Virtual Vets really the future?
Many veterinarians are hesitant to give veterinary advice over the phone, never mind utilizing more modern techniques such as Skype to give a consultation. The hesitations are understandable but the veterinary world needs to keep up, so where do we draw the line with telemedicine?
Article 529: Euthanasia Gone Wrong - Guest Article by Dr A
Dr A has written an article for the VDA on a topic that she feels very strongly about. She wishes to pass the message on to others. We agree: depression and suicide are always most important and should always be at the forefront of our thoughts when listening to those who are ‘having a tough day’.
Article 528: Every Click You Make, Every View You Take
Every click, every view and every sign-up on the internet is recorded somewhere. Depending on your view, this is either very creepy or fantastically interesting. There are many advantages and disadvantages of social media and the internet, for both individuals and businesses. The veterinary world is not exempt from this, specifically veterinarians being the subject of online abuse.
Article 527: Addiction - Substance Abuse Part Two
Substance abuse is problematic for veterinarians because clients (pet owners) have quickly figured out that veterinary practices are, potentially, a stable source of mind-altering drugs. Veterinarians frequently prescribe medication for pain management in pets; however, pet owners battling addiction may abuse those prescription drugs intended for their pets.
Article 526: Addiction - Substance Abuse
Part One: Addiction in Veterinarians
Substance dependency is an equal-opportunity disease, affecting the dependent individual and all who surround him or her - and the veterinary profession hasn’t escaped. Society tends to view addiction as a defect of people with compromised morals; however, it is more fairly compared to having a disease.
Article 525: Setting Boundaries
Not setting boundaries is a common issue for many VDA members and veterinarians worldwide. Feelings of anger and guilt are a direct consequence, and these feelings lead to mental and emotional stress, and then burnout, possibly followed by self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Article 524: Controlling Your Clinical Notes
This article relates to a VDA member, Dr A, who sought advice from the VDA regarding a client’s request for the clinical history of her puppy.
Article 523: Mrs X's Board Complaint Exonerates the Veterinarian... (yet the board continues with prosecution)
This case happens to be in South Africa, but could apply equally to veterinary boards in the USA, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.
Article 522: Pet Bites Vet!
A recent dog bite has left more than just physical wounds for a VDA member. The trauma associated with an injury in the workplace, and specifically the trauma of an injury caused by an animal, can have detrimental effects on the mental well being of the affected person.
Article 521: The Right To Terminate Your Relationship With A Client (Without interference from the SAVC)
Mrs X presented her dog to Drs A and B’s practice with multiple concerns, including excessive aggression. However, Mrs X’s own aggressive behavior towards the consulting vet and lay staff during the consultation was so unacceptable – this was the first consult, remember - that the practice decided they could not continue the relationship with her and requested that she take her animal elsewhere.
Article 520: Comment On Letter From The SAVC Regarding The VDA'S Last Barks 'n Bytes
Although this article relates to the South African Veterinary Council, the issues discussed here are just as valid for almost every other veterinary board in the world.