A few months ago, I opened up my JAVMA to see what was new in the veterinary field.  Okay, in all honesty, it was the first JAVMA that I had read in a long time.  They come so frequently, I never have time to keep up with them.

I ended up flipping right to the advertisement for the 6th Annual AVMA Wellbeing Summit to be held November 17-19, 2019.  Since 2019 has been a rough year for me, I felt a desire to see what this summit was all about.

I tried to find someone that would go with me, to share a hotel.  Everyone I spoke to had no idea that it even existed.  No one from my veterinary moms Facebook page or even my vet school friends.  If no one knew about it, would it be worth going to?

I struggled with trying to decide if I should go.  Finally, the husband stepped in and told me to do it.  “Don’t worry about the cost.  Go and find out what it’s all about.  It may even make for a great blog post.”  Wink, wink!


Every veterinarian needs to check out this summit at some point in their career, maybe even multiple times or even every year!

I learned so much about personal wellbeing that I can’t wait to share with all of my peers.  For now, I’ll start with the basics.

We’re not alone…

The main point the summit helps you realize is that we are not alone in how we feel.  Almost every veterinarian is having the same feelings that you are having.  Whether you’re depressed about your work environment, stressing out about your school loans, having marital problems, substance abuse, or even thoughts of suicide, there is a professional out there that is thinking the same thing.

It is normal to have these thoughts…

There is a stigma of being a professional, especially being one in a medical field.  We need to, and have to have, resilence to everything.  If we don’t, then we are unstable and shouldn’t be allowed to provide medical care to others.  That we then are incapable of performing our jobs for the public.

This is simply not true.  The summit is trying to get rid of this stigma and make the world realize that we are human beings just like the next person.  We, too, need to have and maintain a healthy wellbeing.

It is normal to seek help…

Not only do we need to get rid of this stigma, we also need to get rid of the thought that seeking psychiatric help and therapy shows weakness.  Some of our problems are bigger than us.  Some of our problems we can’t handle on our own, and that’s okay.  We need to feel that it is perfectly normal to discuss our issues with someone else.  Especially a professional trained to help us figure out and cope with our problems.

These things, and so much more, are waiting for you to explore at the Wellbeing Summit.  This conference, that I didn’t even know existed 4 months ago, is one of the best things that has happened to me this year.

I urge you to check it out in 2020.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a veterinarian, technician, or other professional.  Just remember, you are not alone in this world, and there are others out there that are feeling exactly the same as you.  Seek them out!

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