Tag: wellness

Wellness Critical to Navigating Stress of Veterinary Medicine

“There are many trials that seem hard to bear at first which prove true blessings later when we see of what false materials they were first composed.” — Stephen Vincent Benet

I distinctly remember the first time that I euthanized a client’s dog. All veterinarians must face this daunting moment in their career, to take the life of an animal we are trained to save from pain and suffering. In my case, I was an associate veterinarian in private practice only months after graduating with my DVM degree. A client’s dog was suffering from a fatal condition and after a prolonged struggle, the owner had decided to end her pet’s pain. She also requested that she hold her beloved pet during the procedure. I froze for an instant upon hearing her wish, adding to my anxiety and guilt. In that moment, the exam room became very small and I felt the ceiling lights intensely across the back of my neck, now moist with sweat. My hands and fingers trembled and seem to betray me as I aspirated the blue-green euthanasia solution into the syringe. The dog calmly watched me with trusting eyes as the owner wrapped her arms around his neck and chest, softly sobbing. Fortunately, the procedure was successful and the dog eased toward death with a final exhale. The memories and images from that moment have followed me throughout my life.

Welcoming a New Year With a Focus on Wellness

“Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind, and spirit – the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being.” —Greg Anderson

Dean Lairmore with his second granddaughter, Juliette, during the winter holidays.

The new year brings a sense of renewal, a chance to begin again, perhaps in a direction that sets our life toward a new course. Holiday breaks, often spent with family and friends, help refresh our bonds with those we love and remind us of who we are in spirit or how we started our life’s journey. As we focus on the future, it is also a time to reflect on the present and to consider what is important in our lives.

Our school has two major strategic planning efforts underway to help us plot our future course. We will soon launch a new strategic plan for our veterinary hospital to gain insight into how we lead the world in veterinary medicine, transforming the lives of animals and humans through compassionate, innovative care. We are also refreshing our current strategic plan to reflect and build on our accomplishments and lessons learned over the past five years.

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