The High Cost of Compassion

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), about 62% of the 113,394 veterinarians in the United States are women. About 60% of these women physicians are in private practice, many serving companions such as dogs, cats and other animals in the home environment. The significant impact of these women is a testimonial not only to their medical skills but also their compassion. There is, however, a steep price that’s being paid by this group of dedicated health professionals – high rates of suicide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports on a study that found that female veterinarians “were 3.5 times as likely” to die from suicide when compared to the general population (male veterinarians were 2.1 times as likely). The reasons for the increase in suicide in veterinarians has been related to several factors from the stress of running a private practice, to dealing with death on a daily basis. Fortunately, there is a group that is offering help to veterinarians.

Founded in 2014 by Dr. Nicole McArthur, Not One More Vet is an international online support group of veterinarians for veterinarians. You can learn more about this serious challenge to mental health and Not One More Vet in this interview by National Public Radio (NPR).

We applaud the great work of veterinarians everywhere who care for our companions (and we guardians). If you are a veterinarian or know a veterinarian who may benefit from Not One More Vet then please share this post with them.

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