Dr. Andy Roark Suicide In Vet Medicine It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way


Dr. Andy Roark Suicide In Vet Medicine It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

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[Dr. Andy Roark Suicide In Vet Medicine It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way]

[Dr. Andy Roark:] Source: LYBIO.net
…anything, but it’s pretty important.

I just learned about another veterinarian that killed herself today. And she’s a young vet and she had her whole life in front of her, and she left us. And you know we hear this all the time, we hear it way too much. This is – this is too much. And you know I know that the veterinarians are at significantly higher risk of suicide than other professions, I know that we’re at the top. I know that our profession is being called one of the most dangerous professions and it’s because of a risk of suicide. I get it, like let me tell you, I get it.

You know, we’ve all been there, vet mediciners, we attract these people that are – that are perfectionists and we get great grades and that’s how we got into vet school and we get aids and we work hard and that’s what we do. And so we’re used to getting it right, and that’s all that we know it’s getting it right. And so here we are we’re in this life and death situations when we can’t save the patient, when somebody dies, when we can’t convince a pet owner to do what they need to do, it’s failure and we’re not equipped to handle failure. We’re not good at – that’s not supposed to happen. The good guys are supposed to win. But we don’t always win, it’s just – it’s just the way that medicine goes. And you guys know this. But we try so hard, we try so hard, and we just want to get it right and we’re just programmed to get it right, and we just don’t always get it right.

And so you know, I get it, I understand. I know that that we’re alone. We’re alone a lot of the time. And I mean that in a sense that most people don’t understand, you know, when you’re in this practice, yeah, you’re surrounded by technicians and front desk staff and pets and pet owners, but if you’re the only doctor, you’re alone. And even if there are other doctors there, sometimes we don’t connect with them or we don’t have the relationship with them that we want. And I know that feeling, I know everybody who’s ever slung their stethoscope around their neck knows that feeling where it’s like this is your call, this is your – it’s your responsibility to get this right, and nobody else feels that in the same way.

And when you’re in a clinic and you’re alone, you’re not tapped into the larger community and you don’t see that everybody struggles with that like, we’re all trying and we all feel like we got it wrong and we all feel overmaxed sometimes. But you don’t see that when you’re by yourself in the clinic or even you know if you’ve got some other vets there that you’re not talking to, it feels like you’re the only one; and I just want you to know that you’re not, you’re so not the only one.

And the last thing is working with pet owners. I love pet owners. It’s hard. Working with people is really, really hard. And so you know there’s a saying in vet medicine, you can’t love a pet more than the owner does and I always think that that’s so dark and I don’t like that. But there’s some wisdom there and some knowledge there is like, you have got to set some boundaries and take care of yourself because you can’t make people do what’s best for their pets beyond what you can do, you explain, we educate, and don’t ever give up that passion and keep – keep trying to do that. But you can’t, you can’t make them, you can’t make them do stuff that they won’t do and that is so hard and it takes such a toll. But you’ve got to set some boundaries, you’ve got to be able to let go. And that’s so easy to say, but we all know how hard it is.

[Dr. Andy Roark:] Source: LYBIO.net
And so you know those are the things that I see in vet medicine. And they – I just want to say that they eat at us all and we all deal with it. And if you’re feeling those things you’re not alone, please know you’re not alone. And uh… you know uh… I love what we do, but we all get beaten down and we all get tired. So take care of yourself.

And guys, we have got to stop the stigma of depression and mental illness in our profession. Well, look, this is something that we all deal with and we wrestle with. And it’s like, this is not uncommon, this is the norm. And so you know we do not look down our nose at our colleagues that deal with this. If you’re feeling this, say something, say something to your – to your other vets. You know, pick up the phone, get some help. The national suicide prevention hotline is there and it’s a resource and you can call them. No one is going to look down on you for saying I can’t carry this burden anymore. So we all um… we all deal with that. And so anyway.

I’m sorry to get on and bum you out, but this is important. There’s nothing more important than you and you being healthy. And you – it’s not that I want you to be successful, it’s not that I want you to be, you know, a great vet and get it right, because you know I’m rooting for you, is I want you to be successful and I want you to be great vet for a long, long, long time until you don’t want to be that anymore, that’s what I want for you. And so um… take care of yourself. And um… you know I’m going to keep – I know some people get probably tired of seeing stuff about suicide and compassion fatigue and stuff on my website, I don’t care, because it’s important. So we’re going to keep posting it, we’re going to keep talking about it. But anyway, I just want to say that if you’re feeling that way please say something, please do it.

And anyway that’s it, but I love you guys, I want you to be happy and healthy. And guys let’s look out for each other because this profession is hard, but it’s great and it’s wonderful.

[Dr. Andy Roark:] Source: L Y B I O . N E T
And it can be – it’s a life of meaning and purpose and we make it that way. But the things that bring great meaning and they have great purpose, they’re not easy, and this is not easy. So don’t just – just know you’re not alone and let’s all help each other out. But if you need a hand – if you need help, stick out a hand. And if somebody puts up their hand, damn well better help ‘em. So please do. All right, thanks guys.

Dr. Andy Roark Suicide In Vet Medicine It Doesn't Have To Be This Way

Dr. Andy Roark Suicide In Vet Medicine It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

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