On today's episode of Twin Trees Vet Talk, we welcome our special guest, Dr. Marie Holowaychuk. Dr. Holowaychuk is a Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Specialist and Mental Health & Wellbeing Advocate.
Together we discuss the veterinary mental health and suicide crisis, and our respective experiences with burnout in the veterinary profession. Dr. Holowaychuk shares her personal journey in veterinary medicine and how she came to teach in the veterinary profession's mental health space. We also discuss some ways that pet owners can help to improve the situation and reduce psychological distress for veterinary professionals.
We hope you enjoy this episode! Please leave your questions and comments below!
For more information on Dr. Marie Holowaychuk, or to sign up for one of her wellness seminars, courses or coaching, please visit her website www.marieholowaychuk.com or follow Marie on Facebook (@DrMarieHolowaychuk), Twitter (@DrMHolowaychuk), LinkedIn
(@DrMarieHolowaychuk), Youtube (@MarieHolowaychukDVM) or Instagram (@MarieHolowaychuk).
- If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Talk Suicide Canada 24/7 support at 1-833-456-4566.
- QPR training via AVMA (free for all veterinary professionals):
- ASK training via VetFolio (free and tailored to veterinary professionals):
- Applied suicide intervention skills training:
- Wellness Together Canada
- What would you tell someone who wants to be a vet? │ Twin Trees Vet Talk (FREE VET AVICE PODCAST)
- The Truth About Euthanasia:
01:12 What is the veterinary mental health and suicide crisis?
01:25 Veterinary suicide stats and knowing what you are signing up for
03:08 Increased risk of suicide among females, especially female physicians, and factors associated with suicide.
04:45: Access to means as a precursor in veterinary suicide
06:54 Mental illness in the veterinary profession
07:25 Mental wellbeing since the pandemic
08:36 The fantasy vs. reality of being a veterinarian and Dr. Lopez burns out.
13:12 How can pet owners help?
11:15 Dr. Holowaychuk’s journey in vet med and becoming a Health and Wellbeing Advocate.
21:48 The beginnings of burnout for Dr. Holowaychuk
24:20 What Dr. Holowaychuk does now- filling the gap for Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Veterinary Profession.
24:40: Final advice, mental health conversations & mental health first aid training.
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3 BEST PIECES OF ADVICE FROM THE EMERGENCY VET THAT COULD SAVE YOUR PET'S LIFE
1) DON'T WAIT TOO LONG TO GET HELP! If you wait too long, it could be too late. This is especially true for concerns such as laboured breathing, pale gums and weakness. You know your pet best, so if you are worried or concerned, "when in doubt, check it out!"
2) PREVENT THE PREVENTABLE. Learn as much as possible about dangers that face your pet, such as household poisons, seemingly harmless objects (like toys, clothing, garbage and rocks), other animals, and vehicles. Pets are like toddlers and they need a responsible adult/babysitter to protect them from danger. Puppies and kittens need to start their vaccines at ~8 WEEKS (and they need boosters too!) to protect them from deadly diseases.
3) BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST CASE SCENARIO. Have a plan in place, know your nearest emergency clinic, have the ASPCA phone number on speed dial. Know basic first aid training and CPR. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, BE FINANCIALLY PREPARED. The cost of medical treatment in an emergency, and the owners' ability to pay for it, is probably the most important factor that determines whether a pet will receive the medical care it needs. The best way to protect yourself is to have good medical insurance for your pet. Do your research.
**REMEMBER**: WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM, with the best interest of the patient as everyone's first priority. Let your vet do what he/she does best, and don't try to grab the steering wheel and obstruct your vet from doing his/her job. We are all in the same car, we are all headed to the same place, but only one of us has the driver's license (meaning, only the vet has the medical training and background to "drive the car").
The medical information on this site is provided as an educational resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information does not create any veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Please consult your pet's health care provider before making any health care decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Twin Trees Vet expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.