When I stood before all of you at the Annual Meeting last year and accepted the role of IVMA President, one of my goals was to help promote wellness for our members. As a practice owner, practitioner, wife and mother to a herd of young children, this whole work/life balance thing is definitely something I’m constantly juggling. Throw in my IVMA duties and admittedly some days I’m better at keeping up with all of it than others. Just ask the very patient and understanding staff at the office and they’ll tell you!
We have all chosen a very rewarding yet demanding profession, regardless of our career path. Unfortunately, the veterinary community experiences the tragedy that can come from these demands too often. In the wake of this I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone to take care of themselves. We spend so much of our time and energy caring for our patients, our clients and everyone else that it’s easy to forget about ourselves. The truth is we aren’t able to do any of those things well if we don’t take care of ourselves. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to explore the Wellbeing and Peer Assistance resources on the AVMA website. Spend a few minutes and take the Self-Assessment test, you might be surprised at your results. Besides information on self-care, the website also has articles on how to recognize others who are struggling and how to help them. The IVMA website has a direct link to these AVMA resources and many other resources as well.
The ISU CVM is doing their part to recognize wellness issues within the profession and to equip the students with the tools they need to be successful, both in school and after graduation. They have recently added Lauren Youngs to the staff to provide counseling services to the students and lead the College’s wellness efforts. Hopefully, by educating students about wellbeing and open communication about the subject, we can make a positive impact for all of us.
I’m looking forward to participating in the White Coat Ceremony this month for the incoming CVM class of 2022. The students have so much to look forward to as they start this part of their journey and I am honored to be a part of it.
I hope everyone has a great month and with any luck we’ll see you soon at the Annual Meeting!
Be kind to yourself and each other!
Kylee Thomas, DVM