A balancing act


Balancing a thriving veterinary life and the guilt associated with putting your personal life on the backburner is a problem. Let our expert break down the balance for you.

With most jobs, it's difficult to split your time between demanding work, a loving family, and personal time. Of course, it's harder for veterinarians, Dr. Ernie Ward, Veterinary Economics board member, says: "You can never ditch the DVM." People in his neighborhood stop him while he's running because they recognize him and need veterinary advice. And he's not alone. While 81 percent of respondents to the 2012 Veterinary Economics Business Issues Survey seemed happy with their current position's work-life balance, that leaves 19 percent saying it's "not at all easy" to balance work life and personal life.

Dr. Ward says it's all about thoughtful choices, deliberate decisions, and figuring out the "yin and yang" balance for each veterinarian. Dr. Ward and his wife, who also works as his practice manager, once considered expanding their practice after they had their second child but decided to settle into a simpler life with their one operation so they could have more time as a family. The desire for more family time is a common theme in veterinary practice, according to the survey: 85 percent said they wished they could devote more time to family and personal activities.

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