BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital launches Clinicians-In-Training


This post-graduate training program strives to improve veterinary professionals’ mental health by informing them of wellness at the start of their careers.

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BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital has launched its breakthrough wellness training program known as Clinicians-In-Training. These health and well-being programs provide interns, residents, and ER clinicians enrolled in BluePearl’s House Officer and emERge programs trainings with a veterinary social worker or wellness educator and access to mental health and wellness tools.

According to a company release, BluePearl trains approximately 200 rotating interns, specialty interns, residents, and ER clinicians through its House Officer and emERge mentorship programs annually and strives to enhance its post-graduate training programs. Consisting of 10 highly skilled veterinary social workers and Sonja Olson, DVM, wellness educator, BluePearl’s Health and Well-being Team developed Clinicians-In-Training after receiving feedback from interns revealing the need for more prioritization on intern, resident, and ER clinician wellness.

“It is well documented that the veterinary suicide rate is significantly higher than the general population. At BluePearl, we recognize that there must be a greater emphasis on self-care and ability to handle stressors that exist in our profession long before one reaches the point where they would consider self-harm,” said Andrea Monnig, DVM, DACVECC, director of clinical development at BluePearl.

“We want these young clinicians to be able to manage these stressors and set up boundaries that are going to lead to long-term professional and personal satisfaction. We know that this profession needs to hit the reset button on wellness, and it is our hope that this program is the start of something big,” Monnig added.

By utilizing Clinicians-In-Training, interns, residents, and emERge clinicians will obtain the resources and necessary skills to overcome personal and professional challenges. The program will cover wellness topics including managing expectations, imposter syndrome, moral distress, setting boundaries, and compassion fatigue, according to the release.

What’s more, the Health and Well-being Team will introduce residents and interns to the mental health and wellness tools within the organization and help connect them to a local mental health professional as needed. An array of trainings and support will also be provided to program directors, mentors, and hospital leadership.

“New graduates often struggle with the transition from student to clinician. Imposter syndrome can be rampant, communications can be challenging, and they often find themselves in situations that are an emotional rollercoaster. All of this can take a toll on young clinicians,” said Lori C. Harbert, MSW, LCSW, director of health and well-being at BluePearl.

“It is our hope that this program provides young clinicians with a toolbox of skills to help them balance the demands of the profession. We want to ensure they learn behaviors of self-care early on, so they become habits that guide them through their personal and professional life. We want them to know that they are important and valued. If at any time they are struggling, there is someone there to support them. If this program can save one life, it is worth it,” she continued.

Additionally, the Health and Well-being Team has established wellness activities inside and outside the hospital with the goal of finding a balance between work and life, enabling interns, residents, and ER clinicians in training to unite as a group and impact the culture inside practices for long-term effect.


BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital launches novel post-graduate wellness training program, Clinicians-In-Training. News release. BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital. December 30, 2021. Accessed January 3, 2021.

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