© 2023 MJH Life Sciences™ and dvm360 | Veterinary News, Veterinarian Insights, Medicine, Pet Care. All rights reserved.
Cultivating a culture of well-being
Turpin Mott, Chief Community Officer at NVA (National Veterinary Associates), helps teams tackle personal and professional challenges.
Content sponsored by National Veterinary Associates
A study analyzing the results from each of the AVMA Census of Veterinarians from 2016 to 2018 found that 86.7% of US veterinarians have moderate to high burnout scores.1 What’s more, the rate of burnout is increasing.2 That’s why dvm360 Live!™ (watch here) asked Turpin Mott, Chief Community Officer at NVA (National Veterinary Associates), to discuss how NVA combats this trend with a business model that puts the well-being of the veterinary professional first.
Mott, who describes himself as a “heart-led leader,” has more than 15 years of experience as a culture and wellness expert. At NVA, he heads a team of facilitators and coaches that help vets overcome professional and personal stress. He sat down with Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, to talk about how NVA’s success is predicated on prioritizing the well-being of its employees.
Relationships, not transactions
According to Mott, NVA believes that establishing relationships—rather than focusing solely on transactions—is the key to success. He recalled a conversation with an NVA veterinarian who said: “I’m a doctor, and I do great medicine, but the reality is, this is an emotionally driven business. There’s nobody on social media that talks about my level of medicine because it’s great. Everything I get ranked about is how I made them feel.”
Mott understands that everyone on the veterinary team is emotionally invested in the profession. “People do this because their hearts [are] connected to it 100%,” which is why he feels a responsibility to support them and their well-being.
“We all know that if your life outside…the veterinary hospital isn’t good, the impact that you have on the…practice is compromised,” he noted. One way NVA addresses this problem is through its wellness retreats. These two- or four-day immersive retreats teach participants how to combat burnout and compassion fatigue and develop leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. Their ultimate goal is to help attendees join colleagues from other NVA locations and learn best practices for creating a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
In addition, Turpin hosts a monthly podcast, called NVA Pawcasts, focused on well-being and self-care.
Happy vet, happy pet
Mott concluded by saying that veterinary medicine is a passion-driven calling but that such passion can lead many to deprioritize their needs. When he asks them to rank priorities, they often mention work, family, friends, children, and community but don’t even factor themselves into the equation. He was quick to remind clinicians how important self-care is: “That’s the best for everybody…[and] equates to the best medical care for the pet…[which is] why we’re all here.”
- Ouedraogo FB, Lefebvre SL, Hansen CR, Brorsen BW. Compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress among full-time veterinarians in the United States (2016-2018). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2021;258(11):1259-1270. doi:10.2460/javma.258.11.1259
- Bain B, Hansen C, Ouedraogo F, Radich R, Salois M. 2021 AVMA Report on Economic State of the Veterinary Profession. Schaumburg, IL: American Veterinary Medical Association (2021).