Motherhood and the veterinary profession: a series of hurdles

January 18, 2019
Vetted, Vetted February 2019, Volume 114, Issue 2

Moms—who are also veterinarians—chime in on what makes this arrangement difficult.

At a recent Fetch dvm360 conference, we asked fellow speakers and Women's Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI) all-stars, Sarah Wooten, DVM, Kimberly-Ann Therrien, DVM, and Caitlin DeWilde, DVM, about the perils of maintaining a career in veterinary medicine while being a mom. They had a lot to say on the subject. Here's a primer.

"Loathe to call in sick"

Dr. Wooten cited a common characteristic among vets as being problematic: their work ethic. She says that with a full schedule of serious appointments and a sick child, somethings got to give. Can you guess which it is?

"It is an extraordinary hardship because I usually see kids that are sick sleeping in a kennel in the back," she says.

(We can only assume she mean with the door open.)

Perspectives on motherhood

Daycare hours

Dr. DeWilde brings up an obvious and nagging point: Daycare providers' hours generally don't overlap with veterinarians'.

"If your clinic is open until 8:00, but your daycare closes at 6:00 there's a big problem there with finding that shift coverage," DeWilde says.

"Family-centered events happen on weekends"

Dr. Therrien echoes the above and adds weekends. She says that it turns into a struggle, particularly in the cases where the clinic is populated by working mothers.

Watch the video for more and stay tuned for more from this WVLDI trio.

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