The trauma phenomenon in veterinary medicine: A dvm360 leadership challenge

November 2, 2019

Do the professions biggest problems stem from stress?

In recent years, the veterinary profession has focused on things like compassion fatigue, burnout, even suicide-but, as our experts argue in this package, these things are actually linked to the end stage of unresolved traumatic stress. Traumatic stress precedes all of these conditions so commonly found in veterinary medicine. 

The dvm360 team believes that shining a light on the effects of trauma can affect the personal health of veterinary professionals, the health of veterinary practices and the strength of veterinary teams. Read on for our coverage.



Still waters: How traumatic stress is poisoning the veterinary profession

Traumatic stress flows freely through the veterinary profession, but most veterinarians aren't practicing with an active awareness of this fact. And how can we solve a problem without understanding it? Simple answer: We can't.



What is-and is not-trauma and compassion fatigue

Here's an overview of what psychology experts say constitutes trauma, plus some examples that place these definitions firmly in the world of veterinary professionals.




This is your brain on trauma

Veterinary professionals: Once you understand how and why trauma affects the body, you can reverse its negative effects. Read on to learn how your brain and body change in response to traumatic stress.



Advice for veterinarians: Surgical trauma and the second victim

In veterinary medicine, there exists a culture of shame surrounding surgical error. Here, one DVM shares her experience with mental and emotional trauma during surgery and offers 7 steps to help veterinarians rewire their brains after a traumatic event in practice.



Out-of-the-box advice for veterinary professionals dealing with traumatic experiences

What might coping with stressors in veterinary medicine look like if we allowed our physical response to trauma to take its course rather than suppressing it?



Cultivating resilience in veterinary medicine

Rising above adversity in the middle of a stressful day in the veterinary clinic is not easy. Yet there are key factors in becoming more resilient, and it's not nearly as impossible as you'd think.