Your Veterinary Voice, Episode 19: Dr. Hilal Dogan and the Fetch dvm360 conference "Nurture" pillar

November 14, 2018

Meditation, yoga, self-care. It's about keeping yourself together so you can give your best to patients.

Fetch dvm360 conference isn't just another old-fashioned veterinary CE event. Our four pillars-the fundamental principles upon which the conference is based-show that Fetch is in step with the current face of the veterinary profession. 

A new twist on CE

If you click that link above, you'll see that the first pillar is Nurture. Notice, it's not just about surgery, practice management or the latest in parasite preventives. Rather, it's about you, the veterinary professional, and how you can maintain your body and mind while you heal pets, educate clients and manage your careers.

One hallmark example how we're bringing the concept to life is the Vet Confessionals Project, a popular interactive art exhibit that exists to foster community among the profession. Its founder, Hilal Dogan, BVSc, CCTP, is a frequent Fetch dvm360 speaker who returns to Your Veterinary Voice to discuss the value of fellowship and self-care and how it all fits together under the umbrella of this pillar.

The confessions-anonymous revelations that range from hilarious to heartbreaking-create a backdrop for discussion and feedback. Dr. Dogan argues that there are benefits for those confessing as well as those just reading them.

Collected confessions: What your colleagues are saying

Vet confessions on student debt

Vet team confessions: The tiny tears in our souls

Vet confessions: Clients are so weird ...

"When you read a confession, whether it's funny, happy, sad, shocking, it really helps you build your self-awareness and kind of take a little inventory of where you're at," Dr. Dogan says.

Jump to 1:19 to hear her elevator speech about the project.

What's the big deal about Nurture?

So, Dr. Dogan loves that the Fetch dvm360 conference features her brainchild, of course. But she walks the walk of nurturing self-care too. In addition to her pet project, she points to Fetch dvm360 trademark offerings like yoga and meditation as important factors in the new model of professional and personal protection.

"I think meditation is really important for just grounding yourself, especially at a conference where you're learning so much you feel like your head's going to explode," she says.

The presence of such options serves as an important reminder to Dr. Dogan: "Obviously you're here furthering your scientific education, but also don't forget about your emotional education."

Click to 9:30 to hear her take on what the Nuture pillar looks like in action.

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Setting yourself up to fail?

Lest you recoil from the prospect of self-care as yet another regimented obligation-another chance to let yourself down-Dr. Dogan herself admits to being all over the map as far as her approach.

Jump to 11:24 to hear how she goes with the flow without added pressure.

Owning it

One of Dr. Dogan's recent sessions is titled, "How to stop blaming yourself and take responsibility for your mistakes." In these talks, she navigates the dodgy territory of taking responsibility for your actions without buckling under the self-inflicted weight of perfectionism.

She says that in a sense, this takes the Vet Confessionals Project to the next level: Being able to admit to a misstep anonymously via confession (which is tantamount to admitting to yourself) leads to taking express blame for error-all in an effort to improve yourself and move forward.

"The hardest part, in my opinion, is verbally, outrightly saying you messed up, to just own it," she says.

Jump to 12:54 to hear her explain.

Shame game

When you cut through the complex interpretation of failure in the veterinary professional's psyche-not meeting the impossibly high standards of type-A personalities often filtered through introversion-you can come face to face with a feeling that no one wants to face: shame. Citing self-help guru Brene Brown, Dogan separates shame from its less "judge-y" counterpart-guilt-like this:

"Shame is very different, because you can feel guilty about something but you'll take steps to correct it," she says, "whereas shame just puts you into this category that you're a bad person."

Head to 15:33 to dig into this distinction and hear a personal example.

You. Can. Do. This!

At Fetch dvm360 conference, we're the support system you need. With every conference this year, we intend to nurture your mind (meaning quality CE for days) while also encouraging you to take stock of your physical and emotional health. Register now.