Your Veterinary Voice Episode 3: Meet Hilal Dogan, BVSc

June 28, 2016

We talk to the force behind veterinary medicine's most powerful human interest project yet (and yes, you read that right). Meet the Vet Confessionals Project founder and find out how the project grew into a nationwide phenomenon.

Dr. Hilal Dogan, founder of the Vet Confessionals ProjectSecrets have power. They have a strange ability to both grant and consume emotional energy. What if veterinarians could share secrets about their professional struggles and find comfort in seeing that they were not alone? In 2014, as a senior veterinary student at Massey University in New Zealand, Hilal Dogan, BVSc, saw the benefits of introducing a PostSecret-style website to the veterinary community.

In this podcast episode, we switch things up-we're giving you a peek behind the curtain, so to speak. We talked not only to Dr. Dogan, but also to's own content director, Marnette Falley, who got wind of the Vet Confessionals Project and knew it had the power to change the profession. We asked for her insight and how she teamed up with Dr. Dogan to bring the project to veterinary conferences (including CVC, of course) nationwide.

Listen now:


Short on time? Here's the episode breakdown.

At 2:00, Dr. Dogan discusses her experience in veterinary school, which led her to create the Vet Confessionals Project.

>>> Whether school was long ago or you're a new grad, you remember how hard it was. Go herefor confessions from vet students at Massey University in New Zealand.

At 6:45, dvm360 content director Marnette Falley mentions the artistic and often hilarious confessions we've received.

>>>  We've got some freaking funny exampleshere. Eau de parvo, anyone?

At 8:00, Dr. Dogan talks about how the Vet Confessionals project was born from the idea of Frank Warren's Post Secret, and how professional and personal unburdening can be a stress-reliever for overworked, overstressed and overtaxed veterinarians.

>>> For more ideas on how to chill out, de-stress and realign your purpose, go here, here or here.

At 9:30, Falley revisits the life balance issue, saying that although we here at can report data, the confessions give a unique insight into what people are really feeling.

>>> And, so, we combined them! Here, we organized data presenting the most common professional issues veterinarians face as well as confessions that poignantly illustrate those issues 

At 12:50, our host, Brendan Howard, and Dr. Dogan talk about judgment. No matter if it's coming from your peers, from within or from clients, judgment in veterinary practice can be damaging in a LOT of ways.

>>> On this topic, we received a confession about how a general practitioner was "burned" by a specialist. It incited a firestorm of comments and letters from specialists who felt unfairly judged by GPs-and GPs who felt unfairly judged by specialists. Go here for more.

>>> "I avoid talking to clients like the plague." Sound familiar? Dr. Dogan also wrote a piece about judging clients-find it here.

At 14:50, the conversations turn to the burden that veterinary care can often bring. Howard offers a link to more information on compassion fatigue, burnout and mental health-here's more.

At 20:00, Dr. Dogan and Falley touch on the "doom and gloom" mentality that plagues the veterinary profession. Falley notes that much of the pensive, sad secrets are revealed online, whereas the secrets in the public forum often try to strike a balance.

>>> Dr. Dogan wrote a piece about this idea-"Veterinarians: Not a bunch of sad sacks." Read it here.

Inspired? We sure are. Submit your own confession here.