Equine veterinarians enter the profession because they love the horses. Even though many vets are too busy to ride or compete, let alone spend time with family, friends or in personal endeavors, their driving force is still the same: the horses and the people who love them.
Most equine veterinarians are under intense pressure, but how each of them handles it depends on the vet and the circumstances, reports The Horse. One of the top stressors in the lives of many vets is repaying student loan debt, though proving themselves competent in a new practice and to new clients are also challenges.
Many vets don't have a work-life balance as they seek to pay off their debt and prove themselves. Some clients begin to expect round-the-clock care once a vet has made themselves so available; this typically coincides with the time frame when many vets begin to start families, causing even more strain on their limited time.
Most vets are goal-driven, and as such, they may stay with a practice that is not the best-suited for them out of a sense of duty to their family or to pay down student debt. Often the fear of leaving a practice also prevents vets from leaving: They may have to relocate their family and are fearful of being badmouthed by the vet or practice they are leaving.
However, young veterinarians are more expectant of a work-life balance than more-established veterinarians, making many practices rethink how they engage with the younger generation. Teamwork is becoming more important as the generations of vets learn to work together.
The Horse noted that additional strains on vets may include:
- The pressure to return to work too quickly after an injury to retain clients
- The moral and ethical strains when dealing with clients who are requesting a procedure or program that might not be in the horse's best interest
- The competition from non-veterinarian-run organizations and practices, like integrated therapies, dentistry and pharmacies
- The feeling of isolation when working in a small practice
- The pressures of pleasing everyone to keep poor reviews off social media
Though the burden is on the professional to set boundaries, clients need to understand that the vets are humans, too.
Read more at The Horse.
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