Idiopathic Issues

Self-Inflicted Death of the Veterinarian

Posted by Cari Wise on September 10, 2017 at 12:27 PM
Cari Wise
Dr. Cari Wise is a 1999 graduate of the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a Masters degree in Education from Argosy University in 2015. Throughout her career, Dr. Wise has utilized her veterinary education in variety of settings including private and corporate small animal practice, shelter medicine, spay/neuter clinics, veterinary relief services, start-up practice ownership, and veterinary technician education. Dr. Wise is the Manager and Program Coordinator for VetPrep, the premiere online study resource for the NAVLE.

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Back when I began vet school, over 20 years ago, I remember sitting in orientation events and listening to the administration talk to us about the challenges we would face during the four years to come. We were encouraged to create study plans, study groups, and to prioritize our time. Even then, they said, not all of us would make it through to graduation. They were right. 

Then, almost as an afterthought, they added that veterinarians are in the top three of professionals most likely to commit suicide; so we needed to be aware of that.
 
Wait. What? WHAT?!
 
Tragically, they were right about that too.
 
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. The risk continues to be very real for veterinary professionals. The number of veterinarians who have contemplated suicide is 1 in 6, and those who have attempted suicide is 1 in 10. This epidemic impacts us all.  
 
Thankfully, our profession has found its voice and is speaking out against this tragedy.  Resources continue to be developed to help us deal with the factors that contribute to this terminal decision including:
My hope is that together we can get our beloved profession off of this terrible top-ten list. It will take all of us listening, speaking out, staying aware, and reporting when needed. 
 
Think you aren’t qualified to help? Think again! Check out QPR training to learn how to Question, Persuade and Refer. 

Suicide is a long-term solution to a short-term problem. There is help available. You are not alone.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 

Need help right now? Please reach out for help.  The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7/365 at 1-800-273-8255.
 
Know of additional resources designed to help the veterinary community to combat suicide?  Please share in the comments.  

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