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Psychological wellbeing of veterinary professionals
  1. Michael P. Meehan, BSc, BVSc, PhD
  1. Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
  1. E-mail: mmeehan{at}

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CHRONIC job stress is a major health concern for individuals, the organisations they work for and society. Over the past 10 years, the stress levels and psychological health of veterinarians have been consistently highlighted as important issues for the profession to monitor and address (Gardiner and Hini 2006, Hafen and others 2007, Bartram and others 2009, Platt and others 2012). Veterinarians experiencing high stress levels may suffer from insomnia, mental health difficulties, alcohol and drug abuse, difficulties in balancing their personal life and their career, and reduced job satisfaction (Gardiner and Hini 2006, Heath 2002, Meehan and Bradley 2007, Platt and others 2012). Alarmingly, suicide risk among vets is approximately three times that of the general population (Platt and others 2010).

Work-related stressors that contribute to poor psychological health among vets include: long work hours, excessive after hours duties, low remuneration, unexpected outcomes of clinical cases, managing client conflict, performing euthanasia, and lack of control over treatments due to clients' cost constraints (Bartram and others 2009). Societal changes over the past 10 years may also contribute indirectly to work-related stress. An important change in western society is that the bond between pets and people is increasingly being …

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