Radio Silence

My husband has a running joke going with his mom. We are living in a small town in B.C. where there are two radio stations that we can pick up on the FM dial. His joke is that, one is country and one is rockin' country.


The other day, I had a backyard chicken as a patient. I snapped a photo of this patient and sent it to hubby and he says, "We really are in the country!" For a guy who grew up in the suburbs of the GTA, he had a different idea of what B.C. life would be.


I can tell you after a month of working at the hospital that I'm at now that people here are much more laid back. I rarely have that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach, wondering what a pet owner might say or really, what they may choose to argue with me. I feel a genuine openness and gratitude for the education that I can offer the clients here. I may say, do you mind if I email you some information on X condition and how we can prevent it for Luna? There is so much more willingness to engage and receive here.


Right now, my commute is over half an hour. Going in isn't too bad. I've usually slept enough and driving on the highway along Kalamalka Lake is a beauty. But the radio. It really does suck.


I had been listening to a few podcasts back in TO, but now I'm listening every day. I have to download them on to my phone because I lose data coverage on the drive to and from work, but it's made my drive a lot more pleasant.


Lately, I have been listening to every podcast interview with Dr. Gabor Mate. I had introduced you to this gentleman a few blog posts back when I talked about fear and anxiety. Most behaviourists know that fear and anxiety in a puppy's life is a reflection of that puppy's early childhood - between the ages of 8 to 16 weeks, give or take. Dr. Mate can see the trauma on people when he watches them. We as veterinarians need to look within ourselves to reflect on our own trauma and how we project this outward to our clients and our family.


I was also listening to my fave podcaster, Dr. Natalie Crawford, MD on 'Just Say No' in episode 78. This one she talks about how burn out is the consequence of saying 'Yes' to every thing.


Why are you letting it be for fear of causing conflict??? You don't want to say no, so you just carry on. I can understand for new graduates it is hard to say no. You have imposter syndrome. You wonder if you are supposed to be there. You feel like a burden to the associates around you. You feel stuck.


When I went to add this blog post, and I jumped on my search engine and typed in my web address SerenaVet2016. The first search item in the list was my Twitter account - despite the fact that I rarely post on there. Next was my Instagram. Thirdly my actual page!


But surprisingly, I also missed that Dr. Ivan Zak had posted on his blog his Top 13 picks for Veterinary Blogs - including this one. Seriously, so honoured to be on this list!





One of the things that I keep mentioning throughout, either directly, or in the undertones of my writing, is that veterinarians suffer the most when it comes to burnout. Dr. Zak had put out a survey that showed the younger generation is more likely to suffer. I contemplate and suspect that these folks are more likely to admit that they suffer!! The older generation of veterinarians are predominately men, but I do not feel like they suffered less. However, the older generation of female veterinarians are in the 'carry on' culture. If you cannot work like a man in your career as a veterinarian, then you don't deserve to be there, or really, you just get looked down on for standing up for your own personal goals - that is to have a life. To have a life outside of work. Is that really too much to ask?? We are already soooooo consumed with our careers, spending countless hours away from our families, or in some cases, spending sooooo much time consumed with our work that we forget we had goals outside of work - like building a family. It's easier for men. Yes, I said it. It is easier for you guys. For a veterinarian who has carried a living being inside of her, birthed them and then aimed to provide them with the best quality nourishment through breast feeding their child post-partum - whether it was by going back to work and pumping during breaks, or just being the food truck on demand while on maternity leave - it's harder. For those old school, female cattle veterinarians, if I wore a hat, it would be tipped to you. But do not expect this generation of female veterinarians to do the same. We need to stand united for the good of our profession.


Stop glorifying being a workaholic! Working like this is an addiction. The addiction to work is to make yourself feel worthy. People need to have a purpose to live. But why? Why can't we just live??

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