It was both humbling and inspiring for the AVMA to host so many passionate people who gathered a few weeks back for our first-ever wellness roundtable. A group of about 40 from across the profession, led by a professional facilitator, participated in some great discussion and expressed their commitment to helping address the growing wellness issues facing many in the veterinary profession.
The group addressed a range of topics, focused on these:
- major causes of wellness issues among veterinarians
- strategies to promote wellness among veterinarians
- determining the biggest barriers to implementing wellness programs
- what solutions might be effective in overcoming these barriers
After two days of conversation and brainstorming, the group agreed to next steps that include formation of a coalition and steering group that will, among other things, provide leadership, define coalition members, a strategy and action plan, and assess resourcing among coalition members. Additional next steps will include consideration of an expanded wellness website with links to coalition organizations; identification of mental health strategies and opportunities to build resilience among students; and study of successful wellness strategies specific to the LGBTQ community.
This roundtable helped us set the stage for continuing efforts that will address the topic of wellness and well-being in the veterinary profession. We’ll keep you posted as things develop.