Reframing our View of Veterinary Work — Calling or Career?

VMAE | Live!
October 17, 2019
12:05-12:55 PM MTN

This webinar explores the idea that we can support a healthier population of veterinarians if we can reframe the way we view veterinary work — as a meaningful job or career without it having to be a “calling.”

Positive psychology gives us ample evidence that it important to find meaning in one’s work, to further success as well as career satisfaction and enjoyment. There are benefits for many individuals in thinking of veterinary medicine as a “calling.”

However, there is also emerging evidence that viewing one’s career as a calling can lead to workaholism, perfectionism, and exploitation by employers. These elements of a “dark side” of being called may make veterinarians more susceptible to burnout, exhaustion, compassion fatigue, moral fatigue, substance abuse, mental illness, and suicidal ideation.

Participants will learn about the benefits of viewing veterinary medicine as a job or career rather than a calling for veterinarians; these benefits can include:

  • healthier boundaries and self-advocacy with employers
  • better ability to enjoy life outside of work, since veterinarians can truly be “off-duty”
  • more satisfaction at work, due to a release of self-imposed performance pressure


H. Howells, DVM

Prior to becoming a veterinarian, H. Howells had careers in music, customer service, and teaching.  Since becoming a veterinarian almost 10 years ago, she has become a parent, a coach, and a passionate advocate for wellness in veterinary professionals.  She is FIRED-UP about seeking radical new ways to make our veterinary profession sustainable for the individuals within it and looks forward to chatting with all of you about these ideas.