From Emotional Exhaustion to Boundless Enthusiasm
I've spent almost 14 years in general small animal practice, and I've learned a thing or two about burnout. To thrive in this career, I had to get creative. I found what sparks enthusiasm. For me, that's a combination of continuing to practice medicine, playing a leadership and coaching role in that practice, while also working in meaningful neuroaging and microbiome research at NC State.
My version of engaging, rewarding work isn't for everyone. It took me a long time to arrive at this point. I struggled through the early parenting years with a lot of guilt and misgivings. I struggled in the early days of my career, feeling like I was never doing enough - not enough as a mom, not enough as a veterinarian. I tried different approaches - full time, part time, housecall. I call it triangulating. It took me a while to get to the version of vetmed that works for me.
Now, I wear a lot of hats. I juggle family and career. I set boundaries and manage expectations (my own, my kids', and my employers'). And for me, this works. But for you, it will look very different. The point isn't to replicate what has worked for me. The point is to stop settling for the day to day drudgery of your current 9 to 5 (or 7 to 7, or 6 to 10). The point is to find what you love. What you can't live without. What feeds your joy and sparks your enthusiasm. And gradually create a career and a life that adds more of what you love and weeds out more of what you don't. Coaching can help you get there faster.
Certifications and Training
Veterinary Human Support, Univ of Tennessee Dept of Social Work 2021
College of Executive Coaching
DVM, University of Wisconsin Madison, 2007
MS, Bacteriology, U of Wisc Madison, 2000