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The feeling that they are not as good as their peers when it comes to diagnosing and solving a case is contributing to mental health issues in vets, new research has found. Conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Armitage-Chan, Reader in Veterinary Education at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the study also suggests that encouraging a mindset that client-oriented behavior is an attribute of a 'good vet' will help many vets improve their mental wellbeing.
Armitage-Chan found examples of new graduates who value their client-oriented skills, such as being able to tailor clinical plans to individual clients' needs, but still couldn't shake the feeling that a 'better vet' would offer a more academic or specialist approach to cases. Even when they skilfully adapt a plan for an owner who is unable to afford advanced tests to find out what is causing their pet's illness, this jars with the vets' beliefs that by reaching a specific diagnosis they would be doing a better job. They thus chronically feel like a 'bad vet," despite demonstrating high-level skills in communication and clinical problem-solving.
Armitage-Chan - Paper - Client - Relationships - Situations
Armitage-Chan's paper argues that learning to form positive client relationships in difficult situations leads to vets who are more resilient and have greater mental wellbeing. However further analysis found a clear sentiment of 'the client is the enemy' in colleagues' discussions and social media. During a difficult case, with complex conflicting pet and pet owner needs, vets who choose to emphasize the client as difficult and unreasonable can receive...
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