Treat yourself: Handling burnout as a leader

Burnout in veterinary medicine is increasingly being discussed in scientific literature and addressed through targeted interventions. As veterinary leaders, we’re called on to help address burnout within our communities. Yet we don’t always pay attention to the risk factors we ourselves face. Join two veterinarians for a discussion of burnout and what research in the fields of veterinary medicine, human medicine, and organizational psychology says about it. Using an interactive, case-based approach, uncover the unique burnout-related challenges that veterinary leaders face as we attempt to balance our teams’ wellbeing with our own needs. Come away knowing how to model healthy habits to reduce burnout and discover strategies to promote wellbeing at all levels of the profession. 

This session originally was presented at AVMA’s 2023 Veterinary Leadership Conference. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the prevalence of burnout within veterinary medicine.
  • Learn three strategies to mitigate burnout in your own life and within your organization.
  • Explore research on burnout in the fields of veterinary medicine, human medicine, and organizational psychology.

Dr. Addie Reinhard is a researcher studying veterinary wellbeing, professional skills, and innovative interventions to support mental health and wellbeing in the veterinary profession. She has served on the research team for the Merck Animal Health Veterinary Wellbeing Study and is the founder and CEO of MentorVet, an evidence-based mentorship and professional development program for recent veterinary graduates. She holds a master’s degree in community and leadership development, and a certificate in college teaching and learning, both from the University of Kentucky. She also holds a certificate in veterinary human support from the University of Tennessee and is a certified QPR suicide prevention instructor. She was a participant in the 2019-2020 Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association Power of Ten Leadership Program.

Dr. Ginger Templeton provides personal and professional coaching to veterinarians and their teams, helping them tap into emotional intelligence, leadership skills, and self-compassion to rediscover their joy for veterinary medicine. She is the host of the podcast “Vet to Vet Coaching” and works closely with MentorVet to create and deliver wellbeing content, and facilitate peer group meetings and workshops for early-career veterinarians. She earned her DVM and a master’s degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating, she spent 15 years in small animal general practice, including five years as a mobile practice owner. In 2021, she earned a certificate in veterinary human support from the University of Tennessee. Since then, she has devoted her time to consulting and coaching veterinarians on emotional intelligence, leadership, and burnout prevention and recovery.