It was the middle of a spay during our third clinic day in our makeshift surgery suit. Three vet students hovered around an open abdomen: one anesthetist, one surgeon, and one assistant. To most students and even veterinarians this is a time of stress, anxiety and self-doubt — all three emotions that constantly creep up in our career.
In a world full of lectures on compassion fatigue, anxiety, and mental health issues in the veterinary profession, it is easy to succumb to feelings of “not being good enough.” The veterinary profession is littered with Type A personalities constantly comparing themselves to others and exhausting themselves to help the helpless. Our career holds animal wellness and welfare at the highest of standards but yet sometimes fails to instill the importance of our own wellness, or that of our closest comrades.
I was once told, “There is no one who has lower self-esteem than a fourth year vet student.” Well this is where it ends, right here in this picture. We threw our self–doubt out the window and squashed whatever anxiety we were feeling. We decided to take a moment for ourselves and rise above our stresses and insecurities and to do something that most veterinary professionals would never consider- dance! So the next time you are feeling the weight on your shoulders, take a moment …….. and have a laugh.
Mila Profit, AVC 2017, traveled to Iqaluit in 2016 as one of the student participants on the Chinook Project. As part of the experience, the students craft various pieces of reflective writing. This is one of Mila’s pieces