The Horse

SEP 2018

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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8 THE HORSE September 2018 She talked about not only how strenuous vet school was but also how exciting. She recounted the dan- gers of the job—not hard for me to imagine, as she'd once arrived at our farm with a missing front tooth. She described the ample time on the road as well as the privilege of working with horses and their owners daily. Because of her and many others who lectured at 4-H meetings and Pony Club camps, I had an early admiration for equine practitioners. And I wanted to be one—that's why I chose that school paper topic in the first place. My vet's answers to my questions and, later, a friend's comments about the more emotion- ally taxing aspects of vet school gave me a lot to think about. Ultimately, I didn't pursue the pre-vet path because I desired a more predictable day-to-day work schedule. Fast-forward a few decades. Now I've worked with equine veterinar- ians daily for more than 19 years— vets in private practice, academia, and other parts of the industry. Many of them have become great friends. I've heard them describe their joys and disappointments, their achieve- ments and frustrations. Some days I envy their job and wish I had pur- sued that career route. Other days I'm thankful I work with words and can use them to describe what vets do from a safe emotional distance. I've heard keynote speakers at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) convention talk about compassion fatigue and work-life balance. I've also seen the figures about suicide rates among veterinarians, the elephant in the room that caused me to pursue the article about stresses vets face (page 29). Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported at the 2018 Veterinary Wellbeing Summit results from a study on mortality rates from suicide among 11,620 vets who died 1979-2014 (398, or 3%, died by suicide). They found male veterinarians were 2.1 times as likely to die by suicide as members of the general U.S. population— female veterinarians 3.5 times as likely (JAVMA, Indeed, veterinary medicine is a demanding profession, and issues of mental health and well-being among vets are important ones that organizations worldwide, including the AAEP, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and others, have made a priority. I understand that the stresses our equine vets face are just a piece of the puzzle, but it's a valuable piece. As several of my sources said, own- ers need not feel responsible for their vets' mental health or well- being. But a little effort to under- stand the professionals who care for our horses, a little perspective, a little empathy, never hurt anyone. h On Empathy VIEWPOINT STEPHANIE L. CHURCH Editor-in-Chief @TH_StephLChurch I n middle school I interviewed my family's equine veterinarian for a career-day assignment. I remember it like it was yesterday, prop- ping my clipboard (covered with horse stickers, of course) against the fence beside the barn and scrawling in seventh-grade cursive everything she said about her life as a veterinarian. Keep in touch! @TheHorse @TheHorseMag Publisher: Marla Bickel Editor-in-Chief: Stephanie L. Church Managing Editor: Alexandra Beckstett News Editor: Erica Larson Digital Managing Editor: Michelle Anderson Art Director: Brian Turner Web Producer: Jennifer Whittle Brand Manager: Shawna White EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT 3101 Beaumont Centre Circle, Suite 100, Lexington, KY 40513 E-MAIL All letters must include the writer's name, address, and daytime phone number for verification. ■ Letters:, or by mail. ■ Farm Call:, or by mail. ■ Across the Fence and Behavior Columns:, or by mail. ■ New Products:, or by mail. EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Scott Anderson, DVM; Jerry Black, DVM; Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS; Tom Brokken, DVM; Ann Dwyer, DVM; Benjamin Espy, DVM, Dipl. ACT; Jenifer R. Gold, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC; Kyla Ortved, DVM, Dipl. ACVS; Debra Taylor, DVM Educational Partnership Disclaimer: The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), one of The Horse's partners in equine health, has no involvement regarding editorial management or advertising content within this publication and thereby does not endorse any editorial or advertising content unless so acknowledged within the individual article or advertisement. EXPERT ADVISORS Sue McDonnell, PhD, Cert. AAB; Milt Toby, JD FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS Jennifer Bryant; Sarah Evers Conrad; Kristen Janicki, MS, PAS; Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA; Tracy E. Norman, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM; Dave Preston; Diane Rice; Karen Wolfsdorf, DVM, Dipl. ACT ADVERTISING SALES AND SERVICES West Coast Advertising Executive: Yvonne Long 859/276-6701 East Coast Advertising Executive: Mark White 859/276-6710 Sales Support: Nicol Hunt, 859/276-6740 PUBLISHED BY OWNED BY TOBA MEDIA PROPERTIES Board of Directors: Everett Dobson, Dan Metzger, Rosendo Parra, Dr. J. David Richardson, Peter Willmott

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