ORLANDO, Fla. — Being a veterinarian is taking its toll on workers nationwide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said one in every six vets has considered suicide.
Lisa Taylor works at the Orlando VCA Animal Hospitals. She has been a veterinarian for 11 years.
She said her profession had brought her many joys and pains; recently, her pains are not patient-related.
“There’s a huge national issue with a shortage of veterinarians,” Taylor said. “Veterinarian suicide rates are skyrocketing,”
More and more professionals are turning away from being veterinarians.
According to the CDC, veterinarians are more likely to die by suicide than any other profession.
The study also found veterinarians are twice as likely to die by suicide as the general population.
“It’s rough,” Taylor said. “We’ve been trying to hire since October,”
Experts said the high suicide rate is likely due to several factors, including the stress of the job and the long hours, which impacts patient care.
“There could be a 10 to 14-day wait to get in to see your veterinarians,” she said. “We are also seeing six-plus hour waits at ER.”
Financial strain is another reason caused by the pandemic.
What was once a male-dominated field is now more than 70% female.
“A lot of veterinarians who are also mothers had to cut back,” Taylor said. “Some of them left the field entirely.”
Veterinarians also face unique challenges, such as having to euthanize animals and dealing with the emotional pain of pet owners.
“I would caution people that veterinarians aren’t so much anymore,” she said.
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