EPISODE 1 | Joyful DVM: Who, What & Why

Welcome to the inaugural episode of The Joyful DVM Podcast! 

Joyful DVM is a personal development organization created to support veterinary professionals and teach the life skills traditional veterinary education is lacking. 

The Joyful DVM vision is to empower veterinary professionals and change the belief that relentless stress, anxiety, depression, and a high rate of suicide are inevitable consequences of VetMed careers.

A different outcome requires a different approach and a different perspective. That’s what you’ll find each week on the Joyful DVM Podcast.

In this episode I share the history of Joyful DVM, my personal vet life journey, and why I believe we’re missing the mark when it comes to reducing suicide statistics in our profession.

Subscribe to The Joyful DVM Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or TuneIn to stream this episode through your smartphone or tablet.



P.S. In honor of my pilot episode, I’d sincerely love for you to leave me a review on iTunes. I would love knowing what you’ve taken from the show and how I can better tailor my content to help solve your challenges in VetMed.



An introduction to Joyful DVM, why I created this podcast and how I believe we can eliminate our risk for suicide as a veterinary profession… That's what we're going to be talking about in episode one. Welcome to the Joyful DVM podcast. I'm your host, veterinarian and certified life coach Cari Wise, whether you're dealing with the challenges of vet med, struggling with self confidence, or you're just trying to figure out how to create a life and a career that you actually enjoy,
you'll find encouragement, education, and empowering concepts you can apply right away. Let's get started. Hey everybody. Welcome to episode one. As I officially kick off the Joyful DVM podcast, I wanted to start out by introducing myself and sharing a little bit about my own personal Vet Life story and what ultimately led me to creating a personal development company exclusively for veterinary professionals called Joyful DVM.
I'm Cari Wise, veterinarian, certified life coach, and I've been in the veterinary field literally as long as I can remember because my dad was a veterinarian too. You would think growing up in a household with a veterinarian that I would have understood the challenges associated with the practice and lifestyle of veterinary medicine.You would have thought that I would have known that our profession is at a high risk for suicide.
But guess what? My friends, I had no idea. I remember sitting in orientation back over 25 years ago when our dean was giving us that welcome speech and welcoming us first years into the next four years of our veterinary adventure. I remember as he got ready to walk off that stage, he literally took a few steps aside and then came back and he said,
just in case you're not aware, the veterinary profession is always in the top two or three percent for suicide. So just be aware of that as you move through your new careers. And I wish that there had been a video camera of me that day because I'm sure that my mouth was hanging wide open. I had no idea. And for every one of us in veterinary medicine at some point,
there was that time, which was the first time that you heard that statistic. For me, I was completely stunned. How did I not know this?How was I starting into a career journey that had this as historical evidence and good grief, my dad was a vet, why didn't I know? But like everything else, I just kind of took that piece of information and filed it away and just kept right on going.
Because many of us, we are just achievers, right? You set a goal in front of us and we're just going to work and we're going to get it done. And so that's what I did. And once I got out into the veterinary profession, that's when I started to see the reality of that statistic. That's when I started to become aware of why it was that suicide rate was possible over the years,
I did what many of you guys do? I did a lot of job hopping and so over my career I've all kinds of jobs including being an associate in private practice and corporate practice, working in shelter medicine, working in spay neuter clinics. I also opened up my own animal hospital from the ground up as an attempt to try to control all the variables to see if I really hated vet med or if it was just the environment.
In addition to that, I also worked in industry and academia and I did relief work, which is still very close to my heart and I love wholeheartedly what I learned through my journey of all the different types of careers are really two things. Number one, a degree in veterinary medicine can serve you well. There are so many things that you can do,
so if you're frustrated in your current position, just know there are opportunities out there for you. And number two, what I also recognized sometime later was that it was never those jobs that were the problem. Thankfully, I am a bit of a self help junkie and this started way back in my high school years and as I became unhappy in my life as a veterinarian,
I became curious as to why that was and the information that I learned through my own journey and through my own research, along with what I learned in my years of academia, where I completed a master's degree in education and had the opportunity to oversee vet tech programs across the company.And then what really brought it together was when I completed a certification in life coaching.
All of those things really helped me to see what the real problem was.And the good news was that it wasn't any of those things I thought it was. The challenge was to figure out how I was creating that kind of misery and suffering for myself.That's what led me ultimately to create Joyful DVM. So my company is called Joyful DVM LLC, and it is a personal development organization exclusively for veterinary professionals.
We do all kinds of things over at Joyful DVM and our vision is huge. Our vision is to empower veterinary professionals and to change the belief that relentless stress, anxiety, depression, and high rate of suicide are inevitable consequences of vet med careers. It's not good enough ,in my opinion, for us to just have resources to help us when we are in crisis,
though, I have to say I am so thankful for what exists today for those of us who end up there because 20 some years ago, the resources that we have now just weren't available, but it's not enough to just continue to create resources to help us when we hit crisis mode.If we're ever going to get off of the top 10 list for suicide,
and I strongly believe that we can do it, but if we're ever gonna get off of it, we have to get in front of the problem. And so our mission at joyful DVM is to provide the support and teach the skills needed to victoriously navigate the challenges associated with the lifestyle and the practice of veterinary medicine.Everything we do at Joyful DVM supports that mission.
As we the three year anniversary of the founding of the Joyful DVM organization. I'm really excited to get this podcast going and help to spread our message even wider than what we've been able to do thus far over on the Joyful DVM website. There are free resources available to you, so if this is the first time that you've heard of Joyful DVM, definitely jump over to Joyful dvm.com
and grab some of those free resources. Things you'll find over there include a setting boundaries, blueprint boundaries, my friend. They are the key to having that work life balance that we all crave and most of us are doing it wrong, so grab the setting boundaries blueprint. I'll drop a link to that into the show notes of this podcast. You can also grab a copy of the alternative career guide.
I listed off a handful of things that I have done as a veterinarian with a veterinary degree over the last 20 years. I probably missed a few if I'm being honest and I've compiled all these different opportunities together into a multi-page PDF, including a strategy on how you could actually find some of those jobs on your own. So if you're interested in finding out more about alternative careers for veterinary professionals,
I'm talking veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Then jump over there and grab a copy of that as well. I'm also going to put a link to that in the show notes for you. In addition to those two free PDFs, I also have a free course, it's called The Truth about Vet Med. So if you're ready to dive in and figure out what is actually happening and why it is that you're so stressed and anxious all the time as a result of this career,
then I definitely recommend that you sign up and take that free course. It's not a real long course, but by gosh it's going to give you so much perspective on what's actually happening and until we understand what's happening, we don't have any power to change it. In addition to our free resources. Joyful DVM also offers a course on how to set up your own businesses.
Independent contractor is called Relief Vet 101 and we also have a self development program just for veterinary professionals called Vet Life Academy. Inside Vet Lief Academy you learn how to manage vet med challenges. You learn how to increase your self confidence and you learn how to create the life that you want on purpose. I know those are pretty big goals, right? But here's the deal.
Everything that you want for your life is on the other side of discomfort. It is the discomfort that you experience day in and day out in veterinary medicine that is holding you back. Many of us believe that it is the job and all of the circumstances around the job that are creating our misery and therefore we conclude that going into veterinary medicine was a bad choice.
What I want to help you see is that those things actually aren't causing the your emotional stress at all. You have way more power than that, but you just don't know it. Here's where we've missed the Mark. At some point in time you learn that statistic just like I did. The suicide rate in veterinary medicine was high and we have hung on to that piece of information as if it is an absolute truth.
What we miss though, my friends is the information that we have that has led to the conclusion that the veterinary profession is at high rate of suicide is all based on historical evidence. What I mean by that is we have a series of studies that have been done over time, that have looked at the suicide rate of our profession, against the general population and other professions,
and it has ranked the risk by profession. Veterinary medicine is has been always at the top and these studies have occurred over and over again over decades of time. The conclusion though that we have drawn from that is because we always have been. Therefore, we always will be and I want you to just understand that that is not an absolute truth. Unfortunately,
I believe that as a profession we do approach our lives day in and day out. With that statistic in our minds, and I understand why we need to know it because we absolutely need to be aware and we need to keep talking about it, but where I think we're missing the Mark is that we're also instilling a belief that relentless anxiety, stress, and high rate of suicide are going to always be part of the profession of veterinary medicine.
Believing that means that we don't have choices of our own. Believing that means that we are not powerful enough to figure out how to manage our own emotional state. Essentially, it's accepting that our lives are at the affect of the things that we can't control. Joyful DVM's entire mission and vision is to empower you to understand exactly what's going on with you and to show you where you have power and where you have choice.
Once we have those skills, those veterinary life skills to go right along with our amazing veterinary medical educations, then we will be equipped for the lifestyle and career of veterinary medicine. Let's face it, it's pretty hard to shut off the career of vet med.Many of us don't really even want to because we actually got into this from a passion driven perspective. We love what we do.
But once we're in it and we're doing it, what we see is that it actually serves as a catalyst to bring up stress and anxiety and depression and unfortunately for many of us suicide as an option as well.What I want everybody to understand is that that is not an inevitable consequence and it all starts with understanding what's going on with us individually.
So here on the Joyful DVM podcast, that's what we're going to be talking about. That's what we're going to be teaching about. Every week you're going to learn a little more about how you can become empowered over your own life, how no matter what your circumstances are right now, you have the ability to create the future that you want on purpose. It's pretty simple,
but it's not always easy.And so if you're in it for the long haul, I'm right here with you. We have everything that we need to create the lives we want.We've just got to learn how to tap into it. So that's going to wrap up episode one. Have a great week, and I'll see you soon. Thanks for listening to the Joyful DVM podcast.
To check out additional episodes or grab a copy of our latest free resources, please visit our website at joyfuldvm.com and if you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving your review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends. We can change what's possible in vet med, together.