VetVet Pet Pals Spotlight: Addie Reinhard, DVM, MS
December 17, 2021
This month we’re putting the Pet Pals Spotlight on Dr. Addie Reinhard, a veterinarian who has focused much of her research on helping other vets care for themselves so they can provide better care for their patients.
What made you want to become a veterinarian?
Most veterinarians have wanted to be vets their entire lives. Unlike many veterinarians, I did not decide to pursue a career in veterinary medicine until the second year of my undergraduate degree.
I was working on my bachelor's degree in biology, and as part of this experience, I worked alongside a veterinarian during an internship at the Western North Carolina Nature Center. After being exposed to a career in veterinary medicine, I quickly saw this career aligned with my interests in science, teaching, and animals! I also loved that this career provided flexibility and diversity of career options.
You can do so much with a DVM ranging from public health, private practice, research, teaching, and that is just to name a few options.
You've done a ton of research to help promote early career well-being, what would you say is one thing that people can do on a weekly basis for themselves to make sure they are taking care of themselves.
The best thing that people can do is to continually assess (at least weekly) how they are doing on their self-care as well as stress management. There is a lot of research surrounding how to promote individual wellbeing.
According to the literature, there are many different ways that we can take care of ourselves including getting adequate amounts of sleep and exercise, eating healthy, spending time with friends and family, expressing gratitude, meditating, pursuing hobbies, and volunteering.
Self-care is individualized so what works for some will not work as well for others. It is important to determine which self-care strategies work best for you. While these self-care strategies are very important, I think it is equally important to learn ways to help decrease the stress you are experiencing in the workplace.
The best way to invest in your own wellbeing is to get training in some of these professional skills (e.g. communication, conflict management, etc.) so you can better navigate the stressors you may be experiencing on a daily basis.
What do you think is most exciting about veterinary medicine today?
There has been a growing awareness about the statistics regarding the high levels of stress and burnout within the profession. Recently, I have witnessed a shift in talking about the problem to implementing solutions to help promote mental health and wellbeing in the profession.
I think that the veterinary profession is full of many amazing individuals, and so many of these individuals are now working on solutions to the complex issues that we are facing. I think that we are finally on the right track to working towards a healthier profession.
If you could wave a magic wand and change any one thing about veterinary medicine, what would it be?
A large stressor that many veterinarians face is learning how to provide excellent patient care given limited client financial resources.
My magic wand would enroll every animal in pet insurance to ensure that financial barriers were less of a concern as well as ensure programs like AlignCare® received substantial funding so that any family with a financial barrier to pet care could still receive quality patient care.
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