Vet Girl  Webinars

May 21, 2014: Suicide awareness in veterinary medicine (1.5 hrs)

Suicide sucks. 

A few months ago, veterinarian Dr. Shirley Koshi died by suicide.  And that sucks.

Suicide sucks, depression sucks, mental illness sucks.  Suicide kills people.

Why is veterinary medicine so “predisposed” to suicide?

People with mental illness or suicidal thoughts frequently suffer more than they have to because they are afraid to speak up.   That has to stop.  Nobody should have to suffer or die for fear of speaking out.  There is nothing shameful about mental illness or suicide.

In this VETgirl webinar, we discussed the prevalence of suicide in the veterinary profession in order to raise awareness of this sensitive topic and empower attendees to prevent suicide within our ranks. A brief review of recent literature will inform attendees of current thinking regarding epidemiology, detection, and prevention of suicidal behavior.  We also debunked some of the most common misconceptions regarding how to handle the issue of suicide in personal and professional life.

Topic: Suicide awareness in veterinary medicine: Should we be alarmed?
Speaker: Jeannine Moga, MA, MSW, LCSW
Date: May 21, 2014
RACE-approved hours: 1.5 hours

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Not a VETgirl member? VETgirl members receive 100+ hours of RACE-approved, online veterinary CE/year ($249). That way, you know that you have flexibility to view any of our webinars and listen to our podcasts when you have time.

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RACE-CE provider name: VETgirl, LLC
RACE Provider number: 785-37490

This program has been approved for continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. Call VETgirl (858.859.1838) for further questions.

Please contact the AAVSB RACE program if you have any comments/concerns regarding this program’s validity or relevancy to the veterinary profession.

2 thoughts on “May 21, 2014: Suicide awareness in veterinary medicine (1.5 hrs)

  1. Pingback: An Interview with a Veterinary Innovator- Dr. Justine Lee | CatalystVETS

  2. There is another important reason that veterinarians with mental illness are so isolated, and that is the punitive way in which state licensing agencies handle this issue. They are not bound by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which means they can ask specific questions about mental illness on applications and renewal forms. Some are very specific; Alaska asks applicants specific mental illnesses that the applicant has been diagnosed with. Others, e.g. Washington State, are less specific, but ask if the applicant has a physical or mental condition that “in any way” limits ability to practice “with reasonable skill and safety”.

    Answering yes to these questions, or asking for help from so called Physicians Health Programs,
    opens up inquiry into your medical records. For instance, in Washington, the agency will demand all medical records, and force the applicant, at his/her own expense, to see a doctor of their choosing.. After this grilling, the agency gets to decide if your application will be denied or restricted, or your current license revoked or restricted. Applicants must also agree to have their “progress” continually monitored for the rest of their career. All in the guise of being “helpful” by assisting the licensee to recovery and return to work.

    They handle the issue of mental illness the same way that they handle professional with drug abuse issues. Unbelievable.

    Knowing this, why would anyone ask these agencies for help from these health programs, or confide in a colleague, who could anonymously report them? Our choices are to lie on the forms, or to tell the truth and open ourselves up to grueling inquiry and possible restriction to practice.

    This needs to stop. Some physicians have sued state agencies for denying or restricting licensure based on mental illness. In one case an agency announced publicly on the internet that a physician was being investigated for bipolar disorder. There are some interesting physician blogs about this. Fighting these regulations is an uphill battle, and, of course, some of these physicians have more financial resources than we do.

    They justify not following ADA guidelines because they are a regulatory agency that must first protect the public, not an employer. Fine, if they feel that they must ask health questions to do this, I understand. But as long as our illness has stabilized, and a doctor attests to that in our medical records, the issue should not go any further.

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