Emotional Problems

Stress in veterinarians is associated with the ordering of drugs, staff supervision, public relations, professional working hours, heavy responsibilities, and the fear of burglaries. While most veterinarians manage these stressors adequately, there is an ongoing problem of suicide, drug addiction, and "burnout" in the profession. Especially in small-animal veterinarians, the euthanasia of animals and the supervision of the slaughter of animals for public health reasons add further stress (see Chapter 22) (2).

In a study of 450 California veterinarians who died between January 1960 and December 1992, white male and female veterinarians had significantly elevated mortality from suicide. Significantly elevated rates were noted for suicide in veterinarians in the profession for less than 30 years (23).

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