Objective—To evaluate the prevalence of suicide risk factors, attitudes toward mental illness, and practice-related stressors among US veterinarians.
Sample—11,627 US veterinarians.
Procedures—Between July 1 and October 20, 2014, a Web-based questionnaire was made available through the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), VIN News Service, JAVMA News, and email messages to US veterinarians sent by a veterinary medical association, agriculture or livestock department, or health department of each state (except Maine) and Puerto Rico.
Results—Of 11,627 respondents, 3,628 (31%) were male. Modal age category was 30 to 39 years, and modal range for years practicing veterinary medicine was 10 to 19 years. There were 7,460 (64%) respondents who primarily practiced small animal medicine, and 4,224 (36%) who were practice owners. There were 1,077 (9%) respondents with current serious psychological distress. Since leaving veterinary school, 3,655 (31%) respondents experienced depressive episodes, 1,952 (17%) experienced suicidal ideation, and 157 (1%) attempted suicide. Currently, 2,228 (19%) respondents were receiving treatment for a mental health condition. Only 3,250 of 10,220 (32%) respondents somewhat or strongly agreed that people are sympathetic toward persons with mental illness. The most commonly reported practice-related stressor was demands of practice.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this survey, approximately 1 in 11 veterinarians had serious psychological distress and 1 in 6 experienced suicidal ideation since leaving veterinary school. Implementing measures to help veterinarians cope with practice-related stressors and reducing barriers veterinarians face in seeking mental health treatment might reduce the risk for suicide among veterinarians.
Preface1405 I. INTRODUCTION1405 A. OBJECTIVES1405 B. BACKGROUND1405 C. CONSIDERATIONS1405 II. ZOONOTIC DISEASE TRANSMISSION1406 A. SOURCE1406 B. HOST SUSCEPTIBILITY1406 C. ROUTES OF TRANSMISSION1406 1. CONTACT TRANSMISSION1406 2. AEROSOL TRANSMISSION1406 3. VECTOR-BORNE TRANSMISSION1406 III. VETERINARY STANDARD PRECAUTIONS1406 A. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE ACTIONS AND EQUIPMENT1406 1. HAND HYGIENE1406 2. USE OF GLOVES AND SLEEVES1407 3. FACIAL PROTECTION1407 4. RESPIRATORY TRACT PROTECTION1408 5. PROTECTIVE OUTERWEAR1408 a. Laboratory coats, smocks, aprons, and coveralls1408 b. Nonsterile gowns1408 c. Footwear1408 d. Head