Volunteer Spotlight: Mark Hedberg

Photo of a person named Mark Hedberg dressed professionally for a headshot

How long have you volunteered with NOMV?

Since January 2018 (good heavens, where has the time gone?)

What’s your role(s) with NOMV?

Forum Moderator and Sanity Check: When I look like the voice of reason and good sense, things are probably certifiably nuts.

What’s your professional role?

I’m a veterinarian, but I work in biotech sales. I sell research equipment to labs doing preclinical or pharma research. Used to work in practice, in another job I organized CE events and conferences…my career has taken a very scenic route, I guess!

What’s your favorite thing about volunteering for NOMV? 

One of the most intriguing things about NOMV, especially now that we have members on six of the seven continents (we might have had someone in Antarctica once, who knows?) is that we all face very similar struggles with our day to day mental health. The acronyms and letters may be different, but vets are vets, whether you’re inside or outside a clinic.

Why do you volunteer for NOMV?

I went through bad times, from a mental health point of view, and I don’t want to pull the ladder up behind me. I want to be part of the solution to veterinary mental health.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I grew up in the Middle East in the 80s and 90s – that’s probably a fun fact too. Oh, and dad jokes rock. I used to do a lot of tabletop gaming, and there are several old Mac shareware games I still recall extremely fondly. 🙂 

Where are you located?

Hungary – I’m a card-carrying member of the International Brigade of NOMV

Why are you committed to the NOMV mission?

Ooh, good question. I’m just “paying it forward” for the support I got from a lot of people in the last few years.

What goals do you have for the future of your profession?

The one phrase that I’d like to never see again is “only vets understand vets” – if only because I sometimes suspect we don’t really understand ourselves at all! Mental health is a symptom, not a cause, so it’s going to take quite a lot of structural work to eliminate (if we ever truly will!) the fundamental issues of the veterinary profession.

What are your aspirations within NOMV?

I’m really excited about Lifeboat – the successor to the early VISP Peer Support initiative.