by Carrie Jurney DVM DACVIM (Neuro)
I take a lot of vacations. In fact I'm going on one tomorrow. And another quick one next month. Some small distinctly American part of me feels a bit ashamed of that. I should work more! MORE MORE MORE.... but experience tells me otherwise.
I have "burned out" in veterinary medicine twice. The last time I would put my burnout level at charcoal briquet. And that burn out came after the dubious decision to not take a real vacation for two years. Now, I was helping start a new hospital, and I had my reasons. I think all of us have experienced the thought that we simply just cannot take time off- be it time or money or other obligations, we all make excuses. Let me assure you that none of these reasons was good enough to justify doing that to myself.
So let me tell you, after two years of not taking a short week away here or there, I had to take a very long break. And that long break was much more detrimental to me financially and took far more time than any aggregates of small vacation would have been. And let me assure you, the catatonic soul searching state that this burnout "vacation" consisted of was far less pleasant than a week in Hawaii, or a long weekend camping with friends or really any other planned vacation that I have ever taken.
But, my productive demon still claws at me and tells me that I should work more.... but now I can reply to that inner voice with a much more rational voice of experience. Taking care of myself is just good math. My retirement account does not want me to need another four month break from working, so I need to take care of myself. And vacations are part of that for me.
So tell me friends, what's your favorite vacation?
The Admin Team of NOMV is a group of veterinarians dedicated to improving veterinary mental health.