by Carrie Jurney DVM DACVIM (Neuro)
So, I'm back to taking my class on happiness, and this week we are talking about the importance of social connections in happiness.
Now, clearly loneliness is something that affects your emotional state. What I didn't realize is that it can also affect your physical state. For instance, people who report being more lonely have decreased immune funcition. fMRI studies have shown that social exclusion results in activity in the same areas of the brain as physical pain.
When I get truly reflective on what in the world we do at NOMV, I think the most important thing we do is remove isolation. We all know that veterinary medicine can be incredibly isolating. How many of you are in one doctor practices or are the only doctor on in a day? Or on ambulatory by yourself? I cannot count how many time I have personally had to skip social events, family birthdays, holidays and funerals, because of work. These social connections are an important part of happiness, and too many veterinarians allow our job to remove those connections from our lives.
So, next time that 4:50pm emergency calls on the day of your kid's t-ball game or your friend's birthday dinner, maybe send it to the local ER? It's important.