New certificate program supports veterinary wellbeing

Published on May 09, 2019
information-circle This article is more than 3 years old

AVMA is proud to begin offering a new certificate program that empowers veterinarians and team members with the knowledge and skills to create a culture of wellbeing in their veterinary workplace.

The Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program, created with the assistance of an educational grant from Merck Animal Health, is the first certificate program to be offered through the AVMA Axon digital education platform.

Taught by subject matter experts and leaders across the veterinary community, the program is comprised of five modules that connect all veterinary team members with critical resources for group and individual problem solving focused on creating a culture of wellbeing.

The five modules can be taken individually or completed as a unit. Participants set their own pace and can earn up to 4 continuing education (CE) credit hours. All participants must complete the first module—“Creating a Culture of Wellbeing”—before moving on to the remaining modules, which may be completed in any order. Participants who complete all modules will earn an AVMA Workplace Wellbeing Certificate of Completion in addition to their CE credit.

The modules are:

  • Creating a Culture of Wellbeing: Jen Brandt, AVMA director of wellbeing and diversity, introduces and sets the stage for the Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program, discussing the differences and similarities between wellbeing and wellness, the moral and ethical imperatives for creating a culture of wellbeing, factors affecting veterinary clinician wellbeing, and strategies for creating a wellbeing culture within the veterinary workplace. Participants must complete this session before moving on to the rest of the program.
  • How to Request, Receive, and Give Feedback Effectively: Dr. Brandt discusses the positive impact that constructive feedback can have on team performance in a veterinary practice, and explains the difference between descriptive and evaluative feedback, and best practices for requesting and receiving feedback.
  • Transforming Conflict: Dr. Brandt and Dr. Elizabeth Strand, founding director of veterinary social work at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, challenge existing perceptions of conflict and discuss the influence of brain states in managing conflict effectively. Participants learn the difference between rigid, porous and healthy boundaries, and how, when and why to set compassionate boundaries to support individual wellbeing in the workplace.
  • QPR Assessment: The QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer—the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. In this module, participants learn how to recognize the signs that a colleague may be considering suicide, as well as how to establish a dialogue and guide the person to seek professional help. QPR gatekeeper training is not a substitute for professional assistance, but it can be a critical tool to save lives—and it's something that any veterinary professional can learn to do.
  • Diversity and Inclusion—Dr. Lisa Greenhill, AAVMC senior director for research and diversity, and Dr. Dane Whitaker, president-elect for Pride Veterinary Medical Community, discuss key attributes of inclusive work environments, and how to identify them. Learn about terminology related to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and come away with strategies to reduce bias and emotional burden for marginalized populations in a work environment.

The Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program is offered free of charge to all AVMA and SAVMA members, as a benefit of your membership in the AVMA. The cost for other veterinary professionals to register is $75.

Get started on the Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program to begin creating a healthy culture shift in your own veterinary workplace. See AVMA’s other wellbeing resources at


The Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program is made possible by an educational grant from Merck Animal Health


Add New Comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
Please verify that you are not a robot.