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July 15, 2021

Convention sessions center on well-being

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Updated June 23, 2021

Presentations on well-being, stress, and thriving in practice will be offered throughout AVMA Virtual Convention 2021, scheduled for July 29-Aug. 1.

On July 29, Julie L. Squires, a certified compassion fatigue specialist and life coach, will speak during “Silencing the Inner Bully.” The lecture will discuss negative self-talk and changing the inner dialogue to be more compassionate. The session will also review how thinking, feeling, and acting differently toward yourself can create better self-esteem and confidence.

Woman training at home, watching online videos on laptop, Shiba Inu dog sleeping near her


“Thriving Not Just Surviving in Veterinary Medicine,” being held on the same day, will include information about burnout, compassion fatigue, and overall mental health concerns in veterinary medicine. Megan Brashear, a registered veterinary technician with 20 years of experience in emergency and critical care, will discuss the challenges and offer practical tips.

Later that day, Jen J. Butler, a leader in stress management and resilience training will speak on how to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and evaluate a crisis. The lecture will focus on the difference between stress management and crisis coping, how the body responds biologically to a crisis, and six steps to cope with a crisis.

On July 30, Dr. Caroline Jurney, director of Forum Moderators, will talk about how to achieve a culture of wellness within a practice. “Wellness Bootcamp: Actionable Steps to Take in Your Clinic to Improve Wellbeing,” will feature discussions on hospital culture and where clinics fail on wellness. Dr. Jurney will also showcase actionable steps to improve.

“Make Your Own Wellbeing Plan” with Kristina Guldbrand, a certified veterinary technician and an operations manager and certified leadership and well-being coach, will guide attendees through a coaching-style lecture on evaluating what is important in life, discussing the factors keeping people away from well-being, and then defining where you want to be. The session will focus on creating a personal well-being plan and the necessary tools to stay on track with it. This is a $30 ticketed event, and potential attendees can sign up while registering for the convention or by modifying their registration.

On Aug. 1, “Helping the Helpers: Techniques to Support Veterinary Professionals in Suicidal Distress,” will teach veterinary professionals how to recognize and respond to someone who may be having thoughts of suicide. The lecture, led by Dr. Addie R. Reinhard, founder and director of MentorVet, and Daniel Stillwell, PhD, a marriage and family therapist, will discuss warning signs for suicide, communication tactics and emotional processing tools to respond to those signs, and how to cope with the loss of someone who has died by suicide.

Other well-being events during convention include activities such as the Power Up Virtual 5K held between July 19 and Aug. 13 and Virtual Zoo Yoga at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 31, streamed directly from the Minnesota Zoo.

Get information about AVMA Virtual Convention 2021, including details about continuing education, special events, and more. You can also sign up there to receive Convention Insider, which is a pre-convention guide, and Convention Daily News.