October 2013 by Michele Gaspar, DVM, DABVP (Feline), MA

Audience: Executive Leadership, Veterinary Team

Video Length: 59 minutes

If you're a shelter medicine professional, it's easy to begin neglecting your own well-being and balance. Because shelter medicine is one of the most emotionally demanding practices within veterinary medicine, clinicians face burnout, compassion fatigue and a wide range of mental health problems. This talk, given by Dr. Michele Gaspar of Urban Veterinary Care, will not only review the current literature on psychological issues experienced by clinicians engaged in high intensity practice, but will cover personal assessment and review evidence-based techniques (including mindfulness) and narrative medicine, as well as other resources that have been shown to relieve stress and maintain well-being. This presentation is part of the University of Florida's Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program track at the 2013 No More Homeless Pets National Conference.

This workshop will help you to:

  • Become familiar with the definitions and clinical signs and symptoms for all ranges of burnout, compassion fatigue, depression and anxiety.
  • Understand the current literature regarding stress-related issues, recognize warning signs in yourself and others, and know when to appropriately refer.
  • Create a menu of techniques to soothe stress in your professional and personal lives.

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About Michele Gaspar, DVM, DABVP (Feline), MA

Dr. Gaspar became part of the Urban Veterinary team in early 2012. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine, in 1994. During that time she received the Impromed Small Animal Internal Medicine Award and was inducted into Phi Zeta, the veterinary medicine academic honorary society. Dr. Gaspar has also completed the Veterinary Medical Acupuncture Program at Colorado State University, and the Veterinary Chinese herbal modules through the Chi Institute in Florida. Dr. Gaspar's overall main focus is on wellness/disease prevention care. She practices integrative medicine, which combines the best treatment and medicine that traditional Western medicine has to offer with alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, herbal remedies and chiropractic therapies, to help promote healing and wellness for her patients. Dr. Gaspar is also on the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners as a certified feline specialist. She is one of eighty feline specialist in the entire world. Her interest includes gastrointestinal disease in canines and felines; endocrine disease, especially diabetes and feline hyperthyroidism; pain management; oncology; renal disease; client education; and wellness and disease prevention. When Dr. Gaspar is not caring for cats and dogs at Urban Vet, she lectures at different veterinary conferences across the country. She is also a full time consultant for the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), which helps veterinarians from all over the world with those difficult, complex medical cases.