10.01.2014

The Consummate Teacher Gives One Final Lesson

I have too many friends in the veterinary industry to NOT share this link and PSA in the light of Dr. Sophia Yin's passing on Monday. 

The team at VetGirl had re-posted (for free) a recent webinar on suicide in the veterinarian industry after a few high profile recent suicides in the profession and I beg everyone who is in this industry to watch it.

When we go to the doctor we might be referred to a specialist, a surgeon, or other field of medicine. If you are a vet, the chances are you do it all. It's a high stress job where you are a dentist, a family physician, a nurse practitioner, a surgeon, a puppy doctor, and you help others navigate the toughest of decisions regarding pets. You also get peed on and vomited on, often. 
Dr Yin, in addition to this, was also a TRUE behaviorist. Consider this: If you need a behaviorist, things are usually not going so well. You don't see a behaviorist for "sit" and "give paw". You see a behaviorist when dogs are biting people, or are shut down from fear (and other tough emotional issues). 

Actual, certified Behaviorists, like Dr. Yin, are board certified through the Diplomates of American Veterinary Behaviorists. There are many "behaviorists" who are not actually behaviorists, but they use that title which is reserved for PhD's in the field of veterinarian behavior sciences, which is unfortunate. Dr. Yin was, in my estimation, the best of the best, and my favorite go-to website to help my students here in Boston. She touched the lives of thousands of dogs that she didn't even know by helping people like little old me with free resources for tough cases. She has helped thousands of dogs through every veterinary technician or veterinarian who has implemented her low-stress handling techniques



She did it all. And now she's gone.




We screamed it from mountain tops when Robin Williams died. We shouldn't stop screaming. There are people who need help, or need to know that help is out there. I'm familiar with Samaritans in MA (http://samaritanshope.org/) but there is also the national hot-line http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Do your part, and if you see signs of depression, or feel that someone is at the end of their rope, make sure they have the resources to be successful in the same way she made sure that dog owners had the resources they needed to be successful. Even with her tragic death, I'd like to think she can still serve as the consummate teacher and help at least one person recognize that they are worth it, that they have resources, and that people really care (even if they don't say it often enough.)


-M3