More female veterinarians than the general population suffer depression that include contemplating suicide, reports a study by the University of Guelph.
In contrast, male veterinarians are less prone to suicidal thoughts than the general male population.
The researchers speculate that may be because the male population they surveyed is older.
They found that many of the female veterinarians are stressed when they deal with a pet that they know they could help, but the pet owner can’t afford it.
The researchers suggest that more should be done to encourage pet owners to buy insurance.
Jennifer Perret, the lead author, said veterinarians should consider improving their work-life balance. She also said the work can be emotionally challenging.
“Veterinarians have a particular relationship with death and euthanasia because it is something that we deal with on a daily basis," she said.
"We may be more likely to see euthanasia as a reasonable outcome when quality of life is poor."
The researchers say they hope the report will help veterinarians appreciate that they’re not alone.