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What's new over here?

If you have been following along in my personal journey, you will know that my husband and I made the move from Toronto, Ontario to Kelowna, BC. We drove across five provinces during the pandemic, over half the length of our great country in order to be closer to my family.

This also meant my husband having to leave his family behind, which is quite a sacrifice if you think about it. Despite the fact that he didn't see his family all that much, he was sad that he wouldn't have them to "see" at any time that he wanted.

I started at a new practice, still in small animal, but expanded into an emergency role. It was going very smoothly, as smooth as a new job can be, and it is one of the best clinics that I have worked at. It all came to a explosive crash when Easter long weekend came. I worked 7 out of 8 days, and that one day off was spent doing chores - laundry, cooking, cleaning, trying to catch up on sleep.

After that week, I was very far behind on my medical records. I then couldn't keep up. I had anxiety attacks looking at the number of medical records that were left unfinished. It was the first time I had been so far behind that I thought I would never caught up.

I hired a counsellor to talk about my issues, using an online service to text, but it wasn't helping because she didn't really know what the cause was of the anxiety. We scheduled a video chat recently so that she could get an idea of what the underlying cause of my anxiety was.

One thing to note that when you are behind in your medical records, it is not a reflection of you as a doctor. It is a reflection of the system that you are working in. Do not take it personally. I know, we are all Type A and we need things to be perfect, but that's not realistic, and is not reality.

So, I am here, trying to not beat myself up about not having my medical records completed when I have not been given any office time to complete them. I am also telling myself that I need to take time off of work. I should not stress about all the medical records that I have to get done, on my days off. Days off at just that. They are for you to regenerate. So that you can be energized for the week. If you work your entire weekend, then you are going to get burnt out. That leads to compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue leads to angry clients and then, this leads to a less fulfilling work place.

Take your weekends for you! Get outside, get some fresh air! Get some exercise!

Do not let the more senior veterinarians of the practice intimidate you into working your entire weekend on your medical records just because they do. This is not the culture that we want to support going forward in our profession.

I can say this, because I am not a millennial (despite my husband thinking that I am, because he is). Millennials are not being lazy just because they wish to work a 40 hour work week! It's called wanting a work-life balance!!! They deserve it, and we deserve it.

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