Program aims to prevent mental health crises among veterinary professionals by educating new graduates on wellness early on in their careers.

BluePearl Pet Hospital, one of the largest providers of post-graduate training programs in the U.S., today announced the launch of a new wellness training program, Clinicians in Training (CIT). This health and well-being program offers interns, residents and ER clinicians enrolled in BluePearl’s house officer and emERgeTM programs training with a veterinary social worker or wellness educator and access to mental health and wellness resources.

Each year, BluePearl trains approximately 200 rotating interns, specialty interns, residents and ER clinicians through its house officer and emERge mentorship programs. BluePearl continuously strives to identify areas of opportunities to improve its post-graduate training programs. CIT was developed by BluePearl’s Health and Well-Being Team after soliciting feedback from interns, which showed the need for greater emphasis on intern, resident and ER clinician wellness. BluePearl’s Health and Well-Being Team consists of 10 highly skilled veterinary social workers and Dr. Sonja Olson, a veterinarian and wellness educator.

It is well documented that the veterinary suicide rate is significantly higher than the general population. At BluePearl, we recognize that there must be a greater emphasis on self-care and ability to handle stressors that exist in our profession long before one reaches the point where they would consider self-harm,” said Andrea Monnig, DVM, DACVECC, Director, Clinical Development at BluePearl. “We want these young clinicians to be able to manage these stressors and set up boundaries that are going to lead to long-term professional and personal satisfaction. We know that this profession needs to hit the reset button on wellness, and it is our hope that this program is the start of something big.”

Through the CIT program, interns, residents and emERge clinicians will receive the tools and skills needed to tackle the human challenges of veterinary medicine and life. The program will cover wellness topics such as managing expectations, imposter syndrome, moral distress, setting boundaries and compassion fatigue. The Health and Well-Being Team will also introduce residents and interns to the mental health and wellness resources within the organization and assist in connecting them to a local mental health professional as needed. A simultaneous line of training and support will be provided to program directors, mentors and hospital leadership.

New graduates often struggle with the transition from student to clinician. Imposter syndrome can be rampant, communications can be challenging, and they often find themselves in situations that are an emotional rollercoaster. All of this can take a toll on young clinicians,” said Lori C. Harbert, MSW, LCSW, Director of Health and Well-Being at BluePearl. “It is our hope that this program provides young clinicians with a toolbox of skills to help them balance the demands of the profession. We want to ensure they learn behaviors of self-care early on, so they become habits that guide them through their personal and professional life. We want them to know that they are important and valued. If at any time they are struggling, there is someone there to support them. If this program can save one life, it is worth it.”

By planning wellness activities both inside and outside of hospitals, the Health and Well-Being Team hopes to strike a balance between work and life, allowing interns, residents and ER clinicians in training to bond together as a group and influence the culture inside practices for long-term impact.

Learn more about BluePearl’s internship and residency training programs.

Learn more about the emERge program.

About BluePearl Pet Hospital.

Founded in 1996, BluePearl is one of the largest specialty and emergency veterinary practices in the U.S. today. BluePearl has more than 100 hospitals in 29 states that together employ 7,000+ Associates, including 1,330+ veterinarians, 1,600+ veterinary technicians, and 4,100+ other professionals. Each year, our compassionate teams provide high-quality care for more than 1.1 million pets and their families. BluePearl clinicians also participate in clinical studies to discover new treatments and procedures that improve pet health. As part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of brands, BluePearl is committed to its purpose — A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS® — because pets make a better world for us. Learn more at