Why is it good to work on empathy?

Picture Source: Quotefancy

Why is it good to work on empathy?

As vets we #1 help animals and we help people in the doing of #1. Well that’s how many vets see it.
However, the reality of vet work is that the human is actually the main focus of the vet-client dynamic, helping the human is what we do – helping the animal is #2. We help humans honour and love the animal they have chosen (or if a cat it has chosen them 😉 ) to invest in for the wellbeing of themself and their family. The animal is a thing they choose to accompany them in life, the human has made the choice to feed, house and care for this selected animal and for the most part they do it to the best of their ability.
As vets we see a range of ‘the best of their ability’ in how people look after their animals, we see a huge diversity in the ways – physically, emotionally and financially that people use to show love and care for their animal. What we may or may not recognise is that along with the ability to care for their pets showing up as a huge range of styles and formats that people look after themselves, their kids and their families in the same range of ways – and likewise they are doing it to the best of their abilities (again for the most part).
Do they look after their pets in a way that you do? No, not often. Do they look after themselves in a way that you do? Sometimes…. Do you agree with how they look after their pets? Hmm sometimes. Is it easy to accept how some people look after their pets? No definitely not and at this time it is really hard not to judge someone for their differences and what you might perceive as a lack in their care. Is it frustrating and sad that sometimes our ability to serve a client and their pet to the level we would like to? Certainly, it is. Sometimes it totally sucks. However, is providing care and having the ability to pay for it the same thing? Do those who are more wealthy necessarily look after themselves, their pets and their loved ones better than others?
And what does this have to do with empathy? According to Psychology Today, empathy is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” and plays an important role in our society’s ability to function, promoting a “sharing of experiences, needs, and desires between individuals.” Empathy is integral to how our neural networks are set up to interact with the neural networks of others in order to both perceive and understand their emotions and to differentiate them from our own, which makes it possible for humans to live with one another without constantly fighting or feeling “taken over by someone else”. So in the vet clinic setting we can understand the feelings of another person without being affected or taken over by the feelings of that person. Sounds handy when dealing with some of those harder cases hey?
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Photo Source: https://www.psychalive.org/

So back to feeling empathy for our humans – does the incapacity to pay for gold standard services mean that person does not have a gold standard love and need for their pet? No, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA) says that “Less income doesn’t mean less love”. There’s no correlation between income and desire/commitment to provide necessary care for pets (ASPCA®). So if you were tempted to make assumptions and judge – then now is exactly the time to let go of the judging.
If you are a parent then I believe you will easily know what I mean when I change the term from pets to children. Is it shocking what some people think is normal and ok for their children? … Yes. Is it also amazing what some parents go through in self-sacrifice and circumstances in order to protect and provide for their kids. Yes. The same is true for pet-parents. Love and care has nothing to do with income or ability to pay.
So putting it all together – we need to be careful of judging people, and empathy is the key. It is key for our clients to feel listened to and understood and also our own mental health to understand but not take on the feelings of others “or feel taken over by someone else” in that consult room. Psychology Today explains it is often easier to have empathy for someone who is like us but it is possible to learn empathy for those who are different from us. This kind of understanding, can cross bridges and promote positive social behavior.
Not feeling it? All human beings are not created equal when it comes to the capacity for empathy, according to scientists. Some of our brains are wired to be more sensitive to others’ feelings and perspectives than others. In addition to variations in our personal dispositions, the culture we are raised in has an impact on our ability to feel empathy for others. The science of empathy is a hot topic (Sullivan, 2017). Well thankfully – there is mounting evidence to say that empathy can be taught – so you can learn it (Barth, 2018)
If you need more proof of why you would want to learn it – Sullivan states that empathetic doctors tended to have patients who followed treatment recommendations and showed better treatment outcomes.
So with empathy in place it is a Win:Win:Win!!!
A win for the vets mental health, a win for the client being understood and a win for the patients getting better treatment outcomes. This is why it is good to work on empathy.
Dr Emma Davis BVSc
Veterinary Career and Business Coach
~Love Your Veterinary Career~
e: myveterinarycareer@gmail.com
w: veterinarycareers.com.au

Veterinarians – Plan to Succeed!

The 5 reasons why you MUST attend a veterinary career planning seminar ….

Let’s not mess about as we all know that our time is precious. As some of you may know, I am a Veterinary Career and Business Coach – an expert in veterinary scientist careers nonetheless. I help people like you with gaining clarity around the next big step in their career and taking our vague wishes into actions that get results. Today, I will be sharing with you, 5 reasons why you should attend our veterinary career and business planning session! 

More importantly, today I will help you make a solid decision of whether you really want to ‘take your career to the next level’ OR stay stuck and not realise your potential and how amazing your career can actually be. The thing is, veterinary career planning is not suitable for everyone. That’s the truth. 

I know of so many people who were only slightly interested in planning their career and who wanted to take the next big step in their career… but they never got anywhere because they did not dig deep enough to truly understand why planning is so important.

After talking with dozens of my successful customers, I have distilled the 5 main reasons why anyone would want to ‘plan and uplevel their veterinary career’ and it is not what you imagine.

1. Most of us thought that the only thing in our heart was to be a veterinarian.

We started out wanting 100% to serve as a veterinarian but didn’t realise that our hearts evolve too.  While we checked in with our head often and it tells us that ‘see we are here – we are a vet – this is all you ever wanted’ and we set our eyes upon that fact. Many of us are really surprised when after we achieve being a vet, that there is still more written on our heart. Then often we don’t know what to do with this knowledge – our heads are telling us ‘you are a vet and that is enough’ and yet our heart is murmuring that ‘this is great but there is more’. Attending a planning session with a vet career coach will start to shine a light into what you ACTUALLY WANT from your career!

2. We wonder if we are capable of bringing the big thing on our hearts to light – and the answer is yes we are! 

BUT we will need to dig deep within ourselves to find the courage to make it happen! Fear is a liar and will often stop people from fulfilling their dreams – through sneakily creating a cloud of doubt that: 

a) how could you possibly could get such a big project done, or 

b) by throwing up lots of ‘logical reasons’ like ‘now just isn’t the right time’. 

Granted some ideas shouldn’t EVER have a right time 🙂 but how will you know if you don’t try?! And maybe through assessing the first idea – the right one will be revealed. Through going through the planning session you will go through a strategic process and get clarity on which ideas are worth the effort and WHY you MUST get it done!

3. Where focus goes – energy flows!

When we have clarity about what we want (such as the clarity we get in a planning session!) we propel ourselves towards it, we naturally make more decisions that get us to where we want to go. But, if we stay vague or undecided on what we actually want – it is as good as driving a vehicle around only turning the wheel to the right hand side, you go around in circles right! Why would you only turn the wheel one way? – you say… Well perhaps this is all that you have ever done, and it is the ‘muscle’ that is  stronger and well-practised – and happens without thought, and the result – well you generally go about in circles – you might make some progress but you are not really getting anywhere. In this way you MIGHT incidentally touch upon something you love to do and drives you to where you want to be….. but it is just as likely that it will not. We have given over the power of what we could create in our careers simply by avoiding making a decision 

4. Do you feel busy constantly? Like there is NOT enough time in the day or week to fit something else in? 

Do you feel overwhelmed and like you are always behind the 8-ball and that no-one ever seems happy with what you HAVE been able to get done. Truth is you will feel this way ALWAYS until you take some time out of working IN your busy career to work UPON your busy career. In this way you can strategically make decisions so that you can put less time and effort in and get MUCH better results! IN this way you can regain control over your time and have more influence on your results. To be quite frank – ‘busy’ is an addiction – and it’s time YOU broke free! 

5. We love helping animals in fact we are CALLED to do this, but there comes a time when we don’t have much more to give and we need to prioritise helping ourselves. 

For us, our families and our wellbeing – we eventually need to UPLEVEL how we do our careers and time management and ensure that we are getting nourished and our personal life is progressing in a healthy manner. It is through this evolution that true contentment, understanding and joy arises. We evolve and so do our goals and that is perfect! Come and spend some time working out who you are and what you want. 


Do any of these resonate with you? I want you to dig deep to truly figure out why you want to attend a veterinary career planning session!

You may realise at the end of the day that veterinary career planning isn’t for you, and that’s ok. But if getting clarity on your career and business goals is something that you are interested in, I am here to walk this journey with you! So let me know… what is your personal WHY for wanting to attend and get your career on-track and organised? What change will attending a career planning session bring into your world? Why would you like to uplevel and recreate the LOVE of your veterinary career? 

I truly don’t think that it is a coincidence that you are here!

Send a message and let me know! 

If you would like to join us at a Veterinary Career and Planning Seminar – We will see you there! Dates are:

1. Friday 4 September 2012, 18.30 – 21.30 AEST/ 9.30 – 12.30 BST

2. Saturday 5 September 2020, 15.30 – 18.30 AEST/ 17.30 – 20.30 NZST

3. Sunday 6 September 2020, 10.00 – 13.00 AEST/ 20.00 – 23.00 EDT

For more information go here: https://veterinarycareers.com.au/veterinary-career-and-business-planning-online-workshops/

For tickets: Veterinary Career and Planning Session Tickets

Veterinary Career and Business Planning

Veterinarians Plan to Succeed at a Veterinary Career and Business Planning Session! Book Here

The Stories We Tell, the Global Veterinary Career Summit

Last month we kicked off the 12 month Global Veterinary Careers Summit (GVCS) and it is a career-changing, or a career-forming or even a profession-changing event – or all three at once. After all – I have the liberty of telling this story 😉 !

What struck me about the GVCS was the generous gifts of personal stories our vet and tech attendees shared about their careers, their experiences, their expectations, their wins and their learnings. It made me ponder the power of the story – that a story has the power to influence the listener, in fact it can directly influence the listeners career trajectory – I know from personal experience.

That our colleagues are so willing to share and reflect upon and not tell their career story as a list of their amazing achievements (of which -I must say – there are is an amazing array in there!) is refreshing. That each told their story framed with an honest and modest account of the twists and turns in their professional journey, and on occasion the mistakes, spills and falls that their career paths have included was (and is) profession changing. But such honest stories are not given away lightly – as Brene’ Brown says “We share with people who’ve earned the right to hear our story…”

I did my research and read that a story influences through the emotions it elicits in the listener, and then the emotion has the power to impact on that persons inner-dialogue and spark encouragement or hope that their story might follow or avoid what the story describes. That our attendees came with open minds and heart and the courage to share has created an atmosphere and creative forward-thinking environment that I have not experienced before in a group of high-achieving scientist personalities. The atmosphere of creativity, connection and encouragement, helped me learn – that many people also experience imposter syndrome when they stretch themselves and step up to the next level or goal. I learned how this ‘imposter’, the negative voice telling me to shrink back and not take action, shows up for others too – and I learned the ways that they manage it and not let it hold them back. This is the good stuff – the ‘summit gold’ where careers and lives are forever changed.

We learned from each other, and I suggest all collectively sighed a breath of relief, that in our profession where we each strive to be the best at what we do and often come up against competitive, and sometimes negative or nasty colleagues (likely enmeshed in their own dark struggles) that we hold the capacity to create a space for being ‘human’, ‘authentic’, ‘fallible’, ‘damageable’ as well as the obvious Freaking Excellent in our roles! And to hopefully realise that despite our feelings, and harsh self-perceptions that we are one of an exceptionally talented group of human beings.

We have been able let down our masks for a bit and breathe and support our colleagues and admit human-ness and dare I say heal some of the damage and hurt that the stories we were told previously, or indeed that our ‘imposter’ voice on occasion hammers us with. In the Global Veterinary Career Summit, we got outside of ourselves and helped others to create a place where the collective experience was ‘kindness, wisdom, creativity, helping and ‘shared learnings’ – not a bad result from a group of animal-healing/ animal-loving vets and techs 😊!

Another lesson I learned from listening to the stories being told is that everything is learnable or if I quote the lovely Ebony Escalona ‘everything is figure-out-able’. That the people achieving and creating opportunity for themselves and their careers are the ones who stay open to learning and are brave on occasion to stretch themselves and risk being the new kid on the block. For me some of the most interesting stories came from those who learned to show up again and to take the good bits with the hard bits and the total failures (or life-learnings as I like to call them 😉) and while the entrepreneurial story-teller might rest for a period, that they then take a deep breath and try again and not let the story being told in their head stop them from trying.

The thing about stories is that we all have them. Through being coached and coaching others – I can attest that in fact – life is nothing more than stories.

The beauty of the story is that we can tell it as we want to, we can highlight the good bits or we can focus on and highlight the bad bits, we can tell a story of the learnings or frame it as the struggles, the highs or the lows, the parts that nearly took us out and that now with distance and space that we see as the diamond in the ashes – the turning point that re-shaped and defined us – that parts that made us. We can tell the stories of our past – of the now and how we perceive what is going on around us and most powerfully we can re-draft and design the story of our future.

If you would like to share your story with us – we would love to hear it. Join us in the Whova app for the next 11 months of GVCS.

~ Love Your Veterinary Career ~

Xx Em


Dr Emma Davis BVSc

Veterinary Career and Business Coach

e: myveterinarycareer@gmail.com

b: https://COACHINGLINK.as.me/IntroCall 

Announcing the Global Online Veterinary Career Summit! …. Coming in June 2020! Register Your Interest Today!


We are super proud to announce the launch of the Global Online Veterinary Careers Summit!

VeterinaryCareers.com.au (AUS and NZ) is working in partnership with The DVM Project Career Discussion Group (Canada and US)  and Vets Stay, Go Diversify (UK and EUR)

Register your interest to get involved in the link below and be part of this interactive community extravaganza 

Register your interest here!

We would love to include photos of this community in the summit to showcase our diverse #VetPassports ! So, to celebrate today pop photos of your veterinary careers and journeys in the comments below


Emma Davis, Co-founder of VeterinaryCareers.com.au           

Emma will join us all the way from Australia and will help us to make the most of career opportunities all around us. Veterinarycareers.com.au is a career hub that specialises in roles outside of traditional veterinary practice – such as public practice, research, and corporate veterinary roles. Promoting the role of the veterinarian in society in addressing issues of animal welfare, zoonotic and emerging disease, biosecurity, food safety & security.

Ebony Escalona, founder of  Vets Stay Go Diversify!  Ebony– founder of VSGD from the UK is all about bringing community together and showcasing the career stories inside us all. Vets Stay Go Diversify! is a veterinary careers community like no other. Over 13, 000 global members in the VSGD Facebook group explore potential together online and in person!

Melanie Barham, founder of The DVM Project

Melanie is from Guelph and brings the research into focus about our career stories and why we do what we do. The DVM Project‘s goal is to share, to connect, and to embrace and explore differences within careers in veterinary medicine. Loads of food for thought through interviews, stories and advice from veterinarians from all different career paths.

Navigating COVID-19 – Business Tips for the Veterinary Industry #1


If your INCOME COULD be affected AT ALL, you should register your intent to claim with the Government. I recommend doing so preventatively and as soon as possible.

Follow link to register: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19/if-you-need-payment-coronavirus-covid-19/how-register-your-intention-claim-centrelink-payment-coronavirus-covid-19 

~Love Your Veterinary Career~

Dr Emma Davis BVSc, Veterinary Business and Career Coach

e: myveterinarycareer@gmail.com

w: veterinarycareers.com.au