The Business of Practice: Compassion Fatigue

In Episode 14 of The Business of Practice podcast, Dr. Colleen Best helps us better recognize and address compassion fatigue in veterinary practice.

In Episode 14 of The Business of Practice podcast, Dr. Colleen Best helps us better recognize and address compassion fatigue in veterinary practice. iStock/Aaron Amat

Compassion fatigue has two different components, explained Colleen Best, DVM, PhD, CCFP (Certificate of the College of Family Physicians in Compassion Fatigue) in Episode 14 of The Business of Practice podcast. “The first is burnout,” said Best. “This is when perceived demands exceeding perceived resources. When coupled with secondary traumatic stress, then we can be in a spot where we are vulnerable to experiencing compassion fatigue.” 

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Podcast transcript coming soon

Best, who operates her own business, Best Vet Coaching and Consulting, in Ontario, Canada, delves more into what these components are, how to recognize them and the resultant compassion fatigue, and what to do if you or a colleague feel like you are overwhelmed.

The Business of Practice podcast is brought to you by Dechra Veterinary Products.

Best did her PhD research focused on relationships in equine practice, including veterinarian-client and referring veterinarian-specialist communication.

Topics Covered:

  • Dealing with upset clients
  • Empathy isn’t agreement
  • Prevention
    • “Did I understand what the client wanted from me”
    • “Did the client and I talk about money?”
  • How to set up expectations
  • Fundamental problem—”Maybe I didn’t understand or acknowledge your problem, so you are mad.”
  • “Sometimes guilt looks ugly and clients throw it on us.”
  • How to work for a resolution
  • Help clients manage their guilt 
  • Empower the client to make a decision
  • You can’t rush with someone who is upset
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The Business of Practice podcast
is brought to you by Dechra Veterinary Products.

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