By Bruce W. Francke, DVM
Ahh, the Uncharted Veterinary Conference! The highlight of my entire year every time I attend. A couple of hundred of our profession’s most enthusiastic, energetic, and successful people all gathered in one place!
Surely, such people are incredibly happy and content with their careers 100% of the time, right? Surely, they would be incapable of understanding the kind of stress and doubt that I often live within MY professional life, right? If I were honest with them about my struggles, they just wouldn’t understand.
Right? This is the way that it might feel going to a conference like Uncharted, especially to the uninitiated, the first-time attendee. You’d think “These people got it going on!” However, as a Founding Member, I’ve been lucky enough to get to know many of my fellow UVC’ers pretty well! I can tell you that we all have a story of a struggle or a time that we had to overcome adversity, just like everyone else!
I thought with all the struggles that our profession has with mental health, that sharing a time where I really struggled with mine may be helpful to someone! To know that they are not alone.
As I prepared this presentation, I feared that I may be “flying a bit too close to the Sun.” I knew that I was taking a chance talking about subject matter that has left an indelible mark on me, in front of so many people. I could have never told this story in public for at least ten years after it happened, but I decided to try. I believe that we can often be most helpful to others when we are brave enough to bare our soul, just a little.
I’m an incredibly fortunate doctor. I’ve had a great career. I’ve also been blessed with amazing family and friends but in truth, I’m lucky to still be here. This is my story. WE ALL have one!<
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Unchartedvet.com editorial team.