They are also some of the main factors behind the high level of mental health issues affecting the profession.
The Australian Veterinary Association says that vets at a “significantly higher risk of suicide than the general population. In everyday terms, most veterinarians know a colleague or know of a fellow veterinarian who has committed suicide”.
“While other healthcare professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, dentists and nurses are around twice as likely to commit suicide than the general population, veterinarians have been shown to be up to four times more likely to fall victim to suicide.”
David Gray, a veterinarian of almost 50 years, says the life of a regional or rural vet is hard and most definitely plays a part on their mental health.
“The average suburban vet doesn’t do after hours work. Regional and rural vets do, and it is the biggest drain on your sanity and on your family life,” he tells Mamamia.
David began his work in the regional area of the NSW Central Coast and then at his own practice in nearby Nowra which he established in 1976. Throughout his time there, David spent most of it caring for dairy cows and horses as well as some smaller animals.