Dr. Marissa Rothenbaum, facilitator
In all honesty, I struggled in veterinary school. A type-B extrovert living in a type-A introvert’s world. I never felt like the “average” veterinary student, having pursued marine biology, not veterinary medicine, from age 8-23. Beyond my unique past, I felt too sensitive, too deeply affected by the way students were treated by faculty and residents, and unsure of what to do other than put my head down and miserably forge on. I thought it was just me, but then I graduated and started to hear about the suicide rate in our field, read about prominent, seemingly successful veterinary figures taking their own lives, heard some of my best friends talk about how soon they could leave the profession if they just paid off their student loans. Slowly, I realized how everyone was affected by our training, the stresses of practice, the disillusionment of reality as a veterinarian, it wasn’t just me. Our profession suffers from deep-seated, systemic issues that may take decades to change, but it is our obligation is to support each other, now. Building community, creating spaces to speak openly about challenges and emotions, respecting our peers in the career decisions they make, and generally being kind to one another. I initially saw the P10 program as an incredible opportunity to forge connections in the local veterinary community, to which I’m relatively new. And after completing the program, I have the new connections I expected, but what I didn’t anticipate is the potential in our synergy moving forward, as we build a P10 alumni group and begin accepting applications for the next class of P10. I am so excited to see what this group can do as we work together!