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Wellness Wednesdays help provide DVM students with strategies to combat stress

A new series of workshops for Ontario Veterinary College DVM students aims to provide them with strategies to enhance their ability to bounce back from stress.

The Wellness Wednesday series, which began in September, runs for the eight months of the OVC DVM program, and covers a variety of topics. The overarching theme is to enhance the resiliency of DVM students. The initiative was conceived and planned by the office of the Associate Dean of Students.

“We are very pleased that Zoetis Canada has agreed to sponsor this important initiative for our students,” says Dr. Peter Conlon, Associate Dean, Students. It is a great addition to the portfolio of activities that the OVC Peer Helper team provide to DVM students.

Zoetis in the U.S. partnered with the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges to support the first Veterinary Health and Wellness Summit in October 2013 and continued its sponsorship with the second conference in October 2014, says Conlon.

Conlon, Associate Dean, Students at the Ontario Veterinary College attended both conferences where the concept of the Eight Domains of Wellness was presented. These include emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual.

Working with the OVC Peer Helpers, he proposed OVC provide a series of workshops and talks for the DVM student population centred on these domains of wellness. A survey of the 2013-2014 first year DVM class, which was repeated with the both the first and second year classes this year, pointed to a specific need for OVC to help students with maintaining and increasing their resiliency, says Conlon.

Topics to date have included: knowing your learning style to maximize your student experience and thriving financially as a DVM student.

The workshops continue from January to late March with talks on: balanced lifestyles and how to support each other; evidence-based strategies from positive psychology for emotional health and well-being; living sustainably as a student; intergenerational communication: understanding faculty, staff and future clients; and healthy eating during exams.

Wellness Wednesday talks are open to all DVM students with the next talk on January 21 – Balanced lifestyles and how to support each other, with Diana Chinnery, UofG Counselling and Student Accessibility Services.

Download a copy of the schedule here or contact Elizabeth Lowenger for more information.