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25 May 2020

"What Being a Veterinarian Really Takes" Goes Viral

Melanie Bowden, DVM at TEDxCoeurdalene

An honest description of the everyday life of a veterinarian, one just like you, has gone viral.

Dr. Melanie Bowden's passionate Ted Talk has been watched over 185,000 times since being posted in early March. With passionate quotes like, "There is nothing more soul-crushing in life than having the skills and ability to help something helpless and you can't do it because someone can't afford treatment,” it’s not hard to understand why the video has gained so much popularity. 

Her presentation depicts veterinary life both honestly and beautifully, in a way that anyone in the vet community can relate. She touches on serious issues in the field that you may have experienced yourself, such as burn-out, compassion fatigue, and emotional exhaustion.      

Dr. Bowden is trying to start a revolution in the veterinary industry. By developing a better partnership between veterinarians and pet owners, she hopes to build a better future for the veterinary profession and the animals you care for.

As a graduate of WSU College of Veterinary Medicine, a practicing veterinarian with active licenses all over the country, as well as someone with experience working in many types of clinics, Dr. Bowden has witnessed first-hand the burn-out, compassion fatigue, and emotional exhaustion that is plaguing the veterinary industry.  In 2020, Dr. Bowden will launch her business, Vacation Vet LLC, to provide relief veterinary services to veterinary clinics throughout the Pacific Northwest and New England. Dr. Bowden will be filling in when veterinarians need time off for vacations, conferences, sick leave, or just because a clinic is understaffed. Through her relief work, she hopes to help lighten the load on other veterinarians in the field, help them achieve better work/life balance, and raise awareness about burnout and suicide in the veterinary industry.  

Follow Melanie Bowden--

Instagram: @vacationvet

Facebook: @vacationvet

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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