Veterinary Wellbeing Study II

While you’re busy taking care of your clients, don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Merck Animal Health is committed to the veterinary profession and proud of our role in conducting this landmark study in collaboration with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). We hope to help the AVMA bring critical awareness and solutions to this important matter to better meet veterinarians’ needs.

Merck Animal Health Veterinary Wellbeing Study II

January 2020

Merck Animal Health announced the results of a second comprehensive study of wellbeing and mental health among U.S. veterinarians. Conducted in collaboration with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the study also examined job satisfaction, compensation, burnout, substance use disorder, cyberbullying and suicide among veterinarians while evaluating potential solutions. 

Meet the authors

John Volk,


Senior Consultant Brakke Consulting

John Volk is the principal author of four landmark economic studies of the veterinary profession, has been widely published in veterinary journals and is a frequent speaker at veterinary conferences. He is a senior consultant with Brakke Consulting, the largest consulting firm serving the global animal health, veterinary and pet care markets.

Uli Schimmack,


Dr. Uli Schimmack is a professor in the psychology department at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. His research focuses on the scientific understanding of happiness with the ultimate goal of developing a causal theory that can be used to predict the impact of personal and societal changes on subjective wellbeing or happiness.

Elizabeth Strand,


Dr. Elizabeth Strand is the founding director of Veterinary Social Work (VSW) at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a licensed clinical social worker, family therapist, mediator and grief counselor. Her areas of interest include the development of veterinary social work as a sub-specialty of social work practice.

Judson Vasconcelos,


Dr. Judson Vasconcelos leads the Merck Animal Health Veterinary & Consumer Affairs team engaging in projects to inform and earn consumer trust in modern food production as well as those that support the veterinary profession. Merck supports the veterinary profession through the Veterinary Wellbeing study as well as student and scholarship initiatives that endeavor to improve the profession.

Colin Siren,


Senior Vice President Kynetec

Colin Siren’s extensive experience in market research has focused on the animal health sector for 16 years.  Based in Guelph, Ontario, he utilizes a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to assist clients with needs relating to marketing, advertising and consumer behavior.

Linda Lord,


In memoriam

Prior to joining Merck Animal Health as the Academic and Allied Industry Liaison Lead, the late Dr. Linda Lord served as Associate Dean for Professional Programs and faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Lord was named Veterinarian of the Year in 2016 by the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and also was chair of the Veterinary Wellness Advancement Group for the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

Past Studies

Merck Animal Health
Veterinary Wellbeing Study III

January 2021

Merck Animal Health released findings of its third comprehensive veterinary wellbeing study in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) examining the wellbeing and mental health of U.S. veterinarians. Conducted in the fall of 2021, it is the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began with a goal to examine and bring critical awareness to the challenges impacting the veterinary profession, while highlighting the impact the pandemic has had on practitioners and staff. For the first time, the study includes responses from veterinary technicians and support staff and their perspectives on the challenges they are currently facing at work.

Inaugural 2017
Veterinary Wellbeing Study

January 2017

A landmark study in the United States to explore mental health and wellbeing in the veterinary profession. A survey of practicing and nonpracticing veterinarians was conducted. The questionnaire and research protocol were submitted to the Chesapeake Institutional Review Board, Columbia, Md, for review and received a letter of exemption. For the survey, a random sample of 20,000 email addresses was obtained from the AVMA’s database of working US veterinarians. An email signed by AVMA president Dr. Michael Topper and executive vice president and CEO Dr. Janet Donlin was sent by the AVMA to alert recipients to the upcoming survey and encourage them to participate.


Merck Animal Health Veterinary Wellbeing Study II Webinar

Looking for CE credits? Watch this webinar and take the quiz to earn CE credits.

Take the Course

Wellbeing Study II Infographic

Flourishing, suffering, or just getting by? Find out how your peers rank their level of wellbeing, as well as other statistics, in this snapshot of data from the 2020 report.


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