Veterinary Wellbeing Study III

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 III

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.

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.

Joseph Hahn,


Merck Animal Health

Dr. Joseph Hahn is Executive Director of US Companion Animal and Equine Professional Services. In his current role, he has been a champion for the enrichment of the veterinary profession helping to sponsor and advance initiatives from the AVMA, Not One More Vet, the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, MentorVet and others.

Addie Reinhard,



Dr. Addie Reinhard is the Founder and CEO of MentorVet, an evidence-based mentorship and professional development program that promotes early career wellbeing. A veterinary wellbeing researcher, her research interests include developing and evaluating innovative interventions to support mental health and wellbeing within the veterinary profession.

Kate Stiefelmeyer,


Vice President, Kynetec

Kate has extensive experience working with clients in the food and animal health sectors to better understand their consumers and clients’ needs and preferences. Kate utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to understand pricing, consumer behavior, advertising preferences and more. She is based in Guelph, Ontario.

Kevin Probyn-Smith,


Senior Data Analyst, Kynetec

With a background in agricultural economics, Kevin works in Data & Marketing Sciences at Kynetec and focuses on modelling and statistics related to agriculture and animal health. Kevin is based in Guelph, Ontario.

Past Studies

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. 

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.


Healthy Strategies for You and Your Practice

A print-friendly guide filled with ideas for you and your practice.


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Big Personality Traits

Increase your knowledge about the five major factors of personality by reading the article on Verywell Mind.


Want to learn more about your personality?

Download the Big Five Personality Assessment used in the Merck Animal Health Veterinary Wellbeing Study.

Download Assessment

Stress Management Techniques and Resources

Learn how to manage stress more effectively from this article in DVM360 magazine.


AAHA Healthy Workplace Culture Initiative

The American Animal Hospital Association provides resources to create a healthy workplace culture.


AVMA Wellbeing and Peer Assistance

The American Veterinary Medical Association provides resources to address the emotional and mental health needs of veterinarians.


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