Student Wellness

Are you constantly coming to the aid of students who feel overwhelmed by veterinary school? Are you worried about how your students are going to survive in the “real world” once they graduate from your program? Are you often having to replace interns or residents who burnout and leave their program?

This Boot Camp program offers veterinary students, interns, and residents the tools needed to handle the stressors and pressures of veterinary practice. A 1-, 2-, or 3-day Boot Camp can be tailored to your needs depending on what is already covered in your curriculum or orientation.

The sessions provided will allow attendees to:

  • Recognize the signs and causes of burnout, compassion fatigue, and moral distress
  • Become aware of anxiety, depression, and suicide rates among veterinarians
  • Identify signs of alcohol abuse and drug addiction in themselves and others
  • Know about perfectionism and imposter syndrome and practicing self-compassion
  • Develop strategies for sanity including setting boundaries, saying no, and daily debriefing
  • Understand the importance of self-care as it relates to the wellness dimensions
  • Perform a self-care assessment and create a self-care plan
  • Make sense of up-to-date recommendations regarding nutrition and exercise
  • Appreciate the benefits of a mindfulness and meditation practice
  • Navigate toxic work environments and toxic team members
  • Take practical steps towards wellness in the veterinary workplace
  • Get a proper night’s sleep by engaging in appropriate sleep hygiene
  • Strive for balance between veterinary work and life outside of work
  • Communicate effectively within the veterinary team

Practice of techniques in the form of meditation, yoga, and interval training, as well as self-assessments, reflections, and small group discussion will be used to reinforce concepts. Attendees will come away from this Boot Camp feeling invested in wellness and armed with the tools needed to stay resilient and productive in veterinary practice.

Lecture topics include:

  • Veterinarian mental health and suicide prevention
  • Recognizing and handling suspected substance abuse
  • Compassion fatigue vs. burnout – what is the difference?
  • Combating perfectionism and imposter syndrome with self-compassion
  • Strategies for sanity: setting boundaries, saying no, and daily debriefing
  • Self-care and the wellness dimensions
  • Designing and committing to a self-care plan
  • Nutrition and exercise – making sense of it all
  • What’s all the hype about mindfulness?
  • Starting a meditation practice
  • Navigating toxic work environments
  • Practical steps towards workplace wellness
  • Sleep hygiene: how to get a good night’s sleep
  • Work-life balance: does it really exist?
  • Effective communication within veterinary teams
  • What I wish they’d taught me in veterinary school…

Dr. Holowaychuk is scheduling Student/Intern/Resident Wellness Boot Camps beginning in January 2018.


“Student Wellness” page: “Marie Holowaychuk is an outstanding veterinarian, yoga instructor, wellness advocate, and person. Not only did she go above and beyond to lend a helping hand to educate veterinary students on the importance of health and wellness, but she also donated her time to instruct yoga classes to students. Marie has such a positive impact on the students and professionals she mentors. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the veterinary profession in the future!”

— Carling Matejka, DVM Student, University of Calgary
(Class of 2018)

“Marie is such a wonderful speaker, she is very passionate about wellness in the veterinary profession and it really shows. Everything that she teaches about wellness is so applicable to work and home life.”

— Melissa, RVT