FECAVA and WSAVA mark Blue Monday with commitment to veterinary collegiality - Veterinary Practice
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FECAVA and WSAVA mark Blue Monday with commitment to veterinary collegiality

Associations have drawn up a set of guidelines outlining how veterinary professionals should conduct themselves among their peers

The Federation of European
Companion Animal Veterinary Associations
(FECAVA) and World Small Animal Veterinary
have drawn up a set of guidelines outlining how veterinary professionals should
conduct themselves among their peers.

Called “Global Principles of Veterinary Collegiality”,
the document springs from discussions held during a VIP Summit at WSAVA World
Congress in July 2019. During the meeting, veterinary leaders from around
the world expressed concern at the additional stress caused to veterinarians by
poor communication and collegiality within teams and among colleagues. They
highlighted the additional pressures that this was placing members of a
profession already challenged by well-being and mental health issues.

The document
was launched on Monday January 18, known as “Blue Monday”, claimed to be the
most depressing day of the year. While some country veterinary
associations already have a Code of Conduct, many do not and FECAVA and WSAVA
hope that their initiative will help all of their member associations to commit
to a common standard of behavior in order to support the profession as it works
to achieve the ideals of patient care as set out in the WSAVA Veterinary

The Global
Principles were authored by WSAVA Past Presidents Dr Shane Ryan and Dr Walt
Ingwersen, and FECAVA Senior Vice President Dr Wolfgang Dohne. The document
sets out the key principles of professional collegiality which they identify as
involving equal and reciprocal relationships between veterinary individuals and

Dr Wolfgang Dohne said: “Poor collegiality and communication add to stress and
frustration among veterinary professionals and hold back veterinary teams.
Mutual respect, courtesy and support of especially junior team members,
together with good communication, results not only in a better working
environment, but also in better clinical outcomes. It improves animal welfare
and encourages the concept of life-long learning. These goals are at the heart
of FECAVA and its national member organisations and we are proud to be
co-signatories of this document.”

Dr Shane
Ryan added: “The mental and emotional well-being of the entire veterinary team
and, consequently, our ability to ensure the health and welfare of our animal
patients, can only be enhanced by practicing in a harmonious, collegial
environment. The principles outlined in the document allow for courteous and
respectful interaction with our fellow veterinarians to encourage a more
productive and welcoming workplace. Strengthening collegiality is an important
element of the WSAVA’s strategy to advocate for the profession globally to
bring about positive change.”

associations plan to follow up the Global Principles with an infographic for
practical use in companion animal clinics. It will be unveiled during the joint
WSAVA/FECAVA Online Congress which takes place in March 2021. The
document and infographics will be translated into multiple languages.

Through its
member associations, FECAVA represents more than 25,000 companion
animal veterinarians in 39 European countries. FECAVA strives to improve the
veterinary care of pets through professional development. It also provides a
voice for companion animal issues at European level and works closely with
other European veterinary organisations and stakeholders.

aims to advance the health and welfare of companion animals worldwide through
creating an educated, committed and collaborative global community of
veterinary peers. It currently represents more than 200,000 veterinarians
through 110 member associations. Its annual World Congress brings
together globally respected experts to offer cutting edge thinking on all
aspects of companion animal veterinary care.

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