Wow, I didn't know this, James. My granddaughter, who still has years to go, wants to be a vet.
My vet office is owned by a doctor who mostly does surgeries now - she's in her late 50s. She has one full-time partner and 3 part-time vets who handle the regular appointments and emergencies.
Although I was one of her first customers back in the mid 80s, I rarely see her now, the last time being when my now-deceased dog needed a complicate operation around 2014.
I took my cat for an appointment in October. Everything there is curbside. A vet tech came and picked him up at my car. I was surprised when Dr. D was the one to call me after examining him. I told her how shocked I was to hear her voice and that I wondered why she was handling a routine appointment. She said that all of her other doctors were exposed to Covid and in isolation, as was more than half of her staff.
Just so happened a virus-positive customer/employee came in on a day with a rash of emergencies, prompting all the doctors, except Dr. D, to report for duty. Everyone present that day was quarantined. Dr. D and a small staff worked 14-16 hour days, 7-days-a-week, for 2 weeks. I can’t imagine how difficuilt that was for them, especially Dr. D who was handling ALL appointments and surgeries during that time.
Surely, similar scenarios have played out at many vet clinics. And, it's difficult for the doctors, as well as the pet owners, to deal with distant appointments.
During this pandemic, I took 2 very ill pets (not the cat in the above story) to the vet clinic (both passed) and it was heart-wrenching for me to watch a tech walk away with my sick pet and not be able to go with them. And, the vets told me how hard it is to deal with these emotional situations without being near the pet owner to offer comfort.
As many pets as I've had over the years and as close of a relationship as I have with the people who work at my vet's clinic, I've never considered the mental health of the doctors who work there.
I think we give consideration to human doctors but rarely consider the doctors for our pets. And, that is tragically sad.