Did you know it's actually ok to talk about your wellness? In fact, we should be talking about wellness more! Join New Zealand veterinary student and co-founder of "Vet Confessionals," Corey Regnerus as we continue the important discussion about wellness in the veterinary community. Using Corey's experiences with Vet Confessionals and what his organization has been able to further uncover, we get to talking about aspects of veterinary medicine that make us prone to shortcomings in our own wellness and what we can do about it.
Based in Massey University, New Zealand, Vet Confessionals is a Massey veterinary student initiative established in 2014. In recognition of the high global rates of burnout, suicide and feelings of isolation in veterinary students and professionals, we seek to provide a safe and anonymous outlet for emotion and creativity.
Despite our name, Vet Confessionals is an avenue for everyone involved in the veterinary profession – not just veterinarians! If you’re part of the industry, and have something you want to get off your chest, why don’t you submit a secret? Find out how to here.
My name is Corey Regnerus. I was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. I decided at the age of 11 that I was interested in growing up to become a veterinarian after having my first dog Noel (Golden Retriever) run away. I was lucky enough to have a family friend who was a small animal veterinarian, and volunteered each summer until I was old enough to work. Continuing to pursue my dream career, once I had graduated from Suncoast Community High School with an International Baccalaureate degree, I was accepted to the University of Florida for my Undergraduate degree majoring in Animal Biology, with a minor in Business Administration. In 2008, I coordinated and hosted the APVMA Symposium at UF, and this is where I was introduced to Massey University here in New Zealand where I currently reside.
In 2009, I chose to risk flying across the world on my own and start a new adventure to attempt gaining an entry place at Massey University with their multi-accredited Veterinary Programme. I wasn’t fortunate enough to have gained a place that year, but fell in love with the country and all that it had to offer, as well as meeting who has now become my fiancé. I worked here in New Zealand as the Genetic Development Coordinator at a dairy cattle genetics company, and then the North Island Area Sales Manager for a veterinary consumables company before attempting to gain entry back into the veterinary programme.
Now, in 2017, I am in my final year (of five) of vet school, and just waiting until November to get a taste of the real world as a veterinarian. Along my journey, I became very self-aware, and observant of the stressors within the wider veterinary community, and has since become a bit of a passion for me. In 2014, I helped to co-found the project now known as ‘Vet Confessionals’. This project has a mission to aid those that are struggling within the industry by doing the most important thing of talking about our worries instead of bottling them up inside, as well as sharing that with others in the profession showing that we are not alone in these feelings. I have grown to realise that the Veterinary community, internationally, is very small. We have all been in similar situations, and can empathise with one another, but more importantly we can share the ways in which we have coped in hopes of helping someone else reach their goals. This is the message that I hope the share and spread, so please be kind and reach out to your classmates, peers and colleagues along the way!