Is Fear Free the Only Way to Compassionate Veterinary Practice?

By Dr. Marty Becker

Is Fear Free Certification right for every veterinary professional and practice?

It’s hard for me to answer that with anything other than a resounding “Yes!” Not only do I constantly see Fear Free change the lives of animals, allowing them to receive the care they need and deserve without fear, anxiety, and stress, but I believe it holds the answer to many of the most difficult challenges facing our profession today. I believe Fear Free is the right tool at the right time to shift our profession into a whole new era.

But it’s also true that one of the biggest sources of stress for both animals and people is a lack of choice. Just like our patients, no veterinarian or veterinary nurse wants to feel backed into a corner, or be told there is only one right way to accomplish something.

There are six of us on the Fear Free team, and I know for a fact that not one of us would ever want to cause any veterinary professional stress, make someone feel Fear Free is a threat to them, or seem to be cutting off choices instead of expanding them.

Instead, I see Fear Free as the most recent stop on a path pioneered by countless voices in veterinary medicine, from Dr. Leo Bustad to Dr. Karen Overall to the late and much-missed Dr. Sophia Yin.

I believe all of us in veterinary medicine are following in the footsteps of those giants and countless others, moving toward an ever more-compassionate practice of veterinary medicine that is less stressful and more rewarding for us, too.

If Fear Free can be of service to you on that path, please know we’re here to help. If you’re taking your own road, we respect your journey and hope to have the opportunity to learn from you as we meet along the way.

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