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VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | prevet resources veterinary student resources veterinarian resources | Nonprofit free veterinary resources | Blog | Veterinary Pulse Podcast Episode 157 | Dr. Susan Cohen on perfectionism, why it impacts the veterinary profession, how to identify it, and what to do next Inhale Exhale Veterinary Mental Wellness Wellbeing

Dr. Susan Cohen on perfectionism, why it impacts the veterinary profession, how to identify it, and what to do next

Listen in as VIN Foundation Vets4Vets® team member Dr. Susan Cohen dives deep on perfectionism. She covers how to identify it in ourselves and/or others, how it impacts veterinary teams, and helpful tools to decrease the self-torment. Learn how to move toward enjoying the good stuff, and find out what a bliss list is and how it can be motivational. Check the links below to download a copy of Susan’s Bliss List example.


Dr. Susan Cohen 

Susan P. Cohen, DSW, ACSW has been called a pioneer in the fields of pet loss, human-animal interaction, and the human side of veterinary practice. Since 1982 Dr. Cohen has helped pet lovers make decisions about the illness of their pets. She developed the first-ever Pet Loss Support Group and began an animal assisted activity program that took the then-unusual form of having volunteers work with their own pets. She originated many training programs for workers in the veterinary and social service fields, and she has been a field instructor for several schools of social work. She has written several book chapters and scholarly articles on social work, veterinary practice, and the human-animal bond. Her most recent book chapter, “Loss, Grief, and Bereavement in the Context of Human-Animal Relationships” (Susan Cohen, DSW; and Adam Clark, LSW, AASW) was published in 2019. She is currently working on a chapter on pet loss for Routledge’s International Handbook on Human-Animal Interaction. These days she consults with veterinary groups on client and professional communication, compassion fatigue, and how to make practice fun again. She facilitates online support groups for veterinarians, animal welfare workers, managers, and those grieving the loss of a pet. She teaches online workshops and lectures widely to veterinary colleges and conferences, colleges of social work, veterinary technician programs, and human health groups on communication, pet loss and bereavement, human-animal interaction, client relations, compassion fatigue, and career development. She is Vice Chairperson of SWAHAB (Social Workers Advancing the Human-Animal Bond), the first such committee of the National Association of Social Workers. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and Smithsonian Magazine. In addition, she has made numerous television and radio addresses nationwide, including “The Today Show,” “20-20,” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”


Quotes mentioned in the episode:

  • Brene Brown: “Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame.”
  • Fred Astaire: “Do it big, do it right, and do it with style.”

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1 thought on “Dr. Susan Cohen on perfectionism, why it impacts the veterinary profession, how to identify it, and what to do next”

  1. Marjorie Stein

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Podcast given by Dr. Susan Cohen. I think very highly
    of Susan as I got to know her in the Pet Loss Support Group I was in for several years at the Animal Medical Center. I learned so much listening to Susan tonight and look forward to hearing more podcasts from Susan.

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