PAWCast | Veterinary Podcast | PAW Health Network

The Reality of Veterinary Mental Health feat. Dr. Dustin Kieschnick | PAWCast 64

June 16, 2021

If you have listened to the PAWCast at any point, you know we are big believers in the concept of accountability. We have analyzed the process of reaching mutual solutions both in the consultation room with caregivers, in the treatment area with our teams, and in meetings with our leaders. In that process, we have concluded through many trials and errors that we HAVE to start with a shared reality before we can implement any (hopefully effective) solutions.

So knowing that there is a significant issue regarding the mental health of veterinary professionals, we seek to apply the same problem solving method by first establishing a professionally understood and shared reality. With that goal in mind, it is time to bring in a professional.

Dr. Dustin Kieschnick received his doctorate from the joint program between the Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. He is currently the Associate Director of Research of Scalable Therapeutics at the University of California, San Francisco. He has trained at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center and the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. Dr. Kieschnick’s research and clinical focus is on grief, trauma, and suicidality. Prior to his career in clinical psychology, Dr. Kieschnick served in the United States Marine Corps for 9 years. Dr. Kieschnick is also a contributor to the Veterinary Mental Health Initiative leading weekly support groups and one on one sessions. You can find more information on the group here:

In this episode, we will discuss Dr. Kieschnick's background, military experience, career path and professional understanding of the state of mental health in the veterinary industry and how that relates to our experiences here at PAW Health.

What do you think is the leading contributor to the poor state of mental health for veterinary professionals? Let us know in the comments!

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PAW Health Resources:

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek:

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin:

12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson:

The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin:

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek:

The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle:

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink:

The PAWCast is a semi-weekly veterinary podcast devoted to sharing the ideas of how to be a force of change in the veterinary profession. Those who will find this content helpful will be those who appreciate and wish to implement change for the better in their professional lives. These skills and techniques can be applied at any level of experience or influence, and are the things that have led PAW Health Network to over 250% growth in 3 years. Our industry needs help, and you are the force of change. Let us show you how.


Interested in working with the team at PAW Health Network? We are hiring at all positions in our company. If you would like to learn more, please visit for more information!

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