Dealing with personal grief and loss during veterinary school


Unfortunately the world doesn’t stop while you are in vet school. Babies are born, people and pets die. It can be hard to manage grief and loss without vet school. Many students try to  put grief “on hold”; this doesn’t often work well. You may be able to continue your studies or may need some time away. Getting C’s rather than A’s is okay.  So is taking some time off.

Things to consider

People I Can Talk to

  • Student counseling services: (612) 624-3323
  • Athena Diesch-Chham, 612-625-4168,
  • Dr. Erin Malone, 612-625-4762,
  • Anyone in Academic and Student Affairs
  • GOALe mentor(s)
  • Any faculty you feel you can approach
  • Classmates, friends, and family
  • Your spiritual advisor

    Final Thoughts

    My dad died unexpectedly during my undergraduate education. Dealing with that while still trying to maintain my GPA was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I found that I grieved best when I was alone. I needed the solitude to just let my feelings out as they came to me. But then as time went by, I found I wanted to talk to someone about it. The University has counseling services and that helped me so much. Just having someone to help talk through what I experienced was more helpful than I ever thought it could be. Everyone grieves differently. If you feel you want to be around your friends after a loss, then do it. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should grieve. But just know there are resources and people who want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

    UMN CVM Student, Class of 2019

    Don’t delay mental health help – there is no shame in seeking counseling.

    UMN CVM Student, Class of 2019


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Well-being Handbook Copyright © 2019 by Erin Malone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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