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Creating a Safe Place

Blog Author: Ryan Frazier, BS, LVT
NAVTA Member at Large

It is no surprise that diversity in veterinary medicine is lacking. We are seeing many companies, associations, and people taking a stance on diversity and inclusion, but is that enough? No, the answer is no! Taking a stance is not enough; we need to create an environment that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. We need to create a safe space for our community to flourish, to inspire others, and be themselves.

We can all take a lesson from my second job in veterinary medicine at an emergency and specialty hospital in Madison, WI. It was the first place I felt comfortable with being myself and felt I did not have to hide being gay. This removed this major stressor in my life, which helped me to start thriving in veterinary medicine. I was able to have a better relationship with my coworkers who have become some of the most important people in my life. Not only in my personal life, but I made changes in my professional life. I started to thrive and became more involved with my state veterinary technician association, even being the President at one point. It helped give me the confidence to give teaching a try and eventually move to a state where I did not know anyone, which led to where I am now, having a BS in Marketing and working hard to promote and improve veterinary technicians’ lives.

See, when you create a hospital, association, or community with a more diverse crowd, you get a more energized and dynamic group. You get questions that have not been asked before; you ignite conversation, which ends up challenging the status quo. These fuels change and help provide a deeper understanding.

With the current state of veterinary medicine, don’t you want your clinic, association, or friend group to be a safe space where people can flourish?