Mindfulness for veterinarians. Not One More Vet, NOMV, veterinarian suicide, vet well-being, vet burnout, vet compassion fatigue, vet mental health, crisis, COVID, coronavirus, stress, veterinarian student loan debt, vet financial problems, vet suicide, I don't want to be a veterinarian anymore, self-care veterinary, vet tech mental health, vet med, vet school
Our journey to creating Peace Within began with Sarah’s teaching and research on Mindfulness in education. We saw how Mindfulness helped her students and also us, both in our professional and parenting roles. We took an entrepreneurship course to learn how we could develop an online platform to share these strategies with teachers.
Asour class began, we ran into our friend, who is also our veterinarian, at a coffee shop on his afternoon off. Our friend asked about Sarah’s research on Mindfulness, and said: “Wow, veterinarians could really use that. You should help us.” This was a pivotal moment because we had no idea about the realities you face on a daily basis, despite our years of animal rescue and close relationships with vets. Early in our class, we interviewed both teachers and vets, quickly realizing the need for well-being strategies in veterinary medicine.
We chose to help vets because we learned about your challenges, struggles, and joys from interviewing over 100 veterinarians. The customized strategies we’ve developed based on our research are designed to help you thrive in this powerful profession. May you be well.
Jack (3), the newest Montgomery. Adopted in 2019 from high kill shelter in Texas.
Sarah & Zak with Xavier (9), Peace Within chief marketing officer, & Lucia (6), Peace Within chief calm officer.
Left: Denver (11), found in freezing temperatures at 3 weeks old in storm drain at airport. Right: Hemingway (12), left in box overnight at local pet rescue. Not pictured: mysterious black cat Frida Kahlo, former stray and mom of 4 kittens we found in our neighborhood.
SARAH MONTGOMERY, PHD
Sarah is Founder and CEO at Peace Within. She is a Certified Mindfulness Educator who has been practicing Mindfulness since 1999. Sarah has 20 years of experience in K-12 and higher education and has published research and given national presentations on Mindfulness. She has taught Mindfulness to adults both face to face and online. Sarah has a B.A. in Psychology from Kalamazoo College and a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies from Indiana University. She is passionate about Peace Within because stray cats and dogs tend to find her, and every time, the support of veterinarians is amazing. Sarah wants to use her research and teaching experience to help the veterinary profession.
ZAK MONTGOMERY, PHD
Zak is Founder and Director of Operations at Peace Within. He has a B.A. in business and economics from Kalamazoo College and a Ph.D. in Spanish & Portuguese from Indiana University, with nearly two decades of face-to-face and online college teaching and career advising experience. Zak is passionate about Peace Within because he has worked in a high-burnout profession and has been amazed at the positive, tangible benefits of simple daily Mindfulness to create lasting balance in his own professional and family life.
CASSANDRA LINDER, DVM
Dr. Linder graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. She practiced small animal medicine in California for 3 years, and assisted in teaching client communications to the veterinary students at UC Davis. She now co-leads a consulting firm, which trains veterinarians to more effectively communicate with clients and conducts communication research to further the field. Dr. Linder is passionate about the issues of wellness and mental health in the veterinary profession, and utilizes mindfulness, meditation, cycling, and dog cuddles as part of her daily routine.
CASSIE KLOSTERMANN, DVM, MPH
Dr. Klostermann received her B.A. from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA majoring in Biology and minoring in Spanish. She then earned her Master's in Public Health from the University of Iowa. After her MPH, she attended Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Following veterinary school, Dr. Klostermann did an internship at an equine referral hospital in Arizona, a second large animal rotating internship at Iowa State University, and is currently at the University of Montreal, where she is a Large Animal Surgery Resident focusing on farm animal surgery. She believes that taking time for your mental wellness is extremely important in the often stressful field of veterinary medicine and she is very excited to work with Peace Within to bring valuable tools to help other veterinarians cope with the rigors of the profession.
KEVIN CHRISTMAN, DVM
Dr. Christman joined Cedar Valley Veterinary Center in October of 2012 after practicing for several years at a small animal hospital in Florida. Several sunburns later he and his family left eternal sunshine for the warm, smiling Iowa faces. He graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in zoology and a MS in Business Management. Dr. Christman received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University. He enjoys many aspects of veterinary medicine but has a particular interest in soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery and dermatology. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, which includes their furry daughter Angie, an American Staffordshire. Dr. Christman also enjoys fishing, camping, hiking, and playing ice hockey.
ALEJANDRA MARASCO, MSW, LCSW
Alejandra Marasco is a certified mindfulness educator and psychotherapist. She has over 10 years of experience working with families in non-profits, hospitals and schools. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work from California State University, Northridge. Alejandra has led professional development trainings for social workers, doctors, nurses, educators, elementary age students and their parents, both in English and Spanish. She has witnessed positive transformations in people of all ages when integrating mindfulness practices into their daily lives. Alejandra is co-founder of KinshipGlow where she teaches and empowers others with knowledge to deepen their connection with their mind, body, spirit y Corazón.
FRED RUPP, MBA, CPA
Fred earned his CPA license in 1972 and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis in 1976. Before opening his own business, Fred worked in various accounting positions such as Internal Auditor and Director of Taxes. He was also partner in a pension administration firm. Fred invests his time and resources to attend continuing education seminars regarding emerging tax issues, personal finance and investments. He has a wealth of knowledge about small business management and finance.