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Our Story & People Behind It

Supporting the well-being of the veterinary community

Mindfulness for Veterinary Medicine

 

I am a Certified Mindfulness Educator who has been practicing mindfulness since 1999. I earned a B.A. in Psychology from Kalamazoo College and a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies from Indiana University. As a college professor, I have published research and given national presentations on mindfulness, and have taught mindfulness workshops and Continuing Education for veterinarians. Stray cats and dogs tend to find me, and every time, the support of veterinarians is amazing. I want to use my research and teaching experience to give back to the veterinary profession.

Meet Sarah!
 

Sarah Montgomery, Ph.D.

Founder of Peace Within Mindfulness

“Wow, Veterinarians could really use that. You should help us.”

 

My friend courageously shared this during a random encounter on his Tuesday afternoon off at a local coffee shop after learning about my research and teaching on mindfulness. His vulnerability changed my life. 

I then interviewed over 100 veterinarians, vet med students, and vet techs to learn more. I talked with people in small animal, large animal, and mixed practices, as well as research-focused and industry vets. They kindly shared stories about the many joys -- and challenges -- they navigate daily. 

 

I learned about long hours and the demands of being on call. 

 

I heard story after story of clients being mean and disrespectful, saying things like, “If you really cared about animals you would do this for free.” 

 

I learned how hard it is to say goodbye to an aging animal that you have cared for since it was very young and then immediately have to walk into a new kitten appointment with a big smile on your face.

 

I began to understand the heartbreaking reality of patient care being tied to a client’s ability or willingness to pay for treatment. 

 

To top it off, the majority of vets I interviewed shared that they have hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. 

 

This is a lot.

 

I am here to humbly try to help. I have been practicing mindfulness for over two decades and am a Certified Mindfulness Educator. I teach and research mindfulness in my role as a college professor, and I’m excited to see that new research on mindfulness in vet med indicates how these practices can support focus, mental health, and resilience. Please join me in exploring how mindfulness can support veterinary medicine. 

 

Together, let’s be the change.

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Sarah'S WORK WITH THE
VETERINARY COMMUNITY

THE PEOPLE BEHIND PEACE WITHIN

KEVIN CHRISTMAN, DVM
Advisory Board

Associate Veterinarian

Cedar Valley Veterinary Center

Cedar Falls, Iowa

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.

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CASSANDRA LINDER, DVM
Advisory Board

Veterinary Client Communications Consultant

Pet Practice Partners

Naples, Florida

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.

MINDFULNESS IS PAYING ATTENTION IN A PARTICULAR WAY: ON PURPOSE, IN THE PRESENT MOMENT, & NON-JUDGMENTALLY

JON KABAT-ZINN