Dr. Hilal Dogan completed veterinary school in 2015 at Massey University in New Zealand. During her final year of veterinary school, she was class president and launched the Veterinary Confessionals Project (www.veterinaryconfessionalsproject.com).

After graduating she moved to Maui, Hawaii where she worked as both an emergency DVM as well as a General Practitioner for 3 years. In 2017 she completed a certification as a Human Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) through the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP).

She relocated to Denver Colorado in 2018 and has been working as an emergency relief DVM since. Since 2015 she has been speaking and leading workshops at various veterinary conferences throughout the world on topics relating to the veterinary confessionals project, traumatic stress, resilience, and well-being. She also writes and edits clinical and non-clinical articles for DVM 360 magazine.

In our conversation with Dr. Dogan, we dive into all things trauma related including:

  • The “secret” vet confessionals project Hilal start to raise mental health awareness in vet school
  • What it’s like for veterinary professionals to find out they’re not alone
  • Defining trauma, traumatology, and how it impacts veterinary professionals
  • Primary and secondary trauma
  • What happens physiologically when we experience trauma
  • Recognizing your typical trauma responses – freeze, flee, or fight
  • How to rein in the trauma response and get back to stable
  • Talking about trauma and planning your response ahead of time
  • Working through trauma in the aftermath of experiencing it, including the use of talk therapy, yoga, and other methods
  • Hilal’s impact round

Thank you to Hilal for joining us on the show. If you would like to connect with Hilal you can find her in the following places:

IG @vetconfessionals


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– Jonathan Leicht, DVM and Michael Bugg, DVM