Research has shown that veterinary medicine is one of the most at-risk professions for depression, suicide ideation, and death by suicide. Previous research has focused on external factors such as work overload, emotional exhaustion, and coping strategies. This study seeks to understand the specific influence of internal factors such as personality and need for satisfaction on depression in veterinarians. When it comes to personality, a high level of neuroticism is often correlated with anger, hostility and depression. Moreover, according to Self Determination Theory (SDT), well-being can be adversely affected if one's basic need for competence is not fulfilled. Previous research has shown that veterinarians who are in their first five years of practicing medicine after graduation are the most vulnerable to depression and suicide, perhaps due to a lack of competence in their jobs. The current study surveys veterinarians and veterinary technicians in the state of Georgia through participation in an online survey which assesses their personality traits, basic need for satisfaction and level of depression. We predict we'll find a positive correlation between the level of neuroticism and the level of depression, along with a negative correlation between the need for satisfaction, competence and the level of depression. In short, certain personality traits may correlate with an increased vulnerability to depression and suicide ideation. Training techniques can then be implemented in veterinary programs and continuing education units (CEI) to help prevent depression and suicides in this profession.

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