Finding Happiness for Veterinary Professionals

Talk summary

Finding Happiness: Lessons from the Longest Study on Adult Development and What it Means for Veterinary Professionals

Our relationships with each other are our most precious resource. And as the Harvard Study of Adult Development has demonstrated over and over again, strong relationships are the keys to healthy and happy lives. But we're living through a crisis unlike any we've ever experienced, and the nature of it is challenging those relationships - in different ways for people of different ages and in different life situations. It can be harder than ever to know what's important, particularly for veterinary professionals who must attend to animals and to the people who love them.

During this live session, I will share what I know and what the Harvard Study has taught us about managing relationships in times of crisis. Please join me to share your perspectives on the isolation, on the creative possibilities for weathering the crisis together, and on our need for meaningful connection in this new reality.

Speaker bio


Dr. Robert Waldinger

Dr. Robert Waldinger is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the longest longitudinal studies of adult life ever done.  His research focuses on the lifetime predictors of healthy adult development, studying 2 groups of men recruited as teenagers from Harvard College and from Boston inner city neighborhoods, and who have been part of the Study for over 80 years.

With grants from the National Institute on Aging, the W.T. Grant Foundation, and the Harvard Neurodiscovery Center, he has extended the Study to incorporate neuroscience measures to better understand the ways that life experience and neurobiology interact to foster healthy aging. He has recently finished extending the Study to more than 1300 baby-boomer children of these men to track the influence of childhood experiences on midlife health. In 2021, Dr. Waldinger will begin the next phase of research with Generations 3 & 4, the grand- and great- grandchildren of the original participants to explore the digital revolution and its influence on shaping young adults and their development.

Dr. Waldinger received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his MD from Harvard Medical School. He is the author of numerous scientific papers as well as two books: Psychiatry for Medical Students, and Effective Psychotherapy with Borderline Patients:  Case Studies.  He is a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, he teaches Harvard medical students and psychiatry residents, and he is on the faculty of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. He also practices and teaches Zen meditation.  In 2016, Bob co-founded the Lifespan Research Foundation (LRF) as Executive Director, to dramatically increase the distribution of the Study findings to millions of people by building a new framework for learning and human thriving.  The mission of LRF is “to promote and use lifespan research to enable people to live healthier lives, filled with meaning and purpose.” To learn more, please go to

Latest from the blog