By Joleen Little BVSc MRCVS
I came across an article the other day about things you may need to know about becoming a Vet before you consider this as a potential career path for you. I thought it was a good resource for aspiring vets. I was not privy to such a list and don’t know whether it would have dissuaded me.
Do you think this would have been good for you to know prior to applying to vet school?
Would it have made you change your mind or has that happened on the job?
Here is the list…
- INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE IS PART OF THE JOB
Becoming a vet might seem like the perfect way to pursue a career in medicine without having to interact with humans, but that’s not really the case.
✔️ Your love of animals must be accompanied by an equal love of people.
✔️ You will spend far more time communicating with pet owners than pets.
- YOU’LL LEARN AN ASTONISHING AMOUNT OF MATERIAL DURING VET SCHOOL
Vet school is among the most challenging Degree you can take. The volume of information that a person must assimilate in five years is almost unimaginable.
✔️ No matter how successful you were during school; you will have to work even harder.
✔️ It is a steep learning curve, but doable.
- NOTHING GOES AS PLANNED WHEN WORKING WITH ANIMALS
Working with pet owners is a crucial part of being a good vet but maintaining such communication can’t guarantee every visit will work out as planned. Maybe a piece of equipment in the exam room spooks a dog.
✔️ Expect the unexpected on a daily basis – animals get frightened and act out of character.
✔️ The unique challenge is that there is never anything that happens according to plan.
- YOUR CAREER MAY EVOLVE OVER TIME
Though having a general idea of what you’d like to do can help as you complete veterinary school, don’t be surprised if your plans change as your career progresses.
✔️ You may find you want to switch focus from farm animals to smallies or vice versa – you are responsible for your own destiny and can create or find the practice model that suits you
✔️ You may find a preference for surgery or medicine or may decide to venture into academia or an industry role.
- YOU NEED TO BE BUSINESS SAVVY
You may have dreams of owning and operating some sort of clinic.
✔️ Business acumen is crucial for these types of roles.
✔️ Some vets go on to pursue an MBA in addition to their vet degree.
- YOU NEED TO PLAN FOR UNIVERSITY EXPENSES
Vet school is a costly but worthwhile expense for students committed to caring for animals. You should think of it as an investment and prepare accordingly.
✔️ Loans are generally a necessity.
✔️ Don’t expect to be rich working as a GP.
- YOU’LL FORGE LIFELONG FRIENDSHIPS
Making friends during veterinary school is almost a given as you journey through the challenging times together.
✔️ You will have a lot of good friends from vet school that will be friends for life
✔️ You will have a built-in network of professional contacts to provide encouragement and guidance throughout your career.