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Veterinarian: How I got my job and where I'm going

Video transcript

growing up I actually was and probably the one exception that I did not want to be a veterinarian when I was younger and it really wasn't until I got to college I was a biology major I've always had a passion for science and nature really and I planned to be pre-med thought that I wanted to to go into the human health care and it really it was kind of throughout my my college experience a couple different jobs within college at work data Children's Zoo and in Australia exhibit really just kind of realizing that my passion for animals exceeded anything that I wanted to do on the human health care side of things with in college I was already pursuing the track of pre-med prerequisites which is essentially the same for for veterinary school so I was already on that track to really be a good candidate for vet school I think actually having more diversity in your background would work to your advantage I was a biology major I think a majority of people have a science background it's my impression that having more diverse candidates would give you an edge you know having a humanities background a business background actually I think a business background it actually really worked to your advantage because it's something we could essentially no training with in that school having good grades unfortunately as is necessary you know it's something that you really need to prove yourself in your grades and in your your test scores whether that's the the GRE or the MCAT are both accepted at that schools kinda depends on which one you apply to but also demonstrating really varied interests a lot of experience with animals whether that's within the clinics themselves or zoos you know rescue organizations but I think in general they want you to demonstrate that you have varied interest and that you aren't only you know a scientist in four years uh vet school we learn everything I it's you know I'd say at the first three years our primarily classroom one year of that is purely clinical but you know we're learning starting off with anatomy physiology that sort of thing and then working up to pharmacology biology immunology I mean really it's it's it's daunting we're learning every body system for a variety of species and there are many similarities but very profound differences between you know say the digestive tract between a horse and a cow is profoundly different from a dog or cat when we graduate after four years you are very much still looking in a book throughout the day every day because you are seeing something you may have never seen before and you have to really go look in a reference and figure out what to do about it and how to treat it just because within four years there's just no way that you were going to be exposed to everything you graduate with your DVM degree and you can choose to go directly into practice you are qualified just find someone hire you basically I personally didn't feel quite ready to go out into the world quite yet and so I pursued one additional year of training called an internship so doing an internship here it's very similar to a residency on the human side of things similar hours summer stress level splitting your time between emergency shifts and working with internal medicine specialists surgeons oncologists cardiologists at a kind of higher level care facility and usually these are either other veterinary schools or specialty clinics and you have to apply for those internships so after my my internship in Charlotte I and applied for jobs and I just really sent my resume off just cold to clinics all over the country I knew I wanted to be in the mountains so I applied to clinics in Colorado and California and Maine and Vermont and I really just got lucky just threw some connections I had made through my internship got interview with a corporate practice actually in Denver called VCA which is a nationwide corporate pet hospital I think they're a bit more inclined to hire newer graduates and kind of take the chance on those so I was fortunate to get that job and move out to Denver most employers assume that you have this designs background the skills you know you learned all that in vet school they're really looking for what can you bring personality-wise you know a lot of us inherently are introverted people kind of cross the board I see that time and time again we're very kind of intersected scientists and yes having that you know ability and desire to to talk to people to interact with them and to you know extend your community outreach I mean I think those are are things that veterinarians can lack and that can be very can be very attractive when you are job searching career path for veterinarian majority of us at least in clinical practice our associate veterinarians and the growth really really comes down to building your client base and that you know having more patients that that follow you there would be the option depending on what clinic you're working for to buy into the practice to be a part owner that would definitely increase your responsibility and you know probably your income as well now outside of being a clinical veterinarian like myself I mean there are all sorts of other things that veterinarians could be qualified to do working for a number of government agencies USDA FDA on the public health sector I mean just all sorts of things that are not working directly with dogs and cats and doing more you know epidemiology or food inspection I'd say the minority of us go into that but there's a whole nother whole nother world out there of things to do with your DVM degree so my my primary goal has always been I make a good living I wouldn't have a you know a purpose when I show up to work and do something that I feel is really serving my community but at the same time I want to go home at the end of the day and live my life and be able to walk away from my job and not have to be you know stressed and working all the time I think this is a job that you can walk away at the end of the day it's also easy not to and to give out your your personal email give out your phone number and receive really receive messages from people 24 hours a day I it's pretty important to me to draw that line I I really want to to work to live and to be able to spend my time doing the things I love with the people I love and not be distracted outside of that if you're interested in becoming a veterinary and I think kind of the first thing to do of course is just get involved working with animals just making sure that it's something that you really really want to do I think spending time within a vet clinic itself seeing what the day-to-day job looks like I think it's something that you very much need to be prepared for the debt that will be associated with with school the average average debt for a vet student is around 150,000 and knowing that your starting salary out of school will probably be somewhere around sixty thousand so just really being prepared financially to take that on and knowing that it may take a while to pay off those loans
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