For the Love of Animals – Are you Willing to Go All the Way and Become A Veterinarian?

By on May 18, 2019

Being a veterinarian can easily be among the list of top ten jobs children would like to do when they grow up. That doesn’t mean that it’s an easy job, being a veterinarian is almost as hard as being a doctor for humans. Before you proceed to see the qualities related to animals that qualify you to be a vet, you need to know that animals do not bring themselves to a vet, it’s their human owners that bring them. This is a very important aspect that a lot of aspiring veterinarians miss when they prepare their qualification list, being a people’s person is an essential factor. Your love for animals should be strong enough to be able to help them in their most vulnerable times, in addition to taking difficult decisions like ending their suffering when there’s no other way to help them out. Loving animals isn’t simply petting cute kittens and puppies, you’ll need to study hard for years and stay up to date with all the latest updates in the veterinarian medical fields. Vets are scientists, being inquisitive, dependent, and curious about the field is a never-ending task for them.

There are some great advantages that come with being a veterinarian; no boredom, you can expect that every day is going to bring a different case, a different animal, and even a different owner, you’ll be able to utilize many tools and gain a lot of experience along the way. You should expect a great salary between $50,000 and $200,000, and a median of $89,000. Most veterinarians appreciate a good challenge, a lot of detective work is needed to make sense of the steps needed to treat a case, unlike a human, an animal has no way to tell what’s wrong with it, it’s you who need to figure that out. We’ll be presenting you with the challenges you need to overcome to become a veterinarian successful.

A bachelor of science degree

This is the most essential step, naturally, any professional field and especially medicine-related fields require a bachelor degree to pursue a career in. Why would anyone bring their pet to a doctor who didn’t spend many years studying and practicing in the veterinary field. A bachelor degree isn’t easily obtained, you need to graduate from high school with good grades in science, math, and language arts to be able to get into a veterinarian undergraduate bachelor’s program. Expect that you are required to pass biology, science, and business courses to be able to effectively compete in vet school. Some schools get more than 15 times of applicants in contrast with the available slots. You’ll need to be qualified to actually get experience to qualify you in the field, like volunteering in shelters, vet clinics, and 4-H.


The costs and monetary aspects

Education isn’t cheap, depending on where you live and where you want to study, the costs of 4 years of undergraduate education range from $148,000 to $400,000. Also, keep in mind that the salaries of veterinarians are usually lower than other medical fields. You should financially, consider if it’s the best option for you or not by weighing the pros and cons. Another good option is becoming a veterinary assistant, it can allow you to get into the career without having to pay the heavy costs of education, without a scholarship. If traditional campus programs at a local community is not convenient enough, you should check to find out more about applying for online courses as well. You should expect to do some clerical work like filing files and appointments, and also gain a lot of on-field experience by participating in animal-care and lending a hand in surgical procedures.

Interact with the professionals

There is no better way to get a clear image of the work and education process than learning from those who have been practicing it for years. Interact with veterinarians, professors, and even colleagues to learn more about what is needed to be done to help you draw a clear path you could easily follow. Being a vet is a commitment, you need to be able to constantly work hard to prove yourself, especially if you’re in your first years. Having good communication skills is going to help you advance further in any field, your compassion should also include fellow humans as well. Treating wild animals may not need such strong communication skills, but you’ll need a lot of experience to reach that point first.


Assess the risks

As we mentioned before, being a vet isn’t all about rainbows, kittens, and puppies. “A bad bite from a cat or a dog in your hands could actually end your surgical career”, says Sue, a New Orleans vet. She also says that they are nothing compared to the damage large animals can do, some monkeys carry a lethal strain of herpes that be fatal to humans. Ironically, it’s cats and dogs that bite the most since they aren’t always under full anesthesia, depending on the case. Unlike human doctors, getting over the sight of blood isn’t going to be enough, you need to be prepared for animals to put up a fight and scratch you every now and then. The chaos of a new vet career can be overwhelming to some people, you’ll have to be able to overtake a few roles to be efficient in the work environment.

The road to become a veterinarian is paved with hardships, from vigorous academic courses to furious animals being neutered. Above all that, you need to be very flexible, expect your schedule to be busy most of the times, and to wake up in the middle of the night to take care of an emergency. Emotional distress is also a common factor, like a surgeon, don’t expect to save every life you operate on, in addition to animal euthanasia, this could cause compassion fatigue. If you’re a true lover of animals and willing to spend the time and effort to become a veterinarian, you should seek to balance between your compassion and professionalism.

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