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Interested in being a Veterinarian

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by Dyeam, Apr 26, 2012.

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  1. Dyeam

    Dyeam

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    Hello all. I am currently going to college in the fall, and with that comes a lot of thinking as to where my future lies. I've always been interested in being a vet.. I love love animals which is probably obvious if I'm interested in being a vet, and for some reason I find medical fields very "cool". Something about putting latex gloves on and for the majority of the time knowing what you are doing and being able to help people or animals just attracts me. Here are my concerns. I know that for any medical field one must be proficient in math and sciences.. well those are my worst subjects.. math more so than science. I don't know what kind of math is involved in DVM but I struggle with things like pre-calculus, and trig.. not sure why you'd need to know the cosine of an angle to be a vet, but idk. Sciences I'm a bit better at.. Biology I did ok, and chemistry I disliked, but I feel that had a lot to do with my teacher. I realize that you can't simply become a vet just because you love animals, and that it involves a lot of work.. but yes, those are my worries.

    The other career I am pondering is running my father's business. He is a videographer/editor for things such as weddings, bat/bar mitzvah's etc.. in NYC where there is a big market for this, and he makes more than the average vet. This would mean that eventually I would also make more if I take that route, especially if the plans that I have for the business become a reality. So while vet salaries aren't bad at all, I could be making almost double should I take this route. I know this comes down to money vs. doing what you love, but perhaps some of you have been on the same boat.
  2. RackingHorse

    RackingHorse

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    Becoming a vet is not an easy task. There are a lot of other threads posted on SDN regarding vet school pre reqs and other requirements. A good start for you would be to start checking out vet school websites, and look at what they require in order for you to get accepted. Here is a basic breakdown of what most vet schools require for admittance.
    General Biology I and II
    General Chemistry I and II
    Cell or Microbiology
    Biochemistry
    Organic Chemistry I and II
    Basic Calculus and Statistics
    Genetics
    This is not an all inclusive list of courses that all vet schools require. Some require even more.

    Besides having to fill all of these academic requirements, you are going to have to gain veterinary experience by working or shadowing with a vet. Also, you need to get involved in extracurricular activities like the pre-vet club at your undergrad institution.
  3. Fireflysushi

    Fireflysushi CSU c/o 2016!

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    I'm not going to give you the whole vets aren't in it for the money spiel, because I realize that being financially stable/successful is a perfectly fine goal. You have to decide for yourself what path you would be happiest on. I can tell you that math and science weren't my best subjects coming in to college either. I really struggled with calc and statistics, but I got tutors for the subjects that caused me the most troubles. My sujestion to you is to start aiming for vet school and figure out along the way if it is really your passion. It sounds like it will be easier for you to have your dad's buisness as a backup than vet school (which is really not a backup in any sense). Good luck!
  4. WhtsThFrequency

    WhtsThFrequency walk like a monkey, kick like a mule

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    I'm surprised you say this. What do you think a vet's average salary is? New grads start at ~60k. Remember, we also carry anywhere from 150k to 250k of education debt.
  5. Lab Rat83

    Lab Rat83 AVC c/o 2017

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    Well, you already have a back up plan by the sounds of it. Now, just go to undergrad, get your pre-reqs and do well, get vet/animal experience, write your GRE and apply to vet school. If unsuccessful, get up, dust yourself off and make yourself a stronger applicant.

    Once you're in the application process, you can then decide how many times you'd be willing to apply before going to Plan B.

    Good luck! We're here to help you.
  6. Psorophoraferox

    Psorophoraferox LSU SVM c/o 2017

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    Thankfully for folks like me & you who are not mathematically-inclined, most vet schools don't require a ton of math. While many require calculus (which at your school may or may not have several pre-reqs in and of itself), there are several that don't. I know this because not having calc as a pre-req was a big consideration for me. ;) I struggled through algebra, trig, and statistics, and that was enough for me!

    For example:
    LSU: Algebra and another upper level math, can be trig or calc
    NCSU: Calculus OR logic, and statistics
    UTK: Nada! (Although, again, your undergrad school may have their own requirements, and UTK will use any math you take into consideration for admissions. So if you take it, do well!)

    Of course, these are subject to change over the next few years, so keep an eye on pre-reqs as you progress through undergrad.

    Chemistry, on the other hand... yeah, you gotta take a butt-ton of chem. ;) Having good profs (for the most part) and good supplemental online material helped me immensely.
  7. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    Well this is a first. I've never heard latex gloves being that alluring part of health professions :)
  8. TigerWillow

    TigerWillow UC Davis Class of 2016!!!

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    Well I found scrubs to be THE attraction to the health professional field. Now I just think they are unflattering to little people like me! I look like I'm wearing a pillow case.
  9. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    I've definitely heard the scrubs, and white coat, and stethoscope being mentioned. But never latex gloves. I give props to the OP for originality
  10. hopefulinva

    hopefulinva VMRCVM DVM/MPH c/o 2016

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    I'd definitely read up on the field a bit if you think it's really something you're interested in doing. =)

    This blog post talks a bit about the academic side of becoming a vet, and seems to address most of your questions. Keep in mind it's written by a pre-vet student though.

    Just remember it takes a lot of chutzpah just to get in to vet school, let alone to complete it!

    But of course, I commend you on the decision. :thumbup:
  11. LeilaFay

    LeilaFay

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    I'm with Lab Rat83 on this. If you can afford to go through UG, do it. An education is worth while, no matter what degree you go for. If math/science are harder, you can choose to do those with easier electives alongside of them so you can have more time to focus on the harder subjects.

    Also, shadow a vet. You may find that they spend a lot of time in front of a computer, so it isn't all hands on the animals work.

    Depending on the school you go will depend on how in depth they go into each species. Some schools have a heavy focus on food animals, others not. Learning about the vet programs might help you.

    Like someone said before, there are lots of threads here!

    It will be cheaper to go to your instate school, maybe start by chatting with some current students there?

    Everyone on SDN is really friendly and helpful, I'm sure you can PM someone instate for more info on their program.
  12. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    ;)
  13. LeilaFay

    LeilaFay

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    Hehehe! I'm small too and that's EXACTLY how I feel!

    I found some that tie in the back to make it less pillowy.

    And the pants... Are either too small in the hips and I might rip them open in the back, or too huge in the waist. I'm not winning here.
  14. Emiloo4

    Emiloo4 UF CVM 2016

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    Some people I work with in pharmaceutical labs like the gloves... but I've never heard it for vet med lol
  15. hopefulinva

    hopefulinva VMRCVM DVM/MPH c/o 2016

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    My lab got pink gloves for breast cancer awareness last year, but that's literally the only time I've ever liked using them. :laugh:
  16. Emiloo4

    Emiloo4 UF CVM 2016

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    I HATE them! We have purple. I am that person that tries to sneak around not wearing them (don't tell the FDA :scared:) ;)
  17. ANY2003

    ANY2003 UC Davis c/o 2016!

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    Honestly if the sciences don't excite you then this isn't the right field for you. Veterinary medicine is the intersection of animal welfare and biomedical science. You have to live, breathe, and love biology (and at least be able to tolerate chemistry). If you aren't passionate about the science behind the medicine, you won't make the cut. That being said, the sciences aren't my "best" courses either. They are harder in general. But if you're serious, you'll find a way to do well in them. I guess the bottom line is this: science courses don't have to be your strong suit, but you need to do well enough in them and be passionate about medicine and the science behind it.
  18. Angelo84

    Angelo84 Tufts Class of 2011

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    TigerWillow I am not sure just how little you are but All Heart makes XXS scrubs that actually fit me! So in case you happen to be 5 feet and 95 pounds check out allheart.com!
  19. ursulamajor

    ursulamajor Junior Member

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    I suspect the job scene for vets is similar in NYC to the one in San Francisco -- I've seen a few invoices from vets in NYC, and the prices look similar. If you plan on staying in NYC, don't be put off by the average vet salary nationwide. You can make significantly more as a general practitioner than the national average (2-4x more) working in an affluent urban area where people with disposable income are willing to spend money on their pets. That said, competition for vet jobs may be brutal, and your father's business may still make you more money than being even a relatively high-paid vet.

    Math doesn't have to be your best subject. You need to do very well in science classes though.

    Shadow a vet for a summer to see if the field, with all its ups and downs, is for you.
  20. that redhead

    that redhead MMXV

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    Eh, she hasn't even started college so I don't think it's a death sentence that she isn't a huge science fan right now. I loved the humanities when I was that age, and I'm here now. If she takes some college level sciences and doesn't start to like them, then maybe she should reconsider. But at this point, gaining exposure to the field and taking some of the first pre-reqs is probably the best way to go.
  21. orca2011

    orca2011 PennWe c/o 2016!!! Gold Donor

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    I agree with this. And even some of the freshman classes are eh, since they just cover the basics. Once you get past that, it gets super exciting. Although, part of that was probably cause I took AP BIO and did well on the exam and was basically the same material as my freshman year bio classes. Sometimes I wonder if I should have taken the AP credit...

    Also, there are so many people who do majors in other subjects because they like them. I think as long as you have an interest in biology, etc and are willing to put the effort in if it's not necessarily your strongest subject area, I don't see any reason why can't at least try.
  22. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    Most of the classes your first year of vet school are 'eh'. :p
  23. yann

    yann

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    I agree. I took the longer route getting into this field, and fresh out of high school back in 04 I was definitely not cut out for what I have accomplished so far. HATED math, totally scared of all sciences (especially Chem)...I went in to major in Social Anthropology, LOVED it, worked as a journalist for a number of years until one day tried out science again...and guess what. I actually liked it. :) I wouldn't say I love it with passion, but I did alright, and it was a lot of fun.

    OP, my advice to you, from a non-trad who did not go straight from a Science degree UG into vet school, major in whatever sparks your interest, and take the general sciences mentioned by the previous poster (Bio, Chem, Phy, O Chem if you can, Biochem, Micro). You can always take these after college, but you'll be saving money taking them while you're a full time student.

    And don't forget to have fun. College is awesome, get the best experience you can out of it!
  24. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    make that first and second year.
  25. Lab Rat83

    Lab Rat83 AVC c/o 2017

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    Seeing as you haven't started UG yet, I wouldn't be to worried about your sciences/math. I failed physics, dropped out of grade 12 chem and had to do my grade 11 math in summer school. I was a bad student who thought she knew everything.

    My undergrad sciences, calculus and stats were all above average for the class. So, don't let math/sciences intimidate you just yet. My favourite subjects in university were chemistry, biology and stats. You can do this!
  26. bayarea15

    bayarea15 someday super vet

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    at least in human healthcare, you usually get to pick out your own scrubs. i had the cutest ones when i was a dialysis tech.

    i was always more of a humanities person when i was in high school, i had plans of majoring in journalism and social work and minoring in zoology. you never know where time is gonna take you.
  27. bayarea15

    bayarea15 someday super vet

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    i am 5'3 and 95 lbs. thanks for the heads up
  28. orca2011

    orca2011 PennWe c/o 2016!!! Gold Donor

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    Don't tell me these things!! It'll make me be less motivated going into the classes. But yeah, I kind of expected that since it's all your basic stuff to prepare you for future years.
  29. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    never ask a student what they think of classes 1 month of so before the end.
    They either hate them at this point or so hopelessly delusional that you can't believe a word they say.

    Ask them on break, when the memory has faded. It is kind of like asking a Mom about childbirth.......the pain dims with time.
  30. orca2011

    orca2011 PennWe c/o 2016!!! Gold Donor

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    Haha, I wasn't directly asking a current student, so it's not entirely my fault. But you're so right. I feel the same way about some of my undergrad classes. Like I think I spent most of my first semester senior year complaining about Neuro but it was probably one of my favorite classes.
  31. Dyeam

    Dyeam

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    Thanks a lot for all the wise input from everyone. Couple things to address however; for starters, I am a guy. hahaha, saw that some of you mentioned me as a "she". I am going into college with an open mind about what my future may hold, but as some of you could understand I am in a predicament. Money is a big big factor for me. I know that you'd had to be crazy to not want to be very well off, but i like to think that money is a bigger factor for me than most people. After living the life I've lived which I am extremely grateful for, it wouldn't feel right to just downgrade.

    I know that if I set my mind to something I could accomplish it. It's not that I hate the sciences, because I don't I actually find them very interesting, but for the most part they haven't clicked with me. Again, I can't tell you if it's because of my particular situation (crappy teachers/school environment) or because it really just doesn't click. I also don't hate my father's business, and while being vet does seem more interesting, if I wound up working for him (or vice versa, since if I go that route I would eventually be taking over the business) it's not like I would hate waking up every morning.

    So again, that is my predicament. I could go to school, work extra extra hard to the point where I might not even enjoy college, go to grad school, be knee-deep in loan debt, and work a job that I would enjoy and make a decent living at. Or I could go to UG, major in something that would come useful in something like my dad's business, work for him (or vice versa after a couple years) and make more than what I would be making as a vet. I know it sounds like I'm shooting more towards the latter but it's not really the case, it's just honestly the reality of the situation.

    P.S.. latex gloves, especially those of cool colors are pretty damn cool.
  32. ANY2003

    ANY2003 UC Davis c/o 2016!

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    Sometimes it just takes some exploring to find what "clicks" for you, as you put it. Also keep in mind that sometimes the day to day of a profession can be very different from learning about it. I used to study neuropsychology - loved the classes, thought it was fascinating. But as soon as I learned what the day to day was for a clinical neuropsychologist, I realized that it wasn't what I wanted to do. For vetmed, it's different. I love learning about veterinary medicine and love working in the clinic. You are still young. If you aren't sure right now, that's ok. Explore a few things, see where your heart is in it. Also I'd advise shadowing a vet early on, just for a few hours to start, to see if you'd enjoy working as a veterinarian. I wish I did that with psychology - would have saved me 3 years! And yes, people have pointed out that you may not enjoy your classes right away. That's true. I hated chemistry and ochem. The upper division stuff like physiology, endocrinology, etc, gets interesting (at least to science nerds like me).

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