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What is your life like now? Do you have any regrets?

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by lionking101, Jun 14, 2012.

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  1. lionking101

    lionking101

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    This one is mostly directed at veterinarians or veterinary students.


    So this dream of mine to become a veterinarian has been with me since I was a child. So much of who I am is governed by my love for animals and desire to be a vet that up until this point I feel like I've had tunnel vision. I'm nearing time to start applying, but all of a sudden reality is hitting me: the debt, the stress, the impact it would have on my ability to have a family, etc.

    I'm wondering what some of your experiences are. What is your life like now as a veterinarian? Do you think at this time the veterinary profession is strong? How are you handling debt? Do you have/want a family?

    I feel that I have been driven by passion for so long that I was ignoring the reality of it all. Now I'm wondering if it is worth it. Have you ever felt like this?
  2. lionking101

    lionking101

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    This one is mostly directed at veterinarians or veterinary students.


    So this dream of mine to become a veterinarian has been with me since I was a child. So much of who I am is governed by my love for animals and desire to be a vet that up until this point I feel like I've had tunnel vision. I'm nearing time to start applying, but all of a sudden reality is hitting me: the debt, the stress, the impact it would have on my ability to have a family, etc.

    I'm wondering what some of your experiences are. What is your life like now as a veterinarian? Do you think at this time the veterinary profession is strong? How are you handling debt? Do you have/want a family?

    I feel that I have been driven by passion for so long that I was ignoring the reality of it all. Now I'm wondering if it is worth it. Have you ever felt like this?
  3. jemappellejane

    jemappellejane #stinkasaurus

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    I felt like this while going through the dang application cycle, and i'm not even IN vet school yet. lolz. By the way, this probably belongs in the vet forum, not the pre-vet forum. just sayin'.
  4. lionking101

    lionking101

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    I posted in both since this forum tends to get a lot of vets and vet students, and the vet forum is kinda slow these days.
  5. jemappellejane

    jemappellejane #stinkasaurus

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    :thumbup:
    but yeah, application cycle = SUCK. Especially when you do it twice. Or more. Hopefully it will all be worth it in the end!
  6. DVMDream

    DVMDream Gone, Adios! Gold Donor

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    If you really posted in both, one will probably be deleted just because cross-posting is not allowed. Just wanted to let you know. It is probably better you posted this here anyway since this side of the forums tends to have more people flowing through it.

    I think what you are feeling is completely normal. I have felt the same way over my past 3 years of applying. Will this really be worth it in the end? But then I will be at work and see that one patient, one case, one client (I am only a vet tech right now) and I realize that it is all worth it.

    One of the doctors this past week gave me the best piece of advice. She told me to remember that while I have spent a good majority of my life to get into this career, it is just a career. She said being a vet is great, but is just a small part of who you are and a small part of your life. You still need to have other things outside of this career that make you happy. She said to never lose sight of that fact because otherwise you could drown yourself in this job.

    I know vets that have families, hobbies and a normal social life outside of work. I think it is important to maintain that. It is not impossible to have a family and a life outside of being a vet, it will just be a little more complicated than with a different job/career.
  7. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Penguins are jerks. Gold Donor

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    I don't regret anything yet. Knowing what you are getting into is definitely a big part of it.
  8. SocialStigma

    SocialStigma OVC c/o 2015

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    How you're feeling is totally normal, I think everyone doubts their decision at some point or another.

    As soon as I found out I got in, I had my moment of doubt. I was happy but not as happy as I thought I would be. I actually felt kind of sad because getting into vet school was my main goal for the past 13 years and suddenly it got taken away for me. I was left with a "what now? what's going to drive me for the next 4 years?" feeling. Luckily I decided that I wanted to specialize so now I have a new goal for post-vet school haha.

    I don't have any regrets thus far. But part of that is because my debt is relatively manageable ("only" $20k for 3 years undergrad+1 year vet school) since tuition is only about $8000/year here. So I'm not too worried about that. I do want to get married and have a family, and in this regard vet school kind of sucks because it's hard to have a thriving social life when you have tests every week. I'm only 22 though, so I know I still have time to find someone and settle down after I graduate.
  9. katryn

    katryn UTCVM c/o 2014!!!!

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    This. :thumbup:

    To the OP, you are definitely not alone. I think all of us have some level of reality check when that acceptance letter finally comes.

    I have no regrets, but my circumstances are probably a good deal luckier than a lot of people.

    I got married, bought a mortgage, and settled into life before I made it into vet school. I know this is the career for me, and it's worth every penny of debt I'm taking on (within reason, I applied IS only specifically to keep the debt as low as possible). I'm due with our first baby in a month, and really don't feel like it will be too much for us to handle either. But I regard life as one grand adventure and refuse to let myself get caught up in worrying about what might go wrong. It's been a challenge to find balance between all the things in my life, but ultimately, I know my priorities, and sticking to them when in doubt has worked out for me so far.

    Has it been a juggling act, yep. Do I cringe when I look at my debt and what the payments will be, yep. Is it hard to find time for it all, yep. But ultimately, I'm very happy with my decision and wouldn't change it for the world.
  10. CalliopeDVM

    CalliopeDVM

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    I am in Canada and this is my second career, so I don't have the debt issues veterinary students and new grads face in the US.......if I had been faced with debts like I'm hearing about ($200,000+ by the end of the entire process), I'm not sure I would have done it. I really like being a vet and am happy with my decision, but I'm not sure I would be if I was paying on $200K in loans and feeling constantly under the (financial) gun.
  11. skittles12

    skittles12 UTCVM class of 2014

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    I did an externship last month, and honestly, it was one of the worst experiences I've ever had with vet med. At the time, it gave me serious doubts about vet med. But now that it's over, I realize that not all clinics are like that one, and there is no reason for me to settle for working at a place that makes me utterly miserable. (I'm fortunate that I won't graduate with huge amounts of debt.) I want to be able to balance my outside life and future family with my career.

    I still can't imagine doing anything else, and I don't regret going to vet school. I think maybe at this halfway point, though, I'm just ready to be finished. Although, the thought of being a real vet in only 2 years is slightly terrifying!
  12. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    Just a quick reminder for everyone to please create threads in 1 forum based on relevance of the thread topic. Hopefully, as more people create threads and post in the veterinary forum, the more others will frequent it to respond :)
  13. Pigsfoot

    Pigsfoot Illinois Class of 2014!

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    I am in between my 2nd and 3rd year right now, Vet Med is my second career-I worked many years and saved some money (with my husband) to get through vet school specifically so I can graduate with as little debt as possible. We've never planned on having children-so that takes one major financial variable out of our lives. for this summer, I am currently working as a vet tech and also volunteering at a shelter, getting lots of amazing experience, talking to people about their animals and I am absolutely loving it. The other day an owner complimented me and told me I was going to make a terrific vet. I just about cried. I have no regrets-I'm SO happy I got in (i applied twice), and I feel I'm in the right place. A huge factor for me though is-i will have very little debt when i graduate-i have no debt from undergrad and our savings is paying for the first 3 years of vet school-if it was different, i honestly dont know how happy i'd be. I am hearing about new grads that have to pay $800-$1000 each month just for their interest-and will have that for more than a decade to pay. that is a huge chunk of money-and if i had that to pay if, maybe i'd regret it, but i know i won't. i know i'm lucky-but i busted my butt before vet school to save money and will bust my butt after to save money.
    so-the financial aspect is a huge factor to consider in regret. i know its abstract before you get into vet school-and is more abstract if you're under 25-(sounds age-ist, but i know i was NOT very money aware then, so am speaking from experience).

    I'd like to hear from a new grad who has big loans to pay back-if they're still loving life, and able to pay off loans-that is fantastic!
  14. lionking101

    lionking101

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    Thanks everyone for your replies and experience!

    And Pigsfoot, if you don't mind me asking, how much had you saved up before going to vet school in order to help you keep your debt down? Simply asking in order to get an idea of where I should be, cause it sounds like you are in a great financial situation! Also, I agree with your statement about finances being an abstract subject (I'm 22!). Before recently, I thought very little about what effect all the debt and money would have on my life. My relationship and understanding of money is changing, and I freaked out a little bit when the reality hit.
  15. Pigsfoot

    Pigsfoot Illinois Class of 2014!

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    hi Lionking-I PM'd yous.
  16. jradjsb

    jradjsb

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    Lionking, if you are thinking about waiting out to apply vet school so you can work to save money first you should aslo consider that tuition cost increases almost every year. My school just had a 8% increase this year. Plus another thought is that you are young and maybe don't have the responsibilities (kids, mortgage, cars, etc) so you could possible keep your living costs down while in school and still get out w/o too much debt. This is my second career and I am in school supporting a family, and still have debts to pay that I accumulated when I was working my 1st job and had the money to pay for it. My only regret so far is that I didn't go straight into vet med the first time.
  17. lionking101

    lionking101

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    Didn't think of that. Thank you.
  18. katryn

    katryn UTCVM c/o 2014!!!!

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    This, most definitely. I'm all for saving as much as possible while you are finishing undergrad, or reapplying if it takes multiple tries. But it crushes my soul to know that if I had gotten in the first time I applied, tuition was only 12k; when I finally did make it in, it was 19.5k. :eek: Intentionally waiting just adds icing to the debt cake.
  19. theunraveler

    theunraveler Member

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    Life's short, either follow your dream and dont regret or just do another job that pays well. If debt, stress and whatnot is stopping you, perhaps you need to reassess your life's goal or just simply delay the dream. There are quite a few old geezers in the years below me who did other jobs, had family, etc before doing vet to fufill their dream of doing vet. However, they are also quite advanced in age, and vet medicine is a physically demanding course. I am not sure how they are coping...
    Life is good, pay is so-so but I dont care. I love my job and the mental stimulation. Every case is different and it forces you to dig deep and find answers. The debt is always there but I am not in a rush to pay it off as I have no family or dependants, I can take it easy and just slowly pay. No I dont want a family.
    Was it worth it? Yes.
  20. Donna777

    Donna777

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    I don't regret anything yet..
  21. Saffine

    Saffine

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  22. Boilercowgrl

    Boilercowgrl Purdue C/O 2015

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    I just finished my first year and going into my second year. While the first year gave me many doubts of "why I shouldn't be here" or "I should quit now," I honestly can't imagine doing anything else at the moment. Yes, the debt sucks, especially since the government loans have changed, but I will try everything in my power to make sure my tuition is paid and that I have enough loan money for living expenses. I'm fortunate to have a family who is very supportive in times of stress and offer some financial support, but when I get to meet with clients who see that I am studying to become a vet, they've mostly said positive things that have kept me going, I was fortunate to get into vet school during my first application cycle, and once you are in, I still can't imagine how many people would die to be in my shoes at the moment.

    Working with the vets this summer and realizing how much time consuming and what a physical job it is, I can't imagine doing anything else that working in the veterinary field in the future. Yes I want a family, but I have a hard time finding people to date in vet school when I'm busy all the time. But hey, I have another 3 years at least to find my other half. It's amazing at what a big family my vet school class is and how much support there is. Yes, the debt load is scary, but man to graduate with the degree of your dreams before you're 27 (in my case), it makes me a very lucky girl and wouldn't change anything for the world.
  23. nsdhfk

    nsdhfk

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    OP - PM me
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  24. j5k

    j5k

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    I just got onto this board for another purpose, but here is my deal.

    My story is similar to yours - the dream of becoming a veterinarian. Love for animals, all of that. I spent plenty of time volunteering in my vet's office (not just a counter worker, pill counter, but actually going into visits, assisting in surgeries, etc.). I worked my butt off in undergraduate and got into a great program. I spent four fantastic years in veterinary college. My goal was to be a specialist in some field - most likely ortho, but liked most specialties.

    But I realized I could not mentally commit to years more of being on call, the hard and unpredictable life of a residency, and then continuing on to work a career as a specialist. The long hours, ethical dilemmas (I can save your pet, but it will cost you $$$, or I can do it cheap to help you out and not make any money to support my family), and everything else that stresses people out about the profession.

    I graduated with my DVM, and then went on to get a PhD in another biomedical field and now work exclusively with humans. I have no regrets in any way. Truthfully, my veterinary education is what gave me my roots and has enabled me to be successful and have much promise in my current field. If I had just gone through the PhD route, and not been through veterinary college, I would not be where I am today in terms of interdisciplinary knowledge, my way of thinking, understanding clinical research, not to mention the great friends and colleagues along the way. And being a veterinarian, I still can work with animals if I want - it is the best of both worlds.

    I am primarily involved in human research now, and when I went into veterinary college, I really had very little interest in research and preferred the clinical side of things.

    So, I am a bit different - I am one of those people who went to vet school, and didn't become a vet in the traditional sense. I could have made it into my current career without my veterinary training and done well, but I feel I am much better at it since I am a vet. Thus, my message if it is what you want to do, go for it - you just might have a bit of anxiety at the moment, which is not unusual. Otherwise, you may regret it years from now, wondering what could have been. However, if you realize that you no longer want to be a traditional practicing veterinarian, there are plenty of options available, and the time and money invested in veterinary college are not a waste by any stretch.

    Good luck!
  25. lei325

    lei325 RVC c/o 2014!

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    A huge part of this (in my opinion) is due to the fact that in the UK they have to choose at 15 what they want to do (A-level courses), and enter vet school at 18. It's not like in the US, where you have 4 years to get an undergrad degree and fool around a bit and figure out who you are as a person. But there are people who regret vet school in the US too, I'm sure. Some vets I've gone around with (equine) say that sometimes they wish they chose a different profession because it's difficult to pay off loans and have children, a house, etc. It's not that they don't love the job, but it's not the most highly paid profession out there and doesn't afford a lot of time off for personal things.
  26. jsp132

    jsp132

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    18 that's so young plus to be able to handle all the rigors etc
  27. PetPony

    PetPony Rawr :*

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    In Germany, they start with 18, too, but they are also used to school in a very different way than in the US. You take more than 10 classes at once most of the time in high school and they are much much more difficult there. So maybe that's what it is UK, too. Yea, they're younger, but they're also used to more academic difficulty.
  28. Saffine

    Saffine

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    If this were the case, wouldn't it affect all professions in the UK?

    In the November 2010 RCVS UK Newsletter it suggests vets specifically have lower wellbeing than others outside the profession. And Bartram has written further about this in the UK Veterinary Record.
  29. lei325

    lei325 RVC c/o 2014!

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    True. There are lots of different factors that are affecting the wellbeing of vets in the UK. Some I've worked with have complained about the decline in professional respect as a veterinarian. Others aren't very happy with the salary they've been dealt.

    The difference between vets and other professions is that, besides other medical professionals (which I don't have wellbeing stats for because I'm too tired to look for them at the moment), other professions generally require less schooling. At 18, you have the option to enter the working world or go for a 3 year degree, or a 5 year degree (MD or BVetMed, for example). You incur less debt when you go to school for less time, and some other professions will actually have a higher salary than that of a new veterinary graduate.

    Bottom line: it's obvious something is going on beyond just the age or money thing. I'm just saying that, in my opinion, 18 is too young to decide to be a vet. I have huge qualms about some of my younger classmates becoming vets, and if they've made the right decision in doing veterinary med. Some of them are just not mature enough to handle the stress. Hell, sometimes I don't even think I'm mature enough to handle the stress, and I'm 26.
  30. SnowyRox

    SnowyRox Pennwe c/o 2016

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    The prevalence of euthanasia in veterinary practice is the main unexpected factor that I heard from the Australian & Scottish vets I worked with. They only needed 1 week of work experience to apply. The Australian vet was extremely unhappy because she didn't understand the profession, entering at only 18. The Scottish vets both loved their jobs.
  31. AmandaR88

    AmandaR88

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    No, no no no no, not even one regret :)
    I like everything about this brench of science, since I was a little girl, it was my true call... Hope you'll enjoy your work, as much I enjoy mine ;)

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