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What should i be when i grow up?!

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by halterbroke, Mar 16, 2012.

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  1. halterbroke

    halterbroke

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    While I have complete sympathy for all of you pre-vetters who are anxiously awaiting the tail end of all the admissions decisions, I'm having my own little freak out while in veterinary school. I can't decide what kind of vet to be!! And the prevet forum gets way more traffic than the vet student forum.

    I guess I'm just looking for support or hand-holding or something... Not really sure! I'm graduating in 2013 and definitely want to pursue post-graduate education. However, there are two or three quite divergent directions in which I could easily go, but I feel like I am having a difficult time really making a commitment to one career path over the other. I have concerns about the job market (short and long term) for all paths, and it is difficult to find accurate and current information that would allow me to be better informed! I'm also having trouble balancing concerns about lifestyle (hours worked, locations in which I could live) with the things I most like to learn about in school. I'm sure that there is also some fear about picking something and really going for it and then not matching, etc.

    I really wish that I had a professor who would tell me, "wow! you're really good at this! be this kind of vet!", but I've definitely never had that experience!! Seriously am considering an SDN poll to decide my future :rolleyes:

    How did you guys decide to pursue the facet of vet med in which you're current involving/aiming to be involved??? Deciding to be a vet was always easy for me, and I know that there are aspects of vet med in which I DON'T want to be involved (small animal clinical practice!), but how do I turn that into channeling those feelings into what I WANT to do? I know clinics will help but there I need to choose rotations now in a logical way to help me as well!
  2. SocialStigma

    SocialStigma OVC c/o 2015

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    As of right now, I want to be a small animal surgeon. Probably always knew, when I was 8 I tried to "perform surgery" on a two-headed fish (after it had died) with a butter knife.

    But I didn't officially decide until my last year of undergrad, I took a pathoanatomy course where I spent the entire semester prosecting a (previously untouched) human cadaver. It was my first time dissecting anything on a large scale (I'd only dissected a fetal pig before that) and I spent hours and hours in the lab. I was so proud of my work by the end of it, they even used the specimen as a learning tool for med students! Also, I had taken 2 other anatomy courses before this one. Anatomy has always been my favourite subject + I love cutting things open and seeing what's inside + love scalpel work = surgeon.

    Is there any particular area that you have always gravitated towards more than others? Deciding what you DON'T want to do is the first step! If you eliminate all the areas you don't want to go into then hopefully you'll be left with a relatively short list of areas you could possibly be interested in. I would do a rotation in each of those if possible and go from there.
  3. Angelo84

    Angelo84 Tufts Class of 2011

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    If you are graduating in 2013 you are likely just starting clinics now. Assuming that you do not track at your school you will be exposed to a wide variety of practice types during clinical year and will quickly figure out what you do and do not like. So have fun in clinics!
  4. sunshinevet

    sunshinevet

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    I'll admit it - I'm a vet sl*t!

    Lol.

    I'll happily become enamoured with everything that comes my way (except equine lol!) Go to an awesome dairy farm on prac - I wanna be a dairy vet. Do clinic prac with an awesome surgeon - I want to be a small animal surgeon. Go muster for a month - I wanna be a rural vet. Do emergency lectures - I wanna do em/cc. You get the picture lol.

    What I think is even more shameful is that I've been working in clinics for 7 years loL!!! So its not like I don't know what I'm getting myself into - I just love it all! :laugh: (Except equine!) :laugh:

    So basically, what I'm trying to say is that I have no advice for you! But if you figure it out, let me know!!! :D:D

    (In reality, what I'll probably end up doing is a few years in em/cc, locuming around Uk/europe before coming home and going into GP/emcc. I love gp but i also really love em. Still don't know how my love of cows in going to factor in but i'll figure it out!)
  5. lailanni

    lailanni c/o 2012

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    I'm in my 4th year.

    A lot of my classmates picked their schedule to focus on what they "want to do". But from what I've observed, you get out into the field and find that people who had no intention of going into research ended up there, or people who didn't really like small animals now own a clinic. You have no idea where life takes you, despite your idea of "what you want to do." There are some people who hold steadfast to one path, but as I've talked to people it seems like that the path changes from time to time.

    So for my strategy, I decided to just take all the electives that I would never really consider. Lab animal medicine? Sure. Fish health and aquaculture? Yep. Time at a mobile vet. Check. Non-human primate week? You betcha. Basically I just went for everything I thought I'd never see as I small animal practitioner. As a result, I've gotten to meet a host of veterinarians that do a wealth of things that *aren't* SA clinical med. It's been really interesting! You really can do a bunch of things with a DVM that aren't the typical dog and cat route.

    My classmates are getting a variety of jobs. Mixed animal, small animal, large animal, one I know intends to be a practice owner within a few years. One is going to be working internationally for a group that does those vet trips into less affluent countries. I got a job offer. So while it's far from a good job market, it's not hopeless.

    And hey, it's not a mandate that you have to be using your DVM after graduation. You can still do whatever job you want. You don't have to be a veterinarian. (Ha, I'm sure I'll get heat for saying that seeing as there are all the pre-vets who would gnaw off our legs to get our spots.) But really, I think it's nice to hear that once in a while. You can do whatever you want with your life. You're under no obligation to pick one path over another.

    What am I going to do? I'm going to take an extended break. My loan repayments are very manageable, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have that luxury. I'm going to take time to work on ME since I've been pretty burnt out, and I'm really looking forward to it. Travel, be a hippie, that sort of thing. Whenever I feel ready, I'll be starting my own business. I'm keeping it hush-hush for now because I want to get everything in place before I launch it. I'm going to need some extra training in my time off too. But I'll be focusing on an aspect of vet-med I love and find immensely valuable :)
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  6. bayarea15

    bayarea15 someday super vet

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    Glad to see the above poster was offered a job. The tales of no jobs on here and basic Google search scare me. :(

    Sent from my PC36100 using SDN Mobile
  7. gracietiger

    gracietiger

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    Lailanni,
    Just a quick question: you mentioned a friend being offered a job for an org that does international work in 3rd world countries. I'm curious if your friend is actually being paid for that work, or if she is volunteering her time for the org after graduation?

    Congrats on your plan, by the way. It sounds great!!!
  8. lailanni

    lailanni c/o 2012

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    Thanks :)

    From what I understand, she has gotten a paid position (I'm not sure how much, but enough to take the offer I guess). I'm happy for her, she's a perfect fit for the job!
  9. halterbroke

    halterbroke

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone :)

    Sometimes I think that I do a little tooooo much research, and get scared away about the downsides of any given facet of the profession. I suppose I just have to remember that the fact of the matter is that there are downsides to any job, and that I am probably the only person who can decide how tolerable those downsides are to me. For example, I'm most interested in fields in which I will someday hold a job in academia, and it scares the crap out of me how the political climate affects funding for public schools & scientific research. I can't predict the economic climate in 10 years, and it seems scary/stupid/naive to just plow ahead believing that things will be okay.

    Also, good to remember that it IS possible to change my mind, even after specializing or something, if things really don't seem to be working out. The perfectionist in me just doesn't want to pick something that I can't do/achieve, which is obviously something I just need to get over!!!
  10. Tco87

    Tco87 Illinois 2016

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    That describes me perfectly! Except for the equine part, I could even see myself being an equine vet.
  11. ORvetgirl

    ORvetgirl Oregon State c/o 2013

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    I don't know yet what I want to do either...I think for me though some of it stems from my insecurity that they're actually going to let me (and expect me) to be a vet and do a good job at it, lol. Right now I still feel like I know nothing. Nothing yet has made me feel super passionate, like it is the only thing that I want to do--luckily (?) for me, I don't think my grades are really good enough to be competitive for an internship/residency and I hate research, so it's going to be some form of general practice for me.

    Something that did help me feel better about my indecisiveness, however, was that when I was telling one of the 4th years that I was undecided, he told me that he was too until he got hired. He basically didn't know what he wanted to do, so he applied to a bunch of jobs in different parts of general practice he thought he might enjoy, and is just going where he got hired. He figured if he doesn't like it, he can always switch fields.
  12. SnowyRox

    SnowyRox Pennwe c/o 2016

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    VIDA had several staff vets when I went on a trip with them. All of the vets were Costa Rican, but I think that's probably more due to who applied than who they would accept.

    I *think* peace corps has some positions for vets. I've read about people doing it, but haven't actually contacted them directly. Obviously it's mostly a "volunteer" position so you wouldn't get paid much, just food/housing/$ towards student loans.

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