Miss D

10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2009
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Psychology Student
Throughout high school I dreamed of being a veterinarian. I was in the IB program and made sure that I took all of the hard science and math classes. I took IB Chem, IB Bio, AP Calc and Physics all in the same semester, and actually survived with amazing grades. I liked Biology but really disliked Chem and Math at times. My senior year I took AP Psychology and was completely fascinated. I got a 5 on the exam and decided to major in that. Fast forward two years later, I am about to start my sophomore year at a four year university and I am undecided about which route to follow. Is it okay to want to be a veterinarian if the road there (taking all of the pre reqs) doesn't excite me at all. Shouldn't I LOVE the natural sciences at least? If I am interested in something else more than the natural sciences, should I pursue that? I am really undecided and it's frustrating me!
 

twelvetigers

stabby cat
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2008
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Veterinarian
Have you taken physiology? How about some sort of anatomy course? Biochemistry?

These courses seem like they're going to be the most relevant to what you'd be doing during vet school. (Feel free to chime in if you disagree!) I think that lots of pre-vetters have less-than-enjoyed inorganic/organic chemistry and physics, so that's not a big deal.
 
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Miss D

10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2009
5
0
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Psychology Student
No I haven't taken any of those courses and I know they are important pre reqs. I am not worried about the courses I need to take, I am worried about the fact that I am so interested in another topic and could see myself getting a career in that area. I was just wondering if anyone out there ponders other careers b/c from what I have heard most vets know basically from early childhood that that is the ONLY thing they could do and be happy. I don't know if I should study something that I really dislike for the ultimate outcome (becoming a vet) or study something that I really enjoy like psychology and get a career that I might be happy with.
 

rileyroo

Auburn 2014
Jun 22, 2009
1,080
2
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Veterinary Student
No I haven't taken any of those courses and I know they are important pre reqs. I am not worried about the courses I need to take, I am worried about the fact that I am so interested in another topic and could see myself getting a career in that area. I was just wondering if anyone out there ponders other careers b/c from what I have heard most vets know basically from early childhood that that is the ONLY thing they could do and be happy. I don't know if I should study something that I really dislike for the ultimate outcome (becoming a vet) or study something that I really enjoy like psychology and get a career that I might be happy with.
actually on this forum you will meet a lot of us who majored in something other than biology/chemistry. not all of us pursued vet school from the start, we simply took different routes, majored in something different, even tried a different career field then determined veterinary medicine is what we truly wanted. so maybe that's what you need? you can still major in psychology and complete the prereq courses as well. you should definitely do something you enjoy. i majored in a completely unrelated field b/c i really enjoyed the courses and the professor. i don't regret that decision at all. i have loved all of my science courses so far, but one of my best friends seems to hate them and is applying to vet school as well. although i personally don't understand, i do know of at least one other person who feels the same way as you. :)
 

nyanko

total trash mammal
10+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2006
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My question is why do you think you would enjoy being a veterinarian if you don't care for the sciences behind it too much? I feel like you should ask yourself that question honestly and evaluate your answer.

Although there are plenty of non-traditional applicants out there (myself included!), a variation on that question is probably something a lot of us have to address that is unique and different from the traditional applicants. Why vet med, if you already had it in you to pursue another field? It's almost certainly something an adcom would ask if you took the above advice (finish a BS in psych with vet school pre-reqs and apply to vet school). Not implying that's bad advice by any means. In fact, it's really good advice imo. Just that it's an additional thing in your application that you would probably have to be crystal clear on.
 

CatVet2Be

OSU CVM c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Nov 26, 2008
327
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Veterinary Student
Math I've never been crazy about, Physics I hated, Chem was hit or miss depending on the semester and professor, but I love biology and medicine and I think that in order to really enjoy the field you should at least have an interest in the medical aspect of it. That said you may find yourself drawn to behavioral medicine if you really enjoy psych classes and there is definitely a niche in the field for behavioral specialist or vets with an emphasis on behavior.
I think your best bet is to work in the vet field (as a kennel worker, assistant etc..) and get a feel for what's involved. Then ask yourself how much you would miss not working in vet medicine. If you can take it or leave it then follow the path you're most excited by. Maybe you can shadow a behavioral specialist for a few days and see if that clicks with you. It's not unusual to enjoy other classes like psych or sociology more than chem or physics though so don't write yourself off yet until you get a chance to see if the rest of vet medicine appeals to you.
 

david594

The-OSU CVM c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
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Aug 20, 2007
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Throughout high school I dreamed of being a veterinarian...
Throughout high school did you even really know what a veterinarian did? And even now do you know what a vet does on the day to day basis?

Dreams can be a far cry from reality, and that is why experience is so heavily emphasized. If you haven't already, I would highly recommend you start working at an animal hospital/clinic so you can really see what being a vet entails. Make sure you actually like veterinary medicine, and not just what you dreamed it would be.

I am also going to throw the opinion out there that working at a clinic is better experience than volunteering/shadowing when it comes to truly getting to know the field. As an employee you will get to know the doctors better and the things they actually have to deal with. And they are more likely to be honest with you about the crappy day/week/month they have been having, then if you just the kid who shows up one day a week. You view will also become less skewed by the novelty of everything the more you are there. Their is a big difference between the first cat spay you watch and the 100th.

If at the end of it all you still love it, then go for it!
 

sumstorm

10+ Year Member
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Apr 5, 2008
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I would shadow a vet...and see if you can at least do informational interviews with psychologists (not sure it is possible to shadow.)

I think what is important is if you like the work itself. I like psychology, but not enough to want to counsel people or treat psychological issues. I enjoyed my early psych classes (I still enjoy psych) but my interests extended into ethology, and in research. However, career wise, I can't imagine devoting my life to specializing in one aspect of psychology.

I don't LOVE chem, organic chem, physics, calculus, or biochem. A & P was interesting, though not my favorite, same with genetics and medical microbiology. My favorite classes were ecology and conservation biology, but again, I didn't like the narrow scope of research work.

However, again and again, I was attracted to the work of the vets around me. I enjoyed performing necropsies, understanding the reasons a treatment would work in one species and prove toxic for another, and I liked the variety of the work...the ability to work more as a generalist than a specialist.

I also know vets who LOVED the learning part of vet med....but don't enjoy the practice. There is a difference between enjoying learning a topic and enjoying using a topic. I think it is important to understand how you will enjoy working in the profession rather than enjoying learning the material for a profession. The only way to answer that is to gain more knowledge of the topic....to ask or see what the worst days and best days are like...and understand what is exceptional and what is repetitive.