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I hope those aspiring to becoming a veterinarian know all the uncertainties and challenges the profession is facing. If you have a love for the medical sciences, I strongly recommend that you reconsider human medicine. Again - don't be foolish! STRONGLY reconsider!
 
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Minnerbelle

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Why an interest to know the story? No story really... just reality...
I mean... I feel like perhaps some sort of reasoning is warranted if you are telling people to reconsider their life/career choices.

That’s kinda like saying “in this day and age of uncertainty, reconsider having kids!”

I can see how some people feel that way, but it’s hard to take it seriously without an explanation. Otherwise it seems even more foolish to change life decisions just cause some rando on the internet said so.
 
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Apr 18, 2018
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The reasons are many but I’ll give readers only a few. Bear with me for this long message then…

(1) I grew up around many MDs in my family, so from a very tender age I have been exposed to the medical world, which has always fascinated me. Medicine is incredibly beautiful! However, I thought that I did not have the stomach to deal with sick people, and since I always loved animals veterinary medicine seemed a very reasonable and noble career choice. Many MDs warned me that I was making the wrong choice and that I would regret later on. Forward a few years and I “accidentally” found myself doing cutting edge medical research with the brightest MDs in the country. I was immersed in the universe of real, brilliant, cutting edge medicine. What MDs are capable of doing, the depth of their understanding of physiology, pathophysiology, molecular biology, genetics, diagnostics, surgery, supportive care; the depth and accuracy of their research methods – everything simply blew my mind! In particular, the way MDs can bring important clinical questions to their labs, and then, answers back to the clinical setting. When I returned to the vet field, the reality hit me pretty hard. As veterinarians we’ll never, ever be able to practice at the same level human doctors do for a very simple reason: human life is infinitely more valuable than an animal’s. The best resources are in human medicine: the brain power, financial, technological. Veterinary medicine will always be 30-50 years behind human medicine. Thus, back to my original point - that if you really love the medical sciences, you should go for human medicine. And no, doing a residency in veterinary medicine and becoming a “specialist” or a “diplomate” won’t do it. Veterinary medicine has serious, inherent limitations that won’t change having a "diplomate" status.

(2) Basic economics. Compare the salary of an MD who just finished a residency in surgery or internal medicine or cardiology with their respective veterinary colleagues. Now compare the costs of an MD vs a DVM education. A $200K+ debt for a veterinary degree is lunacy! But hey, what the heck! Who cares right? We live in the age where money is printed out of thin air… with credit bubbles everywhere, including the student debt bubble… which brings me to a final point…

(3) The US government is completely bankrupt and buried in massive pile of debt; so are the majority of Americans. Currently, some clients pay $8K for little Fluffy’s back surgery, or $6K for Buster’s TPLO or Chester’s radiation/oncology treatment because of easy credit, not because people have money in savings (real capital). I already see that even my GP clients struggle to pay for basic wellness stuff. My colleagues who work in the ER (or other specialties) tell me that their clients don’t have the money to pay for expensive treatments. They reach out to their credit card or Care Credit. This reveals that the problem of debt and erosion of purchasing power is systemic and chronic; it is reaching a critical point now. The writing is on the wall…

Eventually, a national debt of 23+ trillions of dollars, along with the mother of all bubbles created by an irresponsible, delusional fiscal/economic policy will come home to roost (sooner or later). The next economic crash will surely make the Great Depression feel like a stroll on a green meadow on a balmy afternoon. The consequences are obvious: when families are in a tough financial predicament, who takes precedence? A kid who needs food, shoes, medical treatment, or little "Fluffy" who needs vaccines?

Just think about it…

To close, I do want to clarify one thing: veterinary medicine is a beautiful profession (in its own unique ways). However, being more mature, realistic and knowing all that I know now, I would have chosen human medicine instead - on a heartbeat. The future does not look promising for veterinarians. The profession is facing too many serious challenges, and the US economy will eventually tank, bringing an even harsher reality to most veterinarians.
 

MixedAnimals77

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The reasons are many but I’ll give readers only a few. Bear with me for this long message then…

(1) I grew up around many MDs in my family, so from a very tender age I have been exposed to the medical world, which has always fascinated me. Medicine is incredibly beautiful! However, I thought that I did not have the stomach to deal with sick people, and since I always loved animals veterinary medicine seemed a very reasonable and noble career choice. Many MDs warned me that I was making the wrong choice and that I would regret later on. Forward a few years and I “accidentally” found myself doing cutting edge medical research with the brightest MDs in the country. I was immersed in the universe of real, brilliant, cutting edge medicine. What MDs are capable of doing, the depth of their understanding of physiology, pathophysiology, molecular biology, genetics, diagnostics, surgery, supportive care; the depth and accuracy of their research methods – everything simply blew my mind! In particular, the way MDs can bring important clinical questions to their labs, and then, answers back to the clinical setting. When I returned to the vet field, the reality hit me pretty hard. As veterinarians we’ll never, ever be able to practice at the same level human doctors do for a very simple reason: human life is infinitely more valuable than an animal’s. The best resources are in human medicine: the brain power, financial, technological. Veterinary medicine will always be 30-50 years behind human medicine. Thus, back to my original point - that if you really love the medical sciences, you should go for human medicine. And no, doing a residency in veterinary medicine and becoming a “specialist” or a “diplomate” won’t do it. Veterinary medicine has serious, inherent limitations that won’t change having a "diplomate" status.

(2) Basic economics. Compare the salary of an MD who just finished a residency in surgery or internal medicine or cardiology with their respective veterinary colleagues. Now compare the costs of an MD vs a DVM education. A $200K+ debt for a veterinary degree is lunacy! But hey, what the heck! Who cares right? We live in the age where money is printed out of thin air… with credit bubbles everywhere, including the student debt bubble… which brings me to a final point…

(3) The US government is completely bankrupt and buried in massive pile of debt; so are the majority of Americans. Currently, some clients pay $8K for little Fluffy’s back surgery, or $6K for Buster’s TPLO or Chester’s radiation/oncology treatment because of easy credit, not because people have money in savings (real capital). I already see that even my GP clients struggle to pay for basic wellness stuff. My colleagues who work in the ER (or other specialties) tell me that their clients don’t have the money to pay for expensive treatments. They reach out to their credit card or Care Credit. This reveals that the problem of debt and erosion of purchasing power is systemic and chronic; it is reaching a critical point now. The writing is on the wall…

Eventually, a national debt of 23+ trillions of dollars, along with the mother of all bubbles created by an irresponsible, delusional fiscal/economic policy will come home to roost (sooner or later). The next economic crash will surely make the Great Depression feel like a stroll on a green meadow on a balmy afternoon. The consequences are obvious: when families are in a tough financial predicament, who takes precedence? A kid who needs food, shoes, medical treatment, or little "Fluffy" who needs vaccines?

Just think about it…

To close, I do want to clarify one thing: veterinary medicine is a beautiful profession (in its own unique ways). However, being more mature, realistic and knowing all that I know now, I would have chosen human medicine instead - on a heartbeat. The future does not look promising for veterinarians. The profession is facing too many serious challenges, and the US economy will eventually tank, bringing an even harsher reality to most veterinarians.
While all your points are valid for the most part, it's not wrong, there's alot I think is missing from this story and yes if people don't know what they are getting themselves into that is part of the problem. I'm just saying the reasons you provide are issues much greater than any one individual can solve.

1) Are we really that far behind? While generally clinically speaking persay yes, but do you forget that most research starts in animals? MDs and researchers don't go out making a drug and saying here take it to human test subjects right off the bat. No they start in animal models. While yes results may be applicable sooner because of urgency and such I think you are forgetting veterinarians are involved just as much in that process as the MDs. How many procedures in human med are adapted from vet med because we did it first? How much money and red tape is jumped through for those research projects to get from A to B? I would also argue that they are no more brilliant than you or I. I know people who go to med school because they couldn't hack it for vet school. Veterinary medicine is moving towards specialization just like human med which allows them their specific focuses, while for the majority is a good thing, if anyone has dealt with the healthcare system here in the US one would be reminisce to say there aren't serious drawbacks and pitfalls within their community as well. Sure human life is viewed for the majority as more important than animals, but more and more the profession is evolving towards where pets=family member. There's a lawsuit idk if it's still going on but basically trying to get grief and suffering settlement against veterinarians which currently isn't possible because legally animals are viewed as property. In the case of our malpractice insurance I'd say that's a good thing it's not like that. Also it is leading to the age of pet insurance. In order for the profession to be sustainable pet insurance is going to become more and more of a thing. Heck some employers are offering it now with their benefits packages. Behind, perhaps but probably not in as big a way as you emphasize and just in a different way.

2)I agree there is a debt problem, part of it is on students. Those who attend ridiculously expensive schools out of will (I'm talking the I'll do anything to be a veterinarian even if it means taking out 400k in debt) I do not think have a full understanding of the impact of the loans after school. I would argue that is a failure of education on our educational/ parental system. However, our tuition is on par with human medicine degrees. Medicine is medicine we are going to medical school just as much as MDs are. There are ways though to go to schools and not come out with that type of debt. I'm also not sure you can make the whole situation on any one culprit-it's the American way persay. Look at Canada they have it figured out much better in this regard it seems, but they also have their issues.

3)Yeah the government is messed up in more than one way. Unfortunately unless politicians get their heads out their rears most people are stuck between a rock and a hard place. However, do you think that when the existential crisis comes that MDs will be uninfected? Our profession is for sure more vulnerable because we are a luxury market, but heck I avoid trying to go to the Dr too because they're just as much a luxury market for me- sure I have health insurance but then I have to pay copays on top of that. I don't go unless I'm dying. So are MDs more protected in volatile markets? For sure, but they have their own problems too. Some ways worse than what we deal with in our profession.

Just speaking for myself I would never ever want to do human medicine. I don't want to go to school for more than my 4 years of general doctoral at this point in my life. Internship and residency no thank you. Humans are gross and Americans in particular are sue happy. I also don't want to be told how to practice medicine by some overarching insurance company that doesn't have a clue what my patient needs and essentially have pharmaceutical companies hold the golden key while I have to stand by and tell my patients sorry you can't afford your cancer treatment and watch them suffer-at least I can alleviate my patients suffering in all 50 states. Plus all the legality issues that surround POAs of people as patients. There are so many issues with human medicine too.

Being in the human medical world comes with its glory and struggle just like vet med does. Human medicine can do some pretty freaking cool things just like we can. It's a limited system though just like ours. It seems you have mostly only seen the glory which is great, but also I think unintentionally biased. Do you think that a 21 year old kid should be crippled to the extent of living on his bedroom floor for months, in chronic pain, having issues using the bathroom, and in general confined to his home crawling around crying in pain after a 10 minute care ride? I sure don't. If he would have been a dog he probably would have gotten fixed in a quarter of the time it took him to even get into a specialist let alone surgery and for a fraction of the cost. For sure I think all people should investigate their various career fields and definitely not go into insane debt they that cripples them to pursue "their passion." Our country as a whole would be better off if that were the case. That's part of our society's problem as a whole, but in another sense it is also the "American dream." I'm all for checking out career options and for sure in some sense being in human medicine is 110% better than vet med, but it has its draw backs just as much. Not really saying one is necessarily better than the other, just different. I'm just not sure such urgency and push to reconsider vet med vs human med is necessary in the case which you present it. Honestly, if we're talking straight money/value go do a trade they have it made at this point in time and are less susceptible to the government messing with them and economic volatility, plus it's pretty critical thinking but in a different sense.
 
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CalliopeDVM

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. As veterinarians we’ll never, ever be able to practice at the same level human doctors do for a very simple reason: human life is infinitely more valuable than an animal’s. The best resources are in human medicine: the brain power, financial, technological. Veterinary medicine will always be 30-50 years behind human medicine.
Back when I was in school, one of the residents was switching to human medicine for that very reason. For me, it's not nearly enough to put up with the c**p and competition of becoming and being a human doctor.

The debt issue is pretty much just an American thing; vet students in other countries have debt, of course, but not that obscene amount that shapes your life for decades.
 
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Minnerbelle

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However, being more mature, realistic and knowing all that I know now, I would have chosen human medicine instead - on a heartbeat. The future does not look promising for veterinarians. The profession is facing too many serious challenges, and the US economy will eventually tank, bringing an even harsher reality to most veterinarians.
Aside from wanting to be more a part of cutting edge medicine (which I think is specifically a concern of yours and not most people who become veterinarians), essentially you’re advocating going into human healthcare because it is recession proof and makes more financial sense. That’s all fine and dandy, but motivations for becoming a veterinarian are quite different for a lot of people than an MD’s motivations for becoming a human physician. Just because you want to become a vet doesn’t automatically mean that you would be happier or as happy as a physician.

My best friends are physicians, and my husband is a PhD biomedical scientist with a terminal senior staff scientist position. My job stability and earning potential is higher than that of hubby and together we earn about $200k (after I recently took a 20-30k paycut) and are comfortable. Either one of us could lose our jobs and we’d still be okay. Could we have earned more if we were both MDs? Yeah probably... but I would still be in fellowship rather than being an established clinician with a great reputation in the community at this point in my career. A fellowship in what? Or even a residency in what? I don’t like the idea of how restrictive level of practice is in human medicine. And the thought of becoming a PCP in this healthcare system makes me want to vomit. And like... being a PCP where my only fun procedure I can bill for is like an ear flush... I think I would be bored to death (while simultaneously being overworked) No thank you.

And as much as general practice has its major flaws and it certainly isn’t for everyone, and I’m sure there are as many people trying to flee from it as there are thriving in it, I find myself pretty happy with it. Why? Well I guess I like my job description more than anything else. I actually like the lower standard of care in animals compared to human medicine. I don’t need to be a part of cutting edge. I like being able to say, “well, I dunno what else to do if you won’t go for referral, so let’s cut ‘er open and see what we find!” And all of the subsequent WTF moments that ensue... and though we lose some of these battles, a majority of the time we get some sort of adrenaline spiked win. I like being able to immediately increase an animal’s quality of life by amputating a leg, taking out an eye, pulling out every rotten tooth in the mouth. And as trivial and first world problems as it is tending to the human animal bond, I get where my clients come from because I’m crazier about my pets than most of my clients themselves are. I’m that person who would drop $10k on my pet in a heartbeat if it would make a difference (though it would be in cash and not on a line of credit that I can’t pay back). I think it’s an important part of my job to counsel those clients who love their pets just as much as I do but do not have the funds, to find peace with whatever is in the best interest of the pet/client as a team. Some clients drive me up a wall, but I genuinely like most of them and like interacting with them about their pets. I also love having patients that I find adorable that I can snuggle, and sharing that with the clients who love them. Yes, I acknowledge that I work in a frivolous occupation and that at the end of the day I’m just providing luxury services that can and should be cut out of the budget if it’s tight (even though my clients and the animals whose lives are at stake don’t see it that way).

And I know how horrible things can get with an economic downturn in this profession. But then at the same time, I still wouldn’t want to be a human physician. And recession or not, I can’t think of another line of work I could see myself being as passionate about that earns me as much as I am able to earn as a veterinarian. I guess I don’t worry about it as much anymore because I’ve paid off my loans, and I’ve established a reputation and am very hireable. Even with an economic downturn, I doubt I will be one who can’t find work. I think I’m beyond that. It really sucks to be a newbie in that environment, but there’s typically demand for seasoned skilled doctors.

I think I know more vets who are done and want out than I know vets who are very happy, and a larger group of vets who are ambivalent and would like the job much more if they weren’t financially stressed and could work part time so the job wasn’t an all consuming life suck. But I personally don’t know that many who I think would be thriving more as an MD to be honest. They’re really different professions. That being said, I don’t want to trivialize your very valid point that people should think long and hard about what their future as a vet will look like, especially in light of their finances. Like holy ****ing hell, life is expensive, and becoming a veterinarian is expensive. It is incredibly difficult to live a comfortable middle class lifestyle on the income of a veterinarian with student debt involved unless you are independently wealthy. $5000-6000 take home pay sounds real nice until you factor in $2000 for daycare for one child (like are you ****ing kidding me!?), mortgage/rent, life/disability insurances, health insurance premium, car payments, and student loan payments which are all fixed. Never mind all of your other expenses. And especially if you feel stuck, many veterinary employers are awful and treat you like they own you and it can be a miserable existence even if you like your basic job description. It can be really isolating. And many hospitals have a very toxic culture. It also takes a special personality to deal with the clientele in this passion driven and expensive service field where everything you do/say is stepping in a possible minefield. It’s tough on mental health. It sure isn’t for everyone.
 
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Veterinary medicine will always be 30-50 years behind human medicine. Thus, back to my original point - that if you really love the medical sciences, you should go for human medicine. And no, doing a residency in veterinary medicine and becoming a “specialist” or a “diplomate” won’t do it. Veterinary medicine has serious, inherent limitations that won’t change having a "diplomate" status.
Your slightly insulting use of quotation marks aside....

I’m a veterinary specialist (pathology) and I teach 80% of my time at an MD school, and do 20% work/teaching at a vet school on the side. I’m most certainly not “30-50 years behind”.

That being said, on the clinical side of things, it may be a different story. The average MD absolutely has more depth than the average vet for all the reasons you said. I know this because I have to teach my med students at a different level of depth, while I emphasize breadth with the vet students. Both depth and breadth have value. But there is no call to insinuate the our specialists are somehow not “real specialists”or that we are somehow inherently inferior. Especially when some of us are the ones educating future physicians. I’m hoping that was not your intent here.
 
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I hope those aspiring to becoming a veterinarian know all the uncertainties and challenges the profession is facing. If you have a love for the medical sciences, I strongly recommend that you reconsider human medicine. Again - don't be foolish! STRONGLY reconsider!
You realize this is the Veterinary forum, not PreVet, right? Theoretically the people who spend the most time in here have already made their decision, so calling people foolish for a life choice they already made years ago likely isn't going to get you a lot of converts.

Edit to add: although...every troll that tries to imply veterinary specialists ≠ real specialists does make me excited to work with MDs/DOs later on so I can relieve them of any false beliefs they may have about our value to the medical field.
 
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PippyPony

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Also, as a quick aside... anyone who thinks veterinary expertise is solely a luxury (outside of biomedical research) clearly does not work for the CDC or similar capacity doing emerging and exotic disease surveillance.
 
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Edit to add: although...every troll that tries to imply veterinary specialists ≠ real specialists does make me excited to work with MDs/DOs later on so I can relieve them of any false beliefs they may have about our value to the medical field.
To be fair, most of the MDs and DOs I work with are incredibly respectful. They are fascinated by what “jacks of all trades” we are. The students too - I’ve had several tell me flat out “vets have to know everything!”. I work side by side with MD pathologists on courses. Of course there are a few old school outliers (and I may be biased because I’m in academia and people tend to have more open minds here, especially the younger faculty) but overall my experience has been very positive.

The notion that if you “really love medical science” that an MD or DO degree is the “right” or “true” choice is an extremely limited viewpoint. What about research, where understanding of disease and treatments originate, for example? That’s the purest form of love of science I can think of. And it’s as difficult, if not even more difficult that vet med in terms of career choice.
 
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PippyPony

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To be fair, most of the MDs and DOs I work with are incredibly respectful. They are fascinated by what “jacks of all trades” we are. The students too - I’ve had several tell me flat out “vets have to know everything!”. I work side by side with MD pathologists on courses. Of course there are a few old school outliers (and I may be biased because I’m in academia and people tend to have more open minds here, especially the younger faculty) but overall my experience has been very positive.

The notion that if you “really love medical science” that an MD or DO degree is the “right” or “true” choice is an extremely limited viewpoint. What about research, where understanding of disease and treatments originate, for example? That’s the purest form of love of science I can think of. And it’s as difficult, if not even more difficult that vet med in terms of career choice.
Yes, you're right -- thank you. I didn't mean to imply that no MDs/DOs view vets as colleagues. I just read back at my statement and it came across as if I was expecting to meet with that kind of attitude, which I know is not the norm.

I was referring to some of the borderline trolls who have been bopping around this site recently -- between them + the discussions about the orthopedic surgeon down in Georgia and the Diagnosis dvm comment, I feel like there have been a lot of examples of physicians devaluing veterinary experience on social media of late.

I'm glad that your real life experience has been a good one, and hope it continues that way. My sister is a doctor who has a "medically challenging" cat (who -- among many other behavioral issues -- obsessively humps a stuffed camel), so I know I'll always have at least one DO in my corner ;)
 
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PippyPony

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Actually upon further investigation, OP has only posted in this thread and has listed veterinarian as occupation despite thinking we are dum-dums, so...

:troll:
 
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Yes, you're right -- thank you. I didn't mean to imply that no MDs/DOs view vets as colleagues. I just read back at my statement and it came across as if I was expecting to meet with that kind of attitude, which I know is not the norm.

I was referring to some of the borderline trolls who have been bopping around this site recently -- between them + the discussions about the orthopedic surgeon down in Georgia and the Diagnosis dvm comment, I feel like there have been a lot of examples of physicians devaluing veterinary experience on social media of late.

I'm glad that your real life experience has been a good one, and hope it continues that way. My sister is a doctor who has a "medically challenging" cat (who -- among many other behavioral issues -- obsessively humps a stuffed camel), so I know I'll always have at least one DO in my corner ;)
Oh that....ugh. What a - pardon my French - ****show. Some of those post-op radiographs are horrendous. Dogs are not small humans. The physics of their weight-bearing is totally different, as are recovery times and post-surgical rehab guidelines (immobilization comes to mind - you can make a human stay still/in bed while things heal and you really can't with a dog - therefore the surgery needs to be performed with that in mind in terms of stabilization).

If he was just amputating (and the dogs would probably have excellent QOL) I might be more sympathetic. Still practicing without a license, but somewhat more understandable. But trying to play Dr. Frankenstein and "treating" these animals as a way to train his residents and practice his own surgery and then bask in adulation from the public for his "charity".....unbelievable.
 

PippyPony

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@kcoughli made the excellent point that as soon as it started to be used for training residents, it falls under IACUC.

I also agree that if he had been doing amputations (or tbh anything resembling truly adequate repairs, with a supervising veterinary OS clearly involved in the process) it becomes more murky for me from an ethical standpoint, and the legality probably varies somewhat by state. But as it was...*shudder*
 
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PippyPony

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This is totally off the original topic now, but the cross-practicing is actually a subject I find ethically interesting, and I don't want to study right now, so here are some anecdotes --

For a while there was a human surgeon who was volunteering at our TNR clinic and kept asking to do spays because she was "clearly qualified to do soft tissue surgery." Clinic director told her flat out that she wasn't qualified to operate on cats, and while her help with the clinics was appreciated, she would remain assigned to non-surgical tasks.

On the other end of the spectrum, the DVM students at my school used to take first & second year courses with the MDs. They split a while back, but a couple DVMs still teach at both schools, because in some cases the physiology isn't really that different (and they are great professors, so hopefully it helps with heading off some of this "DVMs are inferior beings/not real doctors" business.)
 
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Minnerbelle

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To be fair, most of the MDs and DOs I work with are incredibly respectful. They are fascinated by what “jacks of all trades” we are. The students too - I’ve had several tell me flat out “vets have to know everything!”. I work side by side with MD pathologists on courses. Of course there are a few old school outliers (and I may be biased because I’m in academia and people tend to have more open minds here, especially the younger faculty) but overall my experience has been very positive.
This. My MD clients as well as personal acquaintances who are MDs or MD/PhDs have never expressed any sort of condescension and have been very respectful of what I do. If anything, they’re typically pretty awed by the breadth of **** I have to deal with clinically. And they respect my opinion when it comes to their pets. I work near a large state medical school, so I work with a lot of MDs and nurses. There are some pain in the ass RNs but for the most part they’re also pretty respectful and compliant with my recommendations.

The clients I dread the most are the know it all “I used to be a tech” or “future vet” and some vet students who give me so much grief... because they don’t know **** but think they do...
 

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My MD clients are 50/50. The good half are my best clients because they understand the basics of medicine but respect that I know more than they do when it comes to animals. They tend to be carte blanche when it comes to treatment and do great with post-op care, follow ups, etc. The other half are wildly variable in what makes them annoying. The toughest part for me to stomach with the difficult ones is that with human med so specialized, I often wonder if the cardiologist really does remember that much about toxicology or orthopedics or whatever that he’s grilling me on. Or if the pediatrician remembers the hospice care and end-of-life lectures when I’m unable to convince them to euthanize their renal failure cat.
 

Minnerbelle

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My MD clients are 50/50. The good half are my best clients because they understand the basics of medicine but respect that I know more than they do when it comes to animals. They tend to be carte blanche when it comes to treatment and do great with post-op care, follow ups, etc. The other half are wildly variable in what makes them annoying. The toughest part for me to stomach with the difficult ones is that with human med so specialized, I often wonder if the cardiologist really does remember that much about toxicology or orthopedics or whatever that he’s grilling me on. Or if the pediatrician remembers the hospice care and end-of-life lectures when I’m unable to convince them to euthanize their renal failure cat.
Huh that’s interesting. I cant remember the last time I’ve been grilled by a human physician. The only “doctors” that give me grief tend to be chiropractors... my worst health care client is a dietitian who has 0 concept of a complete diet and thinks it’s ok as long as the food is wholesome and varied. And dental hygienists. For some reason they don’t seem to understand periodontal disease.
 

that redhead

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Huh that’s interesting. I cant remember the last time I’ve been grilled by a human physician. The only “doctors” that give me grief tend to be chiropractors... my worst health care client is a dietitian who has 0 concept of a complete diet and thinks it’s ok as long as the food is wholesome and varied. And dental hygienists. For some reason they don’t seem to understand periodontal disease.
It’s been a while, but I won’t forget their condescending questions and subsequent rejection of my proposed plans. It probably doesn’t help that I look really young, either.

I did have a dental hygienist refuse my recommended extractions which was just infuriating. The other one was super excited to show her dog’s rads to her coworkers :laugh:
 
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Minnerbelle

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I did have a dental hygienist refuse my recommended extractions which was just infuriating. The other one was super excited to show her dog’s rads to her coworkers :laugh:
Right? I remember this one who was adamant about no extractions, and I showed her a tooth “that fell out” 100% covered by tartar all the way around both roots. And showed her all the other teeth on xrays that looked the same. And still, crickets.

Nowadays I won’t actually perform dentals unless the client is ok with extractions. They get a choice of “take any sick out so we don’t have to do this again/for the next few years” vs. “be conservative with the understanding we will be doing yearly dentals so things don’t have to come out NOW will have the chance next year.”
 
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that redhead

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Right? I remember this one who was adamant about no extractions, and I showed her a tooth “that fell out” 100% covered by tartar all the way around both roots. And showed her all the other teeth on xrays that looked the same. And still, crickets.

Nowadays I won’t actually perform dentals unless the client is ok with extractions. They get a choice of “take any sick out so we don’t have to do this again/for the next few years” vs. “be conservative with the understanding we will be doing yearly dentals so things don’t have to come out NOW will have the chance next year.”
I feel as though the people who go the conservative route rarely come back for their yearly dentals and just tell me they will to get me off their back about their pet’s awful level of disease :( I wish they could understand how painful a mouth like that must be.

The best are the ones that want “only NECESSARY extractions”...like, what other teeth would I be taking out?!
 

Minnerbelle

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I feel as though the people who go the conservative route rarely come back for their yearly dentals and just tell me they will to get me off their back about their pet’s awful level of disease :( I wish they could understand how painful a mouth like that must be.

The best are the ones that want “only NECESSARY extractions”...like, what other teeth would I be taking out?!
When they hear they need to be back next year, 90% of the time clients let me yank out as many as indicated. The ones who want to be conservative are the ones who have the 2-3 year old pet coming in for their first cohat, and they get really into their regular dental care.
 
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OP
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Folks,

Yep... I definitely should have posted my original comments on the pre-vet forum. My mistake here. Sorry. Still, I hope that some pre-vet students can read this thread and just ponder about it. My post was simply done as a warning. Back to the original point, if I had the maturity, foreknowledge and understanding of where each career field would take me, I would go back on a heart beat to do human medicine. And I have met many, many veterinarians who share my views (this crowd seems to be growing every day, for many, many reasons). But when we are young we usually don't listen to those wiser than us. We all know better. We have dreams and dreamy views about how our lives should unfold...

With all of that said, NO - I am not bashing veterinary medicine or the specialists in our field. Neither the "jack of all trades". I have the utmost respect for my own profession. However, I think that my 10 years of involvement in human medicine (both in cutting edge clinical and research fields) gave me a pretty good idea of what one can achieve in human medicine vs veterinary medicine, each field's depth of knowledge and their inherent pros and cons (let's not even talk about the financial advantages of each field here).

Take everything discussed here with a grain of salt and enjoy the ride. Bask in the sunshine. It's all one can do as life is really short... ;-)
 
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supershorty

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"I'm not bashing vet med, but also, for people who call themselves "specialists," there's nothing special about them. Also, human med is superior in every way, ever. No offense." It might be a cultural difference, but this is not how I was raised to show "the utmost respect."

OP, if you hate your life choices so much, why don't you go back to school and get an MD? You certainly wouldn't be the first DVM/MD.
 

CalliopeDVM

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Also, human med is superior in every way, ever. No offense." It might be a cultural difference, but this is not how I was raised to show "the utmost respect."
Yes.......adding a little "No offense" after a statement doesn't indicate that person really means not to offend. In fact, it means they don't care if they offend or not, and didn't even stop to consider it, but they'll throw in a little something like a mask to pretend they do.
 

Minnerbelle

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Yes.......adding a little "No offense" after a statement doesn't indicate that person really means not to offend. In fact, it means they don't care if they offend or not, and didn't even stop to consider it, but they'll throw in a little something like a mask to pretend they do.
Or really... it means “I know you’ll be offended, but ima say it anyway”
 

DVMDream

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Yes.......adding a little "No offense" after a statement doesn't indicate that person really means not to offend. In fact, it means they don't care if they offend or not, and didn't even stop to consider it, but they'll throw in a little something like a mask to pretend they do.
It is like saying "I'm sorry BUT.... " or really anything after the phrase "I'm sorry". If you put anything behind those two words, you aren't really sorry and you really don't give a **** how you made the other person feel.
 
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PippyPony

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I kinda want to know why the OP went back into vet med after "accidentally" falling into this apparently magical world of human biomedical research as described in the original post.

Forward a few years and I “accidentally” found myself doing cutting edge medical research with the brightest MDs in the country. I was immersed in the universe of real, brilliant, cutting edge medicine.
When I returned to the vet field, the reality hit me pretty hard.
OP, if you lost that job or something and now have regrets about your own career choices, then I am sorry for you and hope you can find a more personally satisfying career. Airing insecurities on the internet by putting down an entire profession is not going to help you get there, in my opinion.

Please understand that even if your advice is well meant, your personal regrets (and feelings about impending economic crises) are your own, and just because you feel something might have been a better choice for you does not mean that holds true across the board... or that everyone who makes the same choice is possessed by false beliefs.

Perhaps consider seeing a therapist if you find you are unhappy with your situation and/or if your career choice has led to interpersonal conflict within your health profession-oriented family.
 

that redhead

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Maybe I’m being overly generous here, but I don’t feel like OP is being wildly out of line. Tactless with some phrasing (and those quotation marks...c’mon now), yes, and obviously unhappy with their current place in life, yes. But I don’t think this post is worth dismissing as one unhappy person trying to dump on the profession. There are some extremely valid points brought up, and the heart of the message seems to be that if you can see yourself doing something other than vet med, do that. Which is a common refrain from us over in the ore-vet side of things. More than a few of us, both on SDN and in the vet community, would do things differently knowing what we know now. And that doesn’t make us bad people, just like OP isn’t a bad person for preferring human med, or for coming to this realization “too late”.

What the OP fails to understand is that there are many people in our profession who still find fulfillment in the work despite not having the resources that human med does. I think we all know that vet med will always be more limited than human med in the vast majority of ways. The fault in this “warning” is not detailing the many problems within vet med, but failing to see that everyone derives career satisfaction in different ways and we don’t all require the most cutting edge research or the richest clients to be happy with what we do.

OP, I do hope that you’re able to figure something out with that you can be happier with your work. Certainly there are people who change careers, even after being in vet med for a while. It’s worth exploring that option if you’re really this unhappy.
 

CalliopeDVM

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and the heart of the message seems to be that if you can see yourself doing something other than vet med, do that.
No......the heart of the message was that if you want to work in medicine, human medicine is the only worthwhile option......what you are saying (if you can see yourself doing something else, then do it) involves so many more options than just human medicine, and yet that's the only thing that the OP talked about. The OP's post was solely about comparing veterinary medicine with human medicine, nothing else.
 

that redhead

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No......the heart of the message was that if you want to work in medicine, human medicine is the only worthwhile option.....
I’m not seeing it as them saying it’s the only worthwhile option over anything else at all, just that if they had to do over, human med would be their choice and that they feel like it’s the better field (again, failing to understand that better for them doesn’t mean better for everyone).

I agree they could have presented their opinions more respectfully.
 
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DVMDream

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Maybe I’m being overly generous here, but I don’t feel like OP is being wildly out of line. Tactless with some phrasing (and those quotation marks...c’mon now), yes, and obviously unhappy with their current place in life, yes. But I don’t think this post is worth dismissing as one unhappy person trying to dump on the profession. There are some extremely valid points brought up, and the heart of the message seems to be that if you can see yourself doing something other than vet med, do that. Which is a common refrain from us over in the ore-vet side of things. More than a few of us, both on SDN and in the vet community, would do things differently knowing what we know now. And that doesn’t make us bad people, just like OP isn’t a bad person for preferring human med, or for coming to this realization “too late”.

What the OP fails to understand is that there are many people in our profession who still find fulfillment in the work despite not having the resources that human med does. I think we all know that vet med will always be more limited than human med in the vast majority of ways. The fault in this “warning” is not detailing the many problems within vet med, but failing to see that everyone derives career satisfaction in different ways and we don’t all require the most cutting edge research or the richest clients to be happy with what we do.

OP, I do hope that you’re able to figure something out with that you can be happier with your work. Certainly there are people who change careers, even after being in vet med for a while. It’s worth exploring that option if you’re really this unhappy.
Honestly, I think they are still a bit naive. A lot of the veterinary specialties work closely with human medicine. And actually, I will end up boarded in the human side first, then the veterinary side. Human medicine pulls from veterinary science and animal studies in order to get any movement of anything in human medicine. You can't experiment on humans. It is the naivete that I think touched a nerve and the claim that we can't do more in veterinary medicine. We can do more, it just doesn't happen often because of money. Human medicine more does whatever regardless of it causing a family complete financial ruin. You simply see the "more" that can occur in either field in human medicine frequently because that is what they are trained to do....never stop regardless of the cost. Whereas in veterinary medicine, when you start talking heart valves, transplants, ventilators, etc.... owners go "woah, woah, woah, no thanks, we can't afford that."

The truth is without veterinary medicine or research on animals first, most of human medicine wouldn't exist today.


But I can agree with the sentiment to really, really decide if veterinary medicine is the career that you want to do. Like really think about it. And to explore other careers as well, if medicine is what you are interested in, explore other areas of medicine. If you have some thought you might like engineering, explore that. I think we put a lot of pressure on young people to decide what they want to "be" when they "grow up" so kids get blinders on and only pursue that one thing they found interesting at 7, 8, 9 or 12 years old and they forget to look into anything else.
 

acanthuroidei

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I hope those aspiring to becoming a veterinarian know all the uncertainties and challenges the profession is facing. If you have a love for the medical sciences, I strongly recommend that you reconsider human medicine. Again - don't be foolish! STRONGLY reconsider!
This is a really discouraging thing to say to someone and isn't particularly useful advice. I think a better way to help someone decide if veterinary medicine is the right fit for them is to encourage them to look at not just what they will be doing in their job as a veterinarian, but also what their job will be doing to them--will the salary support the lifestyle they are hoping to have, will the hours leave adequate time for personal activities, etc. I encourage vet students that I work with to think really seriously about how things like being on-call, working nights/an unfixed schedule, student loan burden, etc. will impact their life after school.

Just because human medicine might have been a better fit for you doesn't mean veterinary medicine isn't the right choice for people who aren't you. ;)
 
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