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career decisions DVM, MD, RN

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nieve

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Hi,

I've worked in wildlife research for 15 years (as a tech, ED of a non profit, gov bio), and I am making the switch into medicine (of some variety). I'm 39, and my partner and I are trying to have a child, and I have some practical decisions to make.

I applied to human medicine 2 x, and just missed a spot. I have a spot in Vet Med. My third option is a 20 month nursing program (I would have to apply this fall). My drive was to MD - but I think my odds are slim for another round of applications.

I am considering nursing primarily because it would provide a good lifestyle (school is finished quickly in a location I would enjoy, I can work anywhere, money is good). Also, I am wondering if I would ultimately be more interested working with people. I've worked in a sexual health clinic, and love it. I've volunteered in long term care, but I can't picture myself there every day.

I enjoy working with animals, and really enjoy wildlife work. Unfortunately, I live in a small town, which I love, and there is no room for a new vet here. I would have to move. Also, the school is much longer, and in a part of the country I will not enjoy. However, the vet med curriculum is more interesting to me than the nursing program, and I suspect I would find the breadth of practice in vet med more interesting. I am somewhat concerned that i would feel like treating cats and dogs won't feel as "meaningful" as being involved directly in human medicine.

Are there any folks out there that considered DVM, MD or RN, and went one way or the other? As a vet do you get as much joy from helping people, as helping animals? Any other advice? Anyone take a year off to have a baby in vet school? Was it hell?

Thanks for your assistance, it's greatly appreciated. p.s. I'm in Canada.
 

Dark Cloud

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Hi,

I've worked in wildlife research for 15 years (as a tech, ED of a non profit, gov bio), and I am making the switch into medicine (of some variety). I'm 39, and my partner and I are trying to have a child, and I have some practical decisions to make.

I applied to human medicine 2 x, and just missed a spot. I have a spot in Vet Med. My third option is a 20 month nursing program (I would have to apply this fall). My drive was to MD - but I think my odds are slim for another round of applications.

I am considering nursing primarily because it would provide a good lifestyle (school is finished quickly in a location I would enjoy, I can work anywhere, money is good). Also, I am wondering if I would ultimately be more interested working with people. I've worked in a sexual health clinic, and love it. I've volunteered in long term care, but I can't picture myself there every day.

I enjoy working with animals, and really enjoy wildlife work. Unfortunately, I live in a small town, which I love, and there is no room for a new vet here. I would have to move. Also, the school is much longer, and in a part of the country I will not enjoy. However, the vet med curriculum is more interesting to me than the nursing program, and I suspect I would find the breadth of practice in vet med more interesting. I am somewhat concerned that i would feel like treating cats and dogs won't feel as "meaningful" as being involved directly in human medicine.

Are there any folks out there that considered DVM, MD or RN, and went one way or the other? As a vet do you get as much joy from helping people, as helping animals? Any other advice? Anyone take a year off to have a baby in vet school? Was it hell?

Thanks for your assistance, it's greatly appreciated. p.s. I'm in Canada.
I would make a list of pro and cons which you already have. I f you want to have a good pay job less stressed about paying a school fee later, raising a child, I would definitely go with nursing program.
Vet school will take four years of your life also to get the experience that you need to be on your own is about 4-5 years.
 

Doctor-S

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I can relate to your comments.

I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE animals. When I was a little girl, I wanted to become a veterinarian. Seriously, it was my dream career. However, I can barely witness an animal that is experiencing pain (e.g., a compound fracture) or any other type of distress. Plus, it tears me apart (emotionally) to make an incision in an animal. My emotions take over, and I want to protect the animal from all pain and distress. So for those reasons alone, I did not pursue a DVM degree.

On the other hand, it doesn't bother me to make an incision in a human. It doesn't bother me to dissect a human cadaver. It doesn't bother me to see a compound fracture in a human. So, human medicine is no problem. Go figure.

Here is a hypothetical question for you to consider:

If you were "independently wealthy" for the next 8-10 years, which graduate program would you pursue? DVM, or MD, or RN? Why?


Based on your response to this question, you might want to prepare a list of pros-and-cons for that program of study, as suggested by Dark Cloud. Each program of study has its own benefits and burdens. Each program has its respective costs, length of education and training, and projected ROI (return on investment). You will have to do a lot of serious thinking, that's for sure.

Meanwhile, I still LOVE-LOVE-LOVE animals ... and I am still not a DVM ... and I still cannot bear to see an animal in pain or distress.

Instead, I donate some of my personal time every month to several animal rescue groups in my area and I have also adopted several rescue pets into my home (and I purchased pet health insurance coverage for all of my pets). So, no matter which program of study you eventually choose to pursue for yourself (DVM, MD, RN, or something else altogether), you can always choose to donate some of your time to one of your personal interests (e.g., animal health, or human health, or whatever). In so doing, you might experience as much joy, happiness and satisfaction as I do - in my case, by providing a pet with a loving and "forever home" and/or by volunteering time and services to animal rescue groups.
 
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