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Finding the right job after vet school

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by NeonMountaineer, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. NeonMountaineer

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    When you graduate vet school how do you go about finding the job you want? Specifically for me, I live in Virginia, but I'd like to work as a veterinarian in Colorado or Alaska. Is there any good way to find a job in the location you want? Also, I've heard that no one keeps their first job. Is it good to find one for the first few years to get experience before moving on to somewhere else?
     
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  3. pinkpuppy9

    pinkpuppy9 Illinois c/o 2019
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    I'm not going to be able to give you good advice about the job market. But as for keeping your first job, I guess it depends. I know a few current students who want to specialized in certain things. They intend on graduating and starting in SA clinics to get the nerves out before going back into residencies and whatnot. So they wouldn't be keeping their first jobs.
     
  4. Minnerbelle

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    Schedule a vacation block during your rotation, or schedule externships in the spring time in those locations when people are actually hiring. It's much easier to be taken seriously if you can cold call/ interview n person. As for longevity of your first job, it's not something you can control other than trying t make sure you spend time at the clinic and doing a soul search ahead of time about what you want... So don't worry too much about it. If it works out, great. If it doesn't, then whatever, you move on.
     
  5. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes
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    I have heard a few times now.... it is better and easier to get accepted for internships and residencies right out of vet school instead of waiting until you have spent a few years in practice. I don't have stats on this, but I have heard it many times from various people. It is apparently not very easy to get a residency after you have been in practice. So best to just do it straight away if that is something you want to do.
     
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  6. pinkpuppy9

    pinkpuppy9 Illinois c/o 2019
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    Really? I wonder why that is. I can definitely understand wanting to become more confident in yourself before jumping into bigger things, but if it might have a negative impact on your chances of a residency...
     
  7. dyachei

    dyachei vet robot pirate zombie
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    Part of it is that they don't have as many bad habits to break. New vets also aren't as confident. That being said, it's personally hard to go back to school/internship after getting out.
     
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  8. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow Skipping the light fandango
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    That's ok. I bring plenty of non-medical bad habits to the table. ;-)
     
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  9. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes
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    You use SOV's Depends during surgery so you don't have to worry about holding it, don't ya?
     
  10. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow Skipping the light fandango
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    Hey now! That's just.... that's... really... c'mon... I mean.... hm. Well. I might have to consider that.
     
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  11. allygator13

    allygator13 SGU/UTK c/o 2018!
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    I've heard an exception to this when I was meeting with the exotics professor here at SGU who completed a residency in zoo medicine. She said when she used to choose applicants for residencies, she preferred people who had work experience outside of school and after an internship. She also told me that when she finished her residency, her mentor during her residency told her that she would have been an even better resident if she had had prior clinical experience before going into her residency. So it seems zoo med likes more experience and not someone straight out of school.
     
  12. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes
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    Maybe zoo med is weird then. But for the vast majority of residencies and internships you will hear that it is much easier to get accepted right after graduation rather than after being in practice for a while. You have to remember that applications to internships and residencies require recommendations and you can't just get any random vet to write you one. Many of them want board certified vets writing the recommendation for the residency that you are applying for. Now, in zoo med it might be that you have to work after graduation to make these connections, I don't know. But many of your recommendations will come from clinicians you spent time with in rotations or on externships, once you graduate and a few years go by, it is hard to get those letters.

    I have only been back at school for 2 weeks and I have heard the above a few times now when professors and staff have discussed the best path to an internship or residency.
     
  13. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    One thing I could see being an issue with going back to internship after having a job for awhile is that at in an internship you are basically treated like a subordinate again, sort of like being in school, having your diagnostic and treatment plans constantly scrutinized and changed, and I do imagine that this would be very difficult to deal with after having been out working independently for awhile.

    Not to mention the pay cut.
     
  14. dyachei

    dyachei vet robot pirate zombie
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    usually zoo med wants 2 internships before residency. In addition to connections. Or at least, that's what multiple advisors told me when i was looking into it.
     
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  15. MassDVMMPH

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    Most residencies don't demand you do an internship first if you have years of clinical experience already. They just want you to have experience (in other words, not a brand new graduate) and either an internship or regular work experience will suffice. I think the competition for residencies is much more fierce than when I graduated, mostly because the people graduating now seem to be planning on the bigger salaries of specialty practice to pay off those ridiculous loans they have taken on. But back in the mid-2000s, I had plenty of classmates who never did an internship, but still got into residencies after a few years in general practice. I know one who is a radiologist and one who went into dermatology that way. Lots of people are doing multiple internships now, not because residencies are demanding it, but because the poor kids cannot land a residency after the first one due to the competition, so they just sign on for another year of indentured servitude in hopes they get into a residency the next year. I really think it's the competition that has resulted in this situation - not the so-called demands of the residency programs themselves.
     
  16. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    On the other hand, I know a 2012 grad who's been working since graduation and was told that to be competitive for residency he had to go back and do an internship.
     
  17. MassDVMMPH

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    Exactly - it is the increased competition that has resulted in this situation. Residency programs used to advertise in JAVMA for applications and say things like "requires one year internship OR equivalent experience in small animal practice." That was taken directly from a dental and oral surgery residency offer at a U.S. college of veterinary medicine in 2005. Also, just to give you an example of how jobs have become more scarce, I just looked at the classifieds in a single issue of JAVMA during that same year (2005) and there were 42 pages of associate veterinarian job offers (and I purposely left out the educational opportunities section and the institutional, industrial, and public practice section when I counted pages). Residencies just weren't in demand the way they are now. They were in competition with all the associate jobs that were available then (and paid more).
     
  18. equinerider26

    equinerider26 MU CVM c/o 2016!
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    I went to the SFT conference in August, and every boarded theriogenologist we talked to said to practice for a few years before applying for residency. So, zoo med isn't alone in the world of wanting experience before application.
     
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  19. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes
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    My question when I see this is... Are they saying to practice first because they wish that they had? OR are they saying to practice first because it looks better on the application?
     
  20. Gwenevre

    Gwenevre Research Pig Chick
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    I wonder if that applies to the whole specialized profession. Private or GP isn't what I want to do at all; therio is where my heart's at.
     
  21. dvm'08

    dvm'08 Member
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    The GP vs internship debate is a hot button issue with many 4th year students, and there is obviously not a clear cut answer. For the sake of keeping things simple, I'm going to generalize, but I will stipulate my comments are from my experience as a resident at my institution; obviously every residency program and every institution will be slightly different.

    If you want to specialize you are generally safer avoiding general practice and going the internship route. So much so, that if you haven't done a rotating internship, or have done more then 1 year of general practice (in addition to an internship) we won't rank you for our program. All of the other specialities at our hospital are the same way, except ECC - they like to take residents that have done a year of ER/ICU practice at a multi-service speciality hospital after the candidate has done a rotating internship. There are a number of reasons why we don't rank candidates who have been in GP. The biggest reason is that they are (generally speaking) more difficult to train. Contrary to popular belief, being a resident isn't necessarily about thinking independently (something you are forced to do in GP because you typically don't have a specialist watching your every move, like you do in an internship). Its about doing what your mentor tells you to do (initially), and learning the 'gold standard' way to treat things. Once you've got into your second and third year, you operate more independently and are given more latitude with respect to case management (and this is where your independent thinking skills factor in).

    The second reason we don't take GPs into our residency program is that there is a huge variation in knowledge base when you compare GP to GP. The reality is that if you compare a new grad who has been in GP for a year, to a grad who has been in an internship for a year, the internship trained grad is typically light years ahead of the GP grad, and has a much more applicable skills within referral practice. For example: if you're applying for a surgery residency, nobody cares if you can spay a cat in 10 minutes after your first year out in practice; you can train anybody to spay a cat. But we definitely care that you know how to manage a hypotensive, arrhythmic post-op GDV and that you won't be calling your mentor every 5 minutes to ask him/her what drug to use to treat its arrhythmia or whether or not you should give it a fluid bolus. Depending on your internship, your knowledge of referral level cases is going to be far better then someone who has spent the year vaccinating, spaying, neutering and doing the occasional more complicated case. You can make the argument that some general practices are seeing more complicated cases then my simplification, but we don't have the time nor the energy to figure out what practices are the good ones giving new grads good basic training. Its much easier to see that a candidate has done a rotating internship and that they have letters of recommendations from board certified specialists who know what it takes to get through a residency and pass your boards.

    Knowledge base aside, you also have to consider who you're competing against to get a position. Last year we received over 200 applications for our 1 residency spot. Some of those candidates had 2 speciality internships on top of their rotating internship. Its hard to compete with that, but in the end we ended up taking one of our own interns because we liked her, she knew our hospital, she fit in well with our service and we knew what her base level of training was (because we trained her). She probably wasn't as qualified as the guy with 2 internships and a research fellowship, but in the end we didn't really care about that.

    The take home message here is that if you want to do a residency, you really need to know how to position yourself such that you're a competitive applicant. In many cases, that means securing a good (if not top) internship right out of vet school. If you are one of those people who doesn't know if they want to specialize, and are considering it, you would be well served doing an internship anyways as the training will only serve to make you a better doctor. If you know you want to be a GP, then finding a solid general practice with good mentorship is a great plan; but if you decide you want to make the transition from GP back to speciality referral practice, you need to realize you have a very up hill (if not insurmountable) road ahead.
     
  22. Caia

    Caia deserve victory
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    Ok, I'm going to take this thread in a different direction....If senior vet students/new grads/more established vets, etc. wouldn't mind chiming in here, I would appreciate any advice.

    I'm a vet student that did a 180 flip and would like to pursue SA general practice (the last thing I ever thought I would do) but I'm limited in my SA experience because I was very focused prior to vet school on something completely different. I was a tech assistant for a few months during the school year at an emerg practice and have a "tech asst with vet student learning opportunities" position this summer at a different place (I've done various SA volunteering as a pre-vet, worked as a receptionist, etc. but it was pretty minor). Upon a recent discussion with my mentor (a retired SA gen practice owner), I've become confused as to what I should be doing after graduation with practice ownership as a goal in the future. He has said that I shouldn't be writing off an internship as good mentorship and exposure would be valuable for me. However, I was always under the strong impression that an internship would be overkill for someone not looking to do emerg or specialize?

    Is this still the general consensus - that it's largely unnecessary? I don't care to sell my soul for a year when I'm not pursuing specialization, but are there internships that would be more reasonable for a general practitioner looking for mentorship and confidence?

    Any input would be appreciated. :)
     
  23. orca2011

    orca2011 PennWe c/o 2016!!!
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    So I'm going to reply because at this point I don't have plans to do a residency but just got accepted to my first choice program for a rotating internship. I was originally just going to go into GP (no plans to own here). My reasons for doing an internship are kind of multifold.

    I really, really loved my internal medicine and ES rotations and the main reasons I'm doing an internship is because I think I might want to do private practice ES. Again, still no plans for residency because academia isn't for me, but I think the experience will greatly help me if that's the way I end up going. I'm going to a place with a heavy ES case load that keeps all their patients (no transfers to medicine...they keep them) and they also see exotics which is another interest of mine (small mammals mainly). The exotics aspect is another reason I decided on an internship since I'd like to be able to work in a place that sees exotics and feel comfortable managing those types of cases.

    Another huge thing is confidence, which I hate to say. I know I could get it from a job with the right mentor, but I do not have the kind of relationship with a clinic currently and it totally scares me to end up at a GP place with poor mentorship. I sometimes also feel that doing an internships may let me figure out more how I want to treat things by seeing more than 1 or 2 different doctors' approach to the same type of case, which I think may happen more frequently in PP. If I end up doing GP this will probably (okay definitely ) be a poor choice financially, but I think it will really help me as a doctor and learn to trust myself.

    And finally, I haven't 100% ruled out a residency. I sort of just had a clinician ask if I was interested in Derm as a career because I've been doing well on the rotation in regards to products to use and when to do things (and we're only 2 days in) and it's honestly not something I've ruled out. It was one of my favorite courses and it holds my interest and provides a lot of satisfaction for the owners when you get it right.

    As for consensus as to whether or not it's necessary, I keep hearing mixed things too. A good number of clinicians I've worked with in the hospital feel it's overkill, but I've talked to some private practice owners who are more interested in those who have done an internship. It might be sort of hospital/area dependent.

    Not sure if that helps at all...

    ETA: My internship is a private practice one. A lot of the stuff DVM said about academia is a major reason I don't want a residency at this point. Except Derm. Our Derm service tries to be efficient and get you in and out.
     
    #22 orca2011, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
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  24. TotesMahGoats

    TotesMahGoats UTK class of 2020

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    You know how they have a 'rate my professor' website? Do they have an equivalent 'rate my internship' one? After working at a bad clinic and watching the poor intern be treated like crap, I'm scared (I know, it's far into the future) that I could possibly fall into a similar situation unknowingly. Is that a ridiculous notion?
     
  25. Caia

    Caia deserve victory
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    Thanks @orca2011 , I appreciate you sharing your path and goals/future considerations!

    I'll be honest, I'm also scared of going through the effort of applying and visiting places only to not match. In my previous area of interest, grades were less of a concern and it was mostly outside the match. *sigh*
     
    #24 Caia, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  26. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes
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    Honestly, I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" way to go about things here. I would hope any new graduating veterinarian would want mentorship, regardless of any prior experience they have had. Even with the many years of tech experience I had prior to vet school, I still want that support and to be able to bounce my ideas off of someone with experience. So I believe that you are not at a disadvantage not having a ton of SA experience prior to vet school. Especially since you are already trying to get experience prior to even your clinical year. You will be fine.

    Having said that, an internship will definitely give you experience, the reason I decided against one is multi-fold:

    1. My loans are high enough, I don't need to watch them balloon further for one year of crap pay.

    2. I don't want to pursue a residency.

    3. Academic medicine has started to grate on my nerves. This may just be related to where I am at school, plus having some GP experience, but every time a client voices concern over money and clinicians are still spending tons of money (as in a few hundred to a thousand dollars) and adding on things that don't really need to be done (and admitting to it), I get annoyed.

    4. The hurry up and wait of academic medicine. Now this might just be my school or in an academic setting and may not be so at a private specialty practice. But holy hell, the amount of time it takes to do anything around here is obnoxious. There is also a lack of acknowledging the owner's time... oh we have meetings for an hour in the morning, yup start appointments at the same time our meetings begin and make the client wait over an hour. I feel bad for clients many, many times for how long they have to wait just for a doctor/resident to get into the exam room. This isn't to say things can't get busy in a general practice but generally (there may be exceptions), if you are away/having meetings, you won't schedule a client to come in for the time in which you are not there. Not sure this is such an issue in a private specialty practice, but it definitely gets annoying as to how slow the cogs run in an academic hospital.

    5. Many of the interns/residents/clinicians I have been around don't have that experience of general practice and the ability to identify with cost/how things can go down in a GP. Especially some of the interns. They really take on an everything needs as many diagnostics as possible because this is what you do approach. Sometimes a dog that has had diarrhea once, has just had diarrhea once. It doesn't need ultrasound and endoscopy and rads and bloodwork and oh why not toss in a CT for just on episode of diarrhea. I get diarrhea on occasion too, I don't go to get a full workup for one instance of diarrhea. Sometimes **** just happens (pun intended).

    6. I have found quite a few jobs that offer mentorships. So, I get the benefit of learning about general practice, how to balance those cases where a client is really concerned about cost and still continue to get the feedback and mentoring that I want. So I have the best of all the worlds that I am looking for.

    In the end, I don't think doing an internship prior to general practice or not doing one is going to make a huge difference. It is kind of up to you. If you can't find a job with mentoring available, maybe an internship is better. Or maybe you can find a job with mentoring and you can jump right into working. It really is a personal decision. I decided against internship, because, as you can see, I am done with the academic side of things. I do think if I had decided to go for an internship, I would have done a private practice one, but most of them are at specialty clinics and I really want to know about GP, not what additional tests we can do that the GP hasn't already done.

    Anyway, I don't think either direction is more "right", I think they both have their advantages and disadvantages, you just have to decide which ones have the advantages that you prefer.
     
    #25 DVMDream, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  27. orca2011

    orca2011 PennWe c/o 2016!!!
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    No. There are quite a few places that kind of have a "use and abuse" mentality and I flat out didn't apply to those (at least if I was aware of it). I know the interns I met at that place I"m going all looked exhausted but they overall had positive things to say and seemed to like it. I also just got a good vibe from the place and was able to joke around with the one practice owner right away. Also, the fact that so many of their interns come back to work for them speaks a lot to me.
     
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  28. that redhead

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    As someone who ended up doing what they never thought they'd be doing in vet med (SA GP), I do regret not having as much time rotating in SA stuff because I'd been so sure I'd end up in lab animal. Not matching is not the end of the world like people seem to think, although certainly disheartening.

    If you want to do SA GP, get the time in with rotations - it will help immensely with your knowledge base, even in a short period of time. I went straight into GP, no internship and while there is still so much I'm learning/remembering, I've had a great support system in the other vets I work with that provide the mentorship and guidance I imagine people are looking for in an internship. It's just a matter of discussing mentorship with any place you interview with if jumping straight into GP, doing your best to gauge the character of the other vets and hopefully not signing on where you'll have to do work alone for at least a few months, if possible.
     
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  29. jesskb

    jesskb KSU CVM c/o 2015
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    I asked the residency committee theriogenologists this at 5 different places two years ago and they all said practice>internship. (However I just got accepted for residency after an academic internship, although I intend to stay in academia so that may have been considered and I've been Therio networking since 15...)
     
  30. Crystalight33

    Crystalight33 UTK c/o 2017!!
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    There actually is a "rate my internship" program put together by VIN. It is not super easy to navigate, but once you figure it out, it has lots of great information about the internships available through VIRMP. You can compare private practice internships to academic internships and see what recent grads felt about how much hands on experience they got, how much emergency they had to pull, their overall 'score' of their internship, etc. Like I said, figuring out how to use it is not very intuitive, but the information is there. Oh, and you need to be a member of VIN to use it (student membership is free).

    Here is the link to it: http://beta.vin.com/members/tools/surveyviewer/survey.html?testid=165

    If that doesn't work, go to http://www.vinfoundation.org/ , select new graduate, and then click on internship survey.

    Hope that helps!
     
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  31. LadyOtheFarm

    LadyOtheFarm Embryos and Genomes
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    Those of you talking about therio jobs... if you haven't seen the most recent embryo mail post / the LSU equine therio vet-PhD position posting... pm me.

    I think most of you are not a year out, but it fits the discussion. Hence my post here.
     
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