Human Med to Vet Med

(nicedream)

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I'm considering trying to go to a vet med school after I finish human med. Anyone heard of this being done in the past? Any negative/positive of human med degree on admissions/practice? As someone that will have 200k+ in debt, I have to ask - how possible is it to make enough as a vet to comfortably live and pay off those loans (say 150k+). Thanks in advance.
 

AuburnPreVet

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It has been done, in fact I think if you search you can find an old thread where one of the members had done such a thing.

I was just curious, are you planning on doing your Med residency before going to vet school? If that is that case, then you could do some human med (ER shifts, etc) to supplement your vet income.

My main concern would be your loan repayment. Most vet schools will run you $150,000 (less if an in-state school, more for some others) - the avg starting vet salary ranges are from 40-60K (you can find many different estimates) - I don't see how practical paying off $400,000 in student loans (which have sense accrued a TON of interest) would be. Granted, I suppose you could do a vet internship/residency after vet school and if all went well and your earning potential would be slightly higher, but -- I still think loan repayment would be a nightmare.

With that said, if you are really unhappy with human med & KNOW that vet med is what will make you happy - the rest can be worked out... somehow. Maybe seek a financial consultant of some sort sooner rather than later. Although, be sure you know what you are getting in to - the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Try to use your school breaks to shadow vets in different fields and see what you think. (If you haven't already).

Good luck.

EDIT: If I misunderstood your debt amount & you are saying you'll be 200K in debt after both human med & vet med = then I'd say go for it, if you are sure it's what you want to do. However, 200K for both programs seems like a very low estimate, unless you are receiving non-loan assistance (family, savings, med school scholarships, etc)
 

(nicedream)

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It has been done, in fact I think if you search you can find an old thread where one of the members had done such a thing.

I was just curious, are you planning on doing your Med residency before going to vet school? If that is that case, then you could do some human med (ER shifts, etc) to supplement your vet income.

My main concern would be your loan repayment. Most vet schools will run you $150,000 (less if an in-state school, more for some others) - the avg starting vet salary ranges are from 40-60K (you can find many different estimates) - I don't see how practical paying off $400,000 in student loans (which have sense accrued a TON of interest) would be. Granted, I suppose you could do a vet internship/residency after vet school and if all went well and your earning potential would be slightly higher, but -- I still think loan repayment would be a nightmare.

With that said, if you are really unhappy with human med & KNOW that vet med is what will make you happy - the rest can be worked out... somehow. Maybe seek a financial consultant of some sort sooner rather than later. Although, be sure you know what you are getting in to - the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Try to use your school breaks to shadow vets in different fields and see what you think. (If you haven't already).

Good luck.

EDIT: If I misunderstood your debt amount & you are saying you'll be 200K in debt after both human med & vet med = then I'd say go for it, if you are sure it's what you want to do. However, 200K for both programs seems like a very low estimate, unless you are receiving non-loan assistance (family, savings, med school scholarships, etc)


Thanks much for your input.

I would not do a residency if I applied to vet school.

The 200k is from medschool only. My hope would be to go to my in-state school. I would likely have some family help in repaying a portion of the loans, but if it would be a really foolish financial decision (i.e. me not being able to pay them off and live comfortably or having my family pay out the nose for my change in career plan) I would give second thought. I know average vet salaries are in the range you mention, but I do know of a vet that at least lives like he's making over 120k. What his actual income is I don't know.

As far as knowing this is the decision I would want to make, I'm still in the very preliminary stages of exploring this. Wanted to see if it's even feasible before looking further.

Thanks again.
 
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frozen_canadian

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I would be very hesitant about making the switch considering the debt you will be in. You're looking at very substantial debt, and with the interest .....it will be tough to make a go of it and still provide a comfortable life for yourself (and family if you have/want one). Vets can make decent money (over 100,000) but usually they own their own clinic and have many years' experience. Starting out at 50,000 is typical. Given the debt and other factors, I would not do. However good luck and weigh all the responses on here before you make a decision. Best of luck.
 

AuburnPreVet

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I know average vet salaries are in the range you mention, but I do know of a vet that at least lives like he's making over 120k. What his actual income is I don't know.

There are plenty of vets making decent money, there IS money to be made in almost any field. However, I think it's wise to expect you'll be making 40-60,000K coming out of school - and if you end up owning a practice one day and end up making 500K :laugh: , that's great...just don't plan your future with that 500K in mind. {Just my opinion}

Good luck.
 

kate_g

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You might rethink this:
I would not do a residency if I applied to vet school.
...based on this:
As far as knowing this is the decision I would want to make, I'm still in the very preliminary stages of exploring this.
At least, you might want to do the internship year and get licensed, even if you don't do a residency. I'm saying this because my guess is that all your *human* medical experience might count less than you'd think it would toward the *veterinary* experience schools will expect you to have. Med school is pretty time-consuming, from what I hear. :) So you really might not have time before you finish your med degree to get the vet experience you need (know how a vet office works, handle different types of animals, maybe deal with situations like field medicine that don't really come up for humans...). You might even have to take some classes! (They might make exceptions, but vet schools have widely varying prereqs and some require animal science or nutrition courses, some require technical writing, and other things you might not have taken while getting ready for med school.)

If you at least do an internship, you could work shifts at a clinic and pay down a little bit of your med school loan while working on getting experience and any classes you need. I *believe* that when you start vet school you'll be able to put the remainder of your med school loans back into deferment, but you should definitely check on that too!
 
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