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Just wondering how the job market is right now for equine vets who have specialized even further (i.e., equine surgeons, oncologists, internal medicinists or cardiologists.) In the Midwest, but open to moving almost anywhere.
 

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Oncology isn't really an equine specialty (Neoplasia isn't common in horses, nor is treatment for it). And if you do cardio, you'll probably have to do all species.

As for demand....no, not really. The market is not great right now.

Surgeons typically have to do two internships before residencies, and most boarded surgeons in private practice are doing everything, not just surgery. Internists are mainly going into general practice. Positions in academia are few and far between, because once you get one, you hold onto it until you retire.

Yes, I am aware I just started a residency in equine.
 

cheathac

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Do you think there's even a market for specializing in general? I would love to specialize in surgery. It's my dream job really. Just worried about paying off debt with doing an internship and 3 year residency.
 

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Do you think there's even a market for specializing in general? I would love to specialize in surgery. It's my dream job really. Just worried about paying off debt with doing an internship and 3 year residency.
I'm probably not the best one to ask. I'm one of those crazy people who committed to it, but I love medicine that much.

In theory, you may be paid more than someone who doesn't specialize somewhere down the line...maybe.
 

cheathac

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The reason I ask is that out of curiosity, I just looked up board-certified jobs. Some starting t 190k, another at 125k, at those it seemed like I could potentially pay off student loans and have a comfortable life. If I ever turn away from vet medicine, it's because of the debt and not being able to live comfortably. However, I can't see myself doing anything else.
 

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The reason I ask is that out of curiosity, I just looked up board-certified jobs. Some starting t 190k, another at 125k, at those it seemed like I could potentially pay off student loans and have a comfortable life. If I ever turn away from vet medicine, it's because of the debt and not being able to live comfortably. However, I can't see myself doing anything else.
In equine??? Where are those jobs and how do I get one?
 

cheathac

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No not equine, a board-certified surgeon sorry. It was on the AVMA site. I believe you can search Equine early and look at the job salaries to see.
 

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No not equine, a board-certified surgeon sorry. It was on the AVMA site. I believe you can search Equine early and look at the job salaries to see.


Haha I was gonna say.

And i'm ok. I accepted my fate long ago.
 

jmo1012

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No not equine, a board-certified surgeon sorry. It was on the AVMA site. I believe you can search Equine early and look at the job salaries to see.
those are probably private practice surgeons, and i bet they are either working horribly long hours with tons of on call, or thats in a high cost of living area where that salary is actually just modest. thats not an 8-5 day with no on call and only 4 or 5 days of work. also, the reality for surgery is becoming a rotating internship then specialty internship (or 2) prior to a residency these days :-/ (=building up a much larger sum of debt during that time because you arent making more than an average $30k per year to work 80-120+ hours a week)
 

cheathac

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With all the negativity on veterinarians, debt, suicide, fatigue, etc, why should I even try? I've spent all of my life preparing for this only to find out that by on this site and hearing it in the classroom, that being a vet is not all that it's cracked up to be. How shattering? With my experiences that I've had, I love the profession. Pathology, oncology, SA, LA.... everything. But now my dream is becoming destroyed with all the negativity and "truth" of vet medicine? Wanna be a vet? OK you'll forever be enslaved and won't have enough to have a decent house or family... I"m just frustrated with what to do. The way my heart races during surgery or holding an animal during treatment is something I've gotten addicted to. I guess I will forever be poor to do what I love.
 

Okimo

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With all the negativity on veterinarians, debt, suicide, fatigue, etc, why should I even try? I've spent all of my life preparing for this only to find out that by on this site and hearing it in the classroom, that being a vet is not all that it's cracked up to be. How shattering? With my experiences that I've had, I love the profession. Pathology, oncology, SA, LA.... everything. But now my dream is becoming destroyed with all the negativity and "truth" of vet medicine? Wanna be a vet? OK you'll forever be enslaved and won't have enough to have a decent house or family... I"m just frustrated with what to do. The way my heart races during surgery or holding an animal during treatment is something I've gotten addicted to. I guess I will forever be poor to do what I love.
Talk to a financial advisor. There are loan repayment options (IBR, PAYE, maybe even REPAYE down the line). There are always options. If you love it that much, you will sacrifice certain things, you will talk to a financial planner, and you will get it done just like the rest of us. I have my finances planned for the next 5-7 years and will be living just fine assuming that my plans pan out. I will be making about $25k for two years as an intern and then $30k as a resident, and I've done the research into how to make that work for me personally.
If you're a redditor, I recommend r/frugal and r/personalfinance.
 
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Okimo

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Surgeons typically have to do two internships before residencies, and most boarded surgeons in private practice are doing everything, not just surgery.
I'm curious what you mean by this. Could you elaborate?
 

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Ah, that makes sense. I'm a small animal kid. Thanks for the clarification :)
No worries. Times have probably changed a bit from when I was doing externships, but the economy had made a lot of clinics downsize back then. They wanted to have surgeons, but a lot of them couldn't afford more associates to cover the other positions too. At least, that's how it was explained to me by one vet. Luckily, the equine industry is on a little bit of an upswing, so that could change.
 

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With all the negativity on veterinarians, debt, suicide, fatigue, etc, why should I even try? I've spent all of my life preparing for this only to find out that by on this site and hearing it in the classroom, that being a vet is not all that it's cracked up to be. How shattering? With my experiences that I've had, I love the profession. Pathology, oncology, SA, LA.... everything. But now my dream is becoming destroyed with all the negativity and "truth" of vet medicine? Wanna be a vet? OK you'll forever be enslaved and won't have enough to have a decent house or family... I"m just frustrated with what to do. The way my heart races during surgery or holding an animal during treatment is something I've gotten addicted to. I guess I will forever be poor to do what I love.
No one's goal is to destroy dreams, especially on this site, but there is no sense in lying either. If you love the profession, go for it. If you go into it with the knowledge and facts vets before you share and with open eyes, you'll be that much better off.
 

pinkpuppy9

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With all the negativity on veterinarians, debt, suicide, fatigue, etc, why should I even try? I've spent all of my life preparing for this only to find out that by on this site and hearing it in the classroom, that being a vet is not all that it's cracked up to be. How shattering? With my experiences that I've had, I love the profession. Pathology, oncology, SA, LA.... everything. But now my dream is becoming destroyed with all the negativity and "truth" of vet medicine? Wanna be a vet? OK you'll forever be enslaved and won't have enough to have a decent house or family... I"m just frustrated with what to do. The way my heart races during surgery or holding an animal during treatment is something I've gotten addicted to. I guess I will forever be poor to do what I love.
I'm starting my first year in two weeks, and believe me, everyone has felt/feels like you do now. You're not alone. Veterinarians work incredibly hard and practice with as much compassion and intelligence (sometimes more ;)) as human doctors, but are paid a fraction that physicians are with similar tuition costs.

You can minimize debt by attending your IS school. You can work to save up some money so you can use it for groceries, rent, anything else to reduce your borrowing. Visiting a financial planner is such a good idea, especially if all of this loan terminology is foreign to you. Set realistic goals for yourself and your life. You might never have that dream house as a veterinarian or be able to vacation as much as you deserve to. It's up to you whether or not you are willing to make sacrifices.
 

Lab Vet

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With all the negativity on veterinarians, debt, suicide, fatigue, etc, why should I even try? I've spent all of my life preparing for this only to find out that by on this site and hearing it in the classroom, that being a vet is not all that it's cracked up to be. How shattering? With my experiences that I've had, I love the profession. Pathology, oncology, SA, LA.... everything. But now my dream is becoming destroyed with all the negativity and "truth" of vet medicine? Wanna be a vet? OK you'll forever be enslaved and won't have enough to have a decent house or family... I"m just frustrated with what to do. The way my heart races during surgery or holding an animal during treatment is something I've gotten addicted to. I guess I will forever be poor to do what I love.
Much dissatisfaction in this life comes as a result of a person's expectations not matching the reality of a situation. I'd argue that the great majority of us who post on this board enjoy veterinary medicine. There is a population that regrets having pursued vet med as a career, but that's true of any path- career and otherwise. Vet med is no exception. Please note that enjoyment does not necessarily mean bliss, 100% of the time. Far from it. Our enjoyment is a realistic enjoyment, tempered by our expectations for what life would be like both as a vet student and as a veterinarian post-graduation. If you entered the field expecting a high salary, abundant vacation time, low stress work days, and a retirement plan to die for, you'll quickly find out that these benefits simply don't exist in veterinary medicine....in any specialty. If such a scenario played out, wouldn't you feel cheated? I know I would. I'd feel as though someone sold me a bad bill of goods. If, on the other hand, you enter the field with your eyes wide open, expecting a modest salary, mountains of student debt, limited vacation time, and too many sacrifices to count, these expectations will match what the career can actually offer you. There would be no surprise (and thus no cause to feel slighted), because your expectations match reality. If you can accept the negative aspects of the veterinary career path, the true benefits of the job (the intangibles, which is what we're all after), will be that much more sweet, because their existence isn't tainted by rose-colored glasses. The struggle you're experiencing at this juncture is a good thing. It allows you to evaluate your priorities and make decisions based on those factors most important to your happiness in life. The components of the equation leading to happiness are different for each individual. Keep searching. Don't necessarily 'give up' on vet med because the path is long and challenging. Rather, evaluate what it takes to get there (and what you'll actually receive at the end of it) before you start down the road.
 

Country_roads

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With all the negativity on veterinarians, debt, suicide, fatigue, etc, why should I even try? I've spent all of my life preparing for this only to find out that by on this site and hearing it in the classroom, that being a vet is not all that it's cracked up to be. How shattering? With my experiences that I've had, I love the profession. Pathology, oncology, SA, LA.... everything. But now my dream is becoming destroyed with all the negativity and "truth" of vet medicine? Wanna be a vet? OK you'll forever be enslaved and won't have enough to have a decent house or family... I"m just frustrated with what to do. The way my heart races during surgery or holding an animal during treatment is something I've gotten addicted to. I guess I will forever be poor to do what I love.
If you're this sensitive about hearing the "truth" about something, I feel like it's going to be a hard time once you get in to the real world. Life sucks; it's hard and things usually don't go the exact way that you want them. However, you are an adult now. Part of that is appropriately dealing with the stress that comes with making life decisions on your own (and not letting mommy, daddy, or the internet do it for you).

Also. with this attitude:
With all the negativity on veterinarians, debt, suicide, fatigue, etc, why should I even try? I've spent all of my life preparing for this only to find out that by on this site and hearing it in the classroom, that being a vet is not all that it's cracked up to be. How shattering?
maybe you should pursue something else
 
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If you're this sensitive about hearing the "truth" about something, I feel like it's going to be a hard time once you get in to the real world. Life sucks; it's hard and things usually don't go the exact way that you want them. However, you are an adult now. Part of that is appropriately dealing with the stress that comes with making life decisions on your own (and not letting mommy, daddy, or the internet do it for you).

Also. with this attitude:


maybe you should pursue something else
There is being realistic and honest, and then there is being a dick. This, ladies and gentlemen, is being a dick.
 

cheathac

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Sure there's always the possibility of choosing something else. But.... I've put about 50 hours a week into mainly vet experience, with animal experience and research in too, all throughout this summer. I worked in vet med most days from 7:30 to 6 in the afternoon. I can't believe how much I've learned and how much I've truly enjoyed it. Sure there's always negativity with everything but I'm willing to fight for what I love to do and not worry about money right now. With the experiences I've been able to have at only being a sophomore in college, I think God's telling me this is where he wants me. I trust in him to take care of me financially. I'll keep my grades up and keep building up hours and I should have a strong shot to get in doing the 3+1 undergrad program.. that will cut costs down but we will see.. time will tell. Right now I"m just eager for all the experience I can get and worry about finances when they come.
 
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Of course it isn't. But there is a difference between being realistic and picking on someone who has had their previous ideals about the profession (whether they be unrealistic or not is no fault of theirs given the unfairly pretty picture that is often painted of this line of work) shattered and telling them that because they have doubts, they should seek another line of employment.

It is that kind of twisted pride in the masochism of the job that only contributes negatively. I used to be quite aggressive towards idealistic pre-vets when I got out in the world and realized that downsides. I used to think I was being some sort of big hard-ass truth teller, which is the vibe you are trying to put out now (ironically as someone who hasn't even gotten into the profession yet). But now that I've been out in it for a while, I have realized that the answer is not beating others down for showing doubt. It is acknowledging said doubt as something many of us have had at various points in our career, and not trying to turn it into a dick-swinging contest of who has the thickest skin and who deserves to be here.
 

CombatVeteranVeterinarian

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I know, for a fact, they are not in demand in South Texas. There is actually too many.
 

Country_roads

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Of course it isn't. But there is a difference between being realistic and picking on someone who has had their previous ideals about the profession (whether they be unrealistic or not is no fault of theirs given the unfairly pretty picture that is often painted of this line of work) shattered and telling them that because they have doubts, they should seek another line of employment.

It is that kind of twisted pride in the masochism of the job that only contributes negatively. I used to be quite aggressive towards idealistic pre-vets when I got out in the world and realized that downsides. I used to think I was being some sort of big hard-ass truth teller, which is the vibe you are trying to put out now (ironically as someone who hasn't even gotten into the profession yet). But now that I've been out in it for a while, I have realized that the answer is not beating others down for showing doubt. It is acknowledging said doubt as something many of us have had at various points in our career, and not trying to turn it into a dick-swinging contest of who has the thickest skin and who deserves to be here.
It's actually not the 'having doubts' part to which I object. Hell, I had tons of doubts but decided to ultimately pursue the job anyway. It's too bad that the emphasis of my message was perceived as me saying that anyone with doubts might as well quit, but oh well. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion (even that of me being a dick :) ).

To the OP: Sorry for the hijack, I don't know much about specialization. I do know that quite a few of the students I've spoken with intend on specializing in something, which would make me assume that the market will soon be saturated (if it's not already).
 
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It's alright. Everyone needs to hear this stuff at some point, especially people who haven't left high school yet, like me.
 

Country_roads

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Careful about claiming to know the truth when you haven't even started school yet.
In all fairness, I never "claimed" anything. I said that the truth can sometimes be hard to deal with, and in order to make it in life you've just got to deal with it. It seems to me that even within the profession there's a general consensus that VM is portrayed incorrectly, so I hardly feel as though I was overstepping my bounds with any claim.

Besides, perhaps I was also eluding to the truth that I was being/am mean. That's not a pretty truth either.

Regardless, I wish the best of luck to the OP (and everyone else) with their inevitably tough decisions and future endeavors.