Solyss247

New Member
Apr 21, 2018
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    Hello! First time poster! I graduated in 2013 with a BS in science (biology major, chem and equine studies minor). Good grades (honestly can't recall GPA stats, will have to contact my college to look at my transcripts again).

    I had planned to get the ball rolling much earlier, but as is life, I got sidetracked with things like buying and paying off a car, etc. I have worked in a small animal clinic for 5 years, I work every day off at my college equestrian team's barn, probably another 8 hours a week cleaning stalls/helping out.

    Here is the dilemma, I have an opportunity to take a job with a board certified equine surgeon/ large animal clinic. This opportunity popped up just through inquiring about a job shadow. I spent the last two days shadowing the clinic. It's a great facility, I just had not planned on leaving my current job as I have the hours/time off/pay that I am able to stay financially stable on, x-mas/b-day bonuses, etc. I have been really starting to plan and think about my career path and options.

    I plan to apply to vet school next year pending taking the GRE. I also and considering PT school as I also have a big interest in that field, but I have not had any experience in it. Should I keep my current small animal tech job and continue to find other veterinarians to shadow, as well as shadow under some physical therapists? Or, should I take on this large animal job and try to make it work?

    My goals for my career path have changed from more large animal/equine toward k9 sport medicine and rehab recently started training and competing in multiple dog sports, and may start instructing my own classes as well) I also love equine/k9 chiropractic and structured conditioning. After shadowing at the equine vet, I worry a little about my own physical health, I am fit and active, but I have had both of my ACLs replaced and have some back problems, hence my increasing interest in physical therapy work.

    The longer I have worked as a vet tech, the more I have enjoyed working with people. I always struggle with big decisions and am wondering what may be most beneficial, a job with a board certified surgeon, or the freedom to go shadow any/all of my interests. I finally feel stable in my personal life and job and have found a spark of motivation to start making things happen!

    Thoughts? Thanks!
     

    SkiOtter

    c/o 2022
    5+ Year Member
  • Mar 10, 2016
    18,239
    27,128
    1. Veterinary Student
      I plan to apply to vet school next year pending taking the GRE. I also and considering PT school as I also have a big interest in that field, but I have not had any experience in it. Should I keep my current small animal tech job and continue to find other veterinarians to shadow, as well as shadow under some physical therapists? Or, should I take on this large animal job and try to make it work?
      If you have interest in physical therapy, I would definitely recommend checking out that field as well before fully committing to vetmed. If there’s any field you could possibly see yourself happy in outside of vetmed, it is worth checking out and seeing if you would rather pursue that field instead, especially with the high debt for a lower salary (which is actually around what a PT would make tbh, if a PT isn’t a bit higher but would have much less debt) and high suicide rate in vetmed. If you still think vetmed is for you, great. But don’t jump into vetmed fully without thoroughly exploring your other interest and having a big “what if?” for the rest of your life.
       

      DRider13

      c/o 2022
      2+ Year Member
      Oct 25, 2017
      179
      521
      1. Veterinary Student
        I would also recommend doing some shadowing in PT before making any committed decisions. Perhaps you will enjoy it more or find it more appealing than vet med and its likely outcomes (ie. high debt/low salary, mental health concerns, etc). And if you find that vet med is more for you, at least you won't be left wondering about "what could have been."

        As far as your concerns about your physical health, I would do a bit more shadowing with the equine vet before considering leaving your current job, especially since you have been there for 5 years and seem to currently have some job security there. Working with large animals can be very hard on the body and labor intensive (I had shoulder surgery and eventually moved away from equines for this reason). As you do more shadowing, it may help you see more of what goes on and determine if it's worth the extra wear-and-tear on your ACLs and back.
         
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