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Need Some Advice..

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by abr, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. abr

    abr

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    I could use some advice/opinions.

    Currently, I am doing my undergraduate work. At the moment, I am in pre-veterinary medicine.
    I LOVE vet med and I am OBSESSED with horses. Ever since I was little, I have wanted to be a veterinarian. But, as I have gotten older (and a little wiser), I have seen the lifestyle that most veterinarians lead. My vet is burnt out, pretty much hates his life, and has no time to spend with his family or horses. I do not want to end up like that. If I could not spend any time with my own horses, I would be miserable. I am an avid competitor, and I still find time to train my prospect (approx. 2 hours per day), take a 17 credit course load, and be actively involved in several organizations.
    The outlook / lifestyle of veterinary medicine is just not appealing. The career is something would I love, but the hours, stress, heartbreak, and lack of free time scare me. Like I said, if I could not continue to compete, I would be miserable. Plus, the salary of a veterinarian is pretty low (considering the amount of work that it takes to attain this career), and I really need to be able to support myself and my horses.
    I am just scared that I will not have time to enjoy myself and I will be miserable throughout veterinary school because I doubt I will have time to ride.

    I LOVE science and medicine. Chemistry is my favorite class, and I do well in it with little effort. It just comes naturally to me, and this makes me very fortunate. I was considering the pharmacy career because it seems like it would be a good lifestyle, plus I can combine my love of medicine and chemistry. I am also good with people and I was always active in community service (Red Cross, etc.).

    I am a very hard worker and dedicated person, and grades will not be a problem in either scenario.

    I am confused and worried. I know this is not a decision that can be made without great thought, but I just would like some advice, opinions, and information.
     
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  3. fmbzp5

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    You could specialize in Vet. pharmacy. MY friend used to work at a vet compounding pharmacy that served the needs of offices across the US.
     
  4. abr

    abr

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    This is a very good idea!!!
    :idea:
    I had not even considered that..
    What does it take to specialize? Are there only certain schools that offer this type of training?
    Do you know if the salary is similar to that of a typical pharmacist?

    Thank you!!
     
  5. dogmom

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  6. fmbzp5

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    I am not an expert on this trust me. My friend went right from school into the job. I am not sure how common that is though.

    oh and he started at 105 K a year I believe. It was the same as what wal greens offered him at a career fair.
     
  7. abr

    abr

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    Thank you both!!
    :thumbup:
    More opinions welcome!
     
  8. GRslp

    GRslp New Member

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    Save a horse, ride a cowboy! Giddy up girly :D :D :D
     
  9. ForcedEntry

    ForcedEntry Lilo got stitched

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    Well you asked...

    Although you appear to be approaching this from a mature point of view, I think you need to re-examine your priorities. You are supposed to sacrifice through school. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
     
  10. abr

    abr

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    I realize this, and I do understand where you are coming from. But, I am trying to get my horse on his way to the professional level, and if I have to stop training, there is no way we will make it.
    Plus, I will probably have to sacrifce long after school as well if I go with the veterinary route.. Veterinarians (especially those specializing in equine) receive a low salary (average salary for an equine vet ~40k, sometimes around 50-60k) and have much debt from student loans. Not to mention the work is rather dangerous. I guess I just really want a career that I will enjoy (or at least something interesting), has a decent salary, and will allow me to have time for my horses. This may seem difficult or selfish, but horses are my passion, and there is no way that I can give them up..
    Thank you; I appreciate your opinion.

    ETA: I also love medicine and science and enjoy helping people, so I would like a career in that area. I am not just going to choose a career for the money, but it does play a role..
     
  11. njac

    njac Senior Member

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    ahh a question near and dear to my heart. My goal is to complete a (long format) CCI* before I'm 30. I have 4 years after I graduate pharmacy school to get there.

    I put off riding for most of college and pharmacy school. I managed to burn myself out pretty badly when my YR prospect decided he didn't like jumping or staying sound.

    Like you I wanted to be a vet forever and ever. Equine Sports Medicine. but after working at several barns and riding around with a couple vets I realized that vet med isn't the greatest place to be. the money isn't that good. I don't have to tell you how expensive horses are even when they aren't lame or actively outgrowing every saddle you buy. being a vet is not safe. you can't require your patients to have impeccable ground manners and you shouldn't have to have a come to jesus session every time you see a patient. but it happens. people are incompetent at putting manners on their horses and it's not worth it to put yourself at the physical risk sometimes. the biggest thing I saw was that many people don't treat their animals in the same regard that some of us do. Coming from a professional riding background I was appalled at some of the deplorable conditions I saw and the ridiculous lack of knowledge and common sense. I'm a B pony clubber. It never occurred to me that people wouldn't know how to tie a horse safely or hell, not to use vet wrap without anything under it.

    I threw around the physician idea for awhile but honestly that takes too long and the lifestyle isn't fantastic either. Even with doing a specialty residency (2 years) I'll be completely done at 28. Pharmacy is a great field as far as hours and getting the time off to show. I don't care to do retail at the moment but I originally looked into getting licensed in multiple states so I could go do the winter circuits and work while I was down south for the winter.

    also. don't forget that you have your entire life to ride. it was extremely hard for me to step away from it and I get a little teary looking at my dressage saddle in the closet but sometimes you need to put things off and prioritize. I'm not planning on spending less than $30K on my first horse out of school. This is coming from a girl who has never spent more than $3K in the past. The opportunities are more numerous and frankly better when you can back it financially. chances are, you won't get a sponsor now. and I don't know your situation but entry fees add up, even owning your own rig transportation even to lessons and clinics gets expensive. nevermind if your horse decides to end up with the NQRs and take months upon months to even diagnose. I'm not trying to sound harsh in any way - I just want to emphasize that it is not the end of the world if you don't make it to NAYRC or compete at Grand Prix before you're 21. That will always be there for you and it's harder to go back to school later on than to just get it done now.
     
  12. abr

    abr

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    Thank you very much for your reply!
    Are you liking pharmacy?

    I, too, cannot believe the lack of training that some of the horses AND people have.. It is unfortunate that that kind of thing creates dangers for all involved.

    Right now, I am active in several organizations, have a 17 credit course load, ride my horse 6 days/week, ride on the equestrian team (4 hours/week), and have maintained a GPA of greater than 3.95. I work extremely hard.. So, even if I have to work hard, I will not give up an education for horses (and I will not give up horses).
    I guess I have decided to find a career path other than veterinary medicine in order to allow me to have the time for my passion (horse), and I am still exploring my options. Pharmacy seems like a good route (I like chemistry, medicine, and helping others), but I am still unsure..

    It was wonderful to hear from you, as you can definitely relate. I hope you find a wonderful horse after school and have a great career!
     
  13. PolarBear21

    PolarBear21 Senior Member

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    I actually had an undergrad volunteer internship at the UC-Davis veterinary teaching hospital pharmacy.

    Sorry though that was years ago and I don't really remember too much.
     
  14. njac

    njac Senior Member

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    I love pharmacy school. I love my job as an inpatient hospital intern. a friend of mine is in vet school and told me their pharmacology prof is a PharmD. I've considered that route but I think vet med is limited to commercial compounding and academia - compounding may pay well but there are actually some legality questions (a couple horse mags had articles about that in the last coupld of years) and academia isn't going to pay as well as practice.

    but good luck. sounds like you're working hard. I've enjoyed my early 20s and there is part of me that knows it would've been a completely different experience if I'd stayed on the original track. if I had gone straight from HS to being a WS and ridden professionally for a couple of years before school I wouldn't be in the same place I am now. who knows, maybe I'd be riding at Rolex this year.

    good luck! pharmacy is great.
     

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