AniSci

AniSci
May 4, 2012
167
47
Status
Pre-Veterinary
What would be the best way to learn more about how the job of a veterinarian works and what it actually involves?

When I was younger, all I could dream about was being a veterinarian. I love(d) animals and always have. But somewhere along the line, I realized that I really liked creative writing as well. And through my high school career, all I wanted to do was write. But when I got into college, I decided to drop creative writing for several reasons (income, job openings, and the amount of work it takes to put out a book vs. the rewards you get back), and I've made the decision to get back on the veterinarian train.

I'm thinking about getting into a vet's office to see how it all works. But since I'm still not 100% sure if I really want this and if I'm really willing to go through the hell that is vet school, I'm not sure if I want to just shadow a vet for a few days, if I want a full-time job, or if I want something in the middle.

Has anyone had a similar experience? What did you do, or what would you advise me to do? If the vet agrees to go through the trouble of hiring me, I don't want to be stuck in something that I don't like (I feel that quitting soon after would be rude).

But if I do like it, I'd like to start earning some hours of experience for when it comes time to apply to vet schools.

Any suggestions?
 

nohika

lurker status
7+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2009
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I think if you're still unsure that starting off shadowing for a couple days would probably be best. Get you at least vaguely familiar with the arena that is a vet clinic and help you decide even with that brief snapshot whether you want to proceed further or stop there. If you think you can handle it after that, look into a part-time or full-time job if you want to.
 
Apr 11, 2012
330
19
AB, Canada
Status
Veterinary Student
I agree: shadow a vet, or a few vets. Each clinic is unique, and the people involved make a huge difference! Some vets I have shadowed are awesome teachers, and talk through exactly what they are doing. Others I found I had to ask a lot of questions to try to learn some things.

Try out: Emergency, mixed practice, SA, LA. If you are not sure where you want to end up, try dipping into a few pots. If you have pets, start with a trip to your family vet. Express your interest to them and they may be able to point you to a variety of places.
 
OP
AniSci

AniSci

AniSci
May 4, 2012
167
47
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I took my dog to the vet that's pretty close to my house about a month ago. I spoke to him and expressed my interest in becoming a veterinarian, and he said he might be able to help me with getting "field-experience" and to give him a call.

I'm not a phone person. AT ALL. I loathe phones, talking to people on them, and their overall concept.

Needless to say, I'm scared to call him. Is there something in particular that I should say/ask when the assistant picks up? I figured I would, of course, call and try to find out a good time that I could meet with the vet so we could discuss what comes next (shadowing, or a part-time job).

I'm also only available during the summer months, because once school starts again I'm going to have to leave the area and it'll be impossible to keep working...
 

ORvetgirl

Oregon State c/o 2013
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Feb 22, 2009
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Veterinary Student
I also hate talking on the phone to people I don't know, but if you're going to be a vet (or work as a tech) that's something you have to get over...there is lots of time spent calling and talking to clients on the phone. So, now's the time to bite the bullet and just call them. Just call and explain to whomever answers that you spoke to the vet previously about shadowing, and would like to talk to him or the office manager about setting that up. I'd start with that, and then if you are hoping to get a job you can go from there. But if you're only available for the summer, it's going to be hard to find a job (esp. full time). You might be able to get a job as a kennel assistant though, and that's an okay place to start.
 

bunnity

Penn 2014
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Jan 26, 2009
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"Hi, my name is ____, I'm a client of Dr. _____ and I am wondering if she/he could give me a call back when she/he has time. Last time we talked she/he mentioned that she/he could help me with finding vet experience."

I wouldn't ask for the office manager since you don't know if this vet has talked to them get or if the experience is even going to be at this practice (your vet could have meant experience with another vet friend).
 
Apr 11, 2012
330
19
AB, Canada
Status
Veterinary Student
Agreed to the above!

I would leave a message and if they don't get back to you in a week, call again... Or stop in with some coffee?

I think the sooner the better, then it is still fresh in his mind that he mentioned to give him a call.

Also, if you shadow/volunteer it could mean a job the following summer.