PHARMD vs. DVM

The Fargoan

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Things to consider (pro pharmacy list):

1. Can you win the lottery to get into vet school? I knew a very qualified student that didn't get in and is instead getting her PhD in some animal field of study.
2. Can you deal with horses and iguanas and snakes? Do you want to know everything about every domesticated animal?
3. Vets don't only play with cute kittens, they also have to put down the family dog with everyone crying. Are you willing to deal with the associated emotions?
4. As a vet could you work anywhere?
5. How are the work hours? Will you be on call at night or over the weekends?
6. How many years of school do you want to pursue? Assuming you have most of your pre-reqs done, you could start applying to pharmacy school this summer for admission to start Pharm school in Fall of '08.

Obviously I wouldn't choose to be a vet as my career choice, and don't let me talk you out of it. Im just giving you some things to think about. I suggest going to the DVM forums to get their point of view. But my advice, enjoy college and don't rush your decision. Know that no decision in life is permanent and carved in stone; the beauty of America is that you can change your job or entire career whenever you want.
 
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ajh88

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You could be a veterinary pharmacist. I don't know where/how they practice but I know one of the professors at Creighton (I believe her name is Dr. Elaine Lust) is part of the FEMA response team who went to New Orleans after Katrina to care for animals affected by the storm. It might be something to think about!
 

thelonius

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I could talk all day long about this topic since I too had ambitions of becoming a DVM and worked at 3 different vet clinics for 3 yr before I was accepted to pharm school. For my ideal lifestyle, pharmD trumps DVM-no contest. Don't get me wrong, I think vet med can be a very noble and rewarding profession where one can really make a difference, but it has too much of a downside for me.

IMO, pros of vet med vs pharmD:
1) diagnostics is stimulation you cannot get w/ pharmD.
2) bringing your dog to work is a unique benefit
3) generally more "exciting"

cons:
1) Average salary for 1st yr grad is <$50k, increases ~$10k/yr thereafter. Avg for ALL vets ~<$85k/yr. The top 2% of vets will make more than almost any pharmD, but these are rare specialists. To make the same amount of money as pharmD. you have to work alot more hours. Many vets work at their local emergency center in addition to their other practice to make ends meet.
2) The vet techs you will be working closely with for the next 40+ years are a special breed of folks. Note: this comment listed under "cons".
3) IMO there is a much higher frequency and degree of burnout in vet med. Read some trade mags.
4) Unless you come from a well-to-do family, your student loans will be an almost insurmountable burden.
5) Like MOST vets, you will euthanize perfectly healthy animals b/c the owner doesn't want to pay $300 to tx their "best friend".
6) "Client" non-compliance is soooooo common.
7) If you are a female associate, statistically you will make less than your similarly qualified male counterparts.

I know it's mostly negative, but it is based on my observations. And because of this first-hand experience within the field I think that I am qualified to form a valid opinion about it. Nevertheless, you should form your own opinions of both-which you appear to be in the process of. Best of wishes in your endeavors....
 

Cju101

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thelonius vbmenu_register("postmenu_4745251", true); thanks for your 2 cents, I appreciate it. One question for you.......Were you able to use your working experience with the veterinarian as experience for Pharmacy school? This might be a stupid question, but I was just curious. I don't know if you worked as a tech there, but I know when I'm on Tech at the clinic I work at, that I fill a fairly large amount of perscriptions.
 
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