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Hi, I'm new here, but felt like signing up with a vet forum to gain some knowledge i would otherwise not have gotten via school.

So i've noticed a lot of "corporate sponsored" residencies taken from academic institutions. Anyone notice this? Companies such as VCA seem to be really driving to get more people to work for them....which IMO is kinda scary.

What do you guys think?
 
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ok...i might have came off a little anti-corporate but just doing a quick search showed an affinity for private practices. so if anyone does work for VCA or any corporate company would like to chime in about their good experience, please feel free to express your feelings.
 

sumstorm

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I think it comes down to who/where/what can provide money. Hills/Purina etc often provide funds for nutritional residencies. In a tight economy, money has to come from somewhere, or residents have to work for free. I like VCA's policy regarding not opening new practices, but I do find it distressing to have corporate practices....but my understanding is that fewer DVM's want the headache/hassel/debt of owning their own practice.
 

mtrl1

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Let me start this by saying I don't work for VCA and have never worked for VCA, but don't know anyone who has worked for them to have negative feelings.

From what I understand of it, VCA doesn't take away spots from any residency program in existence from a vet school. But if a VCA intern wants to do a residency, and doesn't match through the normal route, VCA can pay the salary for their residency if the school accepts them. After completing the residency, the person returns to work for VCA for the number of years it took for their residency. So VCA actually makes it possible for more interns to do residencies because the schools are generally limited by funding for the number of residents they can accept.

I don't think it's a bad thing, just a different route to go through a residency (and have a guaranteed job when you get out???)
 

alliecat44

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From what I understand of it, VCA doesn't take away spots from any residency program in existence from a vet school.
This is not true. They create and also purchase residency slots from veterinary schools. Last year, they purchased nine (I think?) residencies at Tufts, for example. I have a friend who was directly affected by this.

Also, the application process for these dedicated VCA residencies at veterinary schools involves first VCA, who chooses the applicant, and then the school, who approves the applicant.

You do not need to do an internship at a VCA hospital in order to obtain one of their residencies--but from what I understand, having contacts within VCA help a great deal (just as it would to have contacts at any non-corporate residency program).

Keep in mind that, given staffing/facility/caseload, a given school can only support a certain number of residents in a given discipline. If all of these residents in that discipline are VCA residents--that means none of them will be working for anyone else for 3+ years after completing their training.

Personally, I understand why the partnership exists--schools are trying to contain costs and VCA is trying to staff their specialty hospitals. Like anything else, though, I worry about one party having disproportionate control over a segment of the workforce.

Not to say that I wouldn't sign on to a VCA-sponsored residency if they offered me one. :)
 

david594

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Not to say that I wouldn't sign on to a VCA-sponsored residency if they offered me one. :)
Your description sounds pretty much dead on with everything I was told about their residency program. (I had worked at a VCA hospital for 2 years before starting vet school)

After completing a VCA residency, you also don't have ultimate say in where you end up working. They try to accomodiate where you want to go, but in the end it comes down to which VCA most needs your specialty.
 
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.but my understanding is that fewer DVM's want the headache/hassel/debt of owning their own practice.
I definitely agree with the elimination of all the hassle, debt, etc. Plus VCA hospitals have all the equipment a private practice would other-wise have to finance/lease/buy.

Thanks for all the replies, I would definitely like to hear more. I'm surprise there weren't as many cons just because a quick search shows some anti-corporate vets. I guess the only "negative" thing about working for a corporate residency/internship is the commitment you make to the company.
 

dyachei

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I definitely agree with the elimination of all the hassle, debt, etc. Plus VCA hospitals have all the equipment a private practice would other-wise have to finance/lease/buy.

Thanks for all the replies, I would definitely like to hear more. I'm surprise there weren't as many cons just because a quick search shows some anti-corporate vets. I guess the only "negative" thing about working for a corporate residency/internship is the commitment you make to the company.
You also make less money in the long run (I know that's not why people get into vet med). But really, the way to make a decent salary as a vet is to be a practice owner. And if you do it right, there really isn't a lot of debt involved with it. If you join a practice, you may have the option of taking that business over when the current owner retires. If you join VCA, that's never going to happen. I mean, for the first job, something like VCA probably does you very well, since you gain a lot of experience. But they want to keep you for a while. And if you go to work in a privately owned practice that allows you to take over when they retire, it can be very lucrative.
 

Electrophile

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Hills/Purina etc often provide funds for nutritional residencies.
Oh wonderful...I wonder if Pfizer and Merial can pay for some internal medicine residencies or if some of the biomaterials companies can pay for some surgical residences. Cause that would be fair and balanced. Yeah. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

sumstorm

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Oh wonderful...I wonder if Pfizer and Merial can pay for some internal medicine residencies or if some of the biomaterials companies can pay for some surgical residences. Cause that would be fair and balanced. Yeah. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
I never said anything about fair and balanced. I gave up on the concept of fair and balanced in elementary school when I realized I never owned new clothes & other kids owned shoes that cost more than every possession I had :oops:. Just a reality. However, I do know that some of those residencies include learning raw & BARF, so I have a hard time believing the influence is totalitarian.
 

Bill59

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These are pretty similar the the military residencies that have been around for years. The Army pays the program to train an Army veterinarian, who is then required to work for the military for a certain amount of time.

The advantage for the program is they essentially get a free residency position. In some cases this is a new position, in other cases it takes the place of a position.

The disadvantage is there is usually less competition for that residency slot because (1) the resident is required to work for VCA for a certain amount of time and some applicants are not willing to commit to that, and (2) VCA has a lot of say in who the resident will be.

It can work OK as long as the program does it right -- that is, train the resident just like they would any other resident.
 

Electrophile

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I never said anything about fair and balanced. I gave up on the concept of fair and balanced in elementary school when I realized I never owned new clothes & other kids owned shoes that cost more than every possession I had :oops:. Just a reality. However, I do know that some of those residencies include learning raw & BARF, so I have a hard time believing the influence is totalitarian.
Eh, I can't be too optimistic. They likely talk about how completely horrible a home prepared raw diet will be. Pretty sure my snake doesn't eat AAFCO formulated and food trialed snake kibble though... :rolleyes: Which would almost be nice because my stupid chest freezer in the garage stopped working last week and I lost about half a dozen frozen feeder rats that I bred. :mad:
 

dgm

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Oh wonderful...I wonder if Pfizer and Merial can pay for some internal medicine residencies or if some of the biomaterials companies can pay for some surgical residences. Cause that would be fair and balanced. Yeah. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
Electrophile, can you elaborate on this a bit? I'm not sure I follow. Do you mean that vets whose residencies were funded by Company X would tend to be biased toward recommending that company's products, to the potential detriment of their patients?
 

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I was a VCA employee for over eight years before vet school. I would work for them again, as a DVM.

I think you certainly do stand to earn more over your lifetime as a practice-owner. However, I'm not sure how many new or newer graduates in this day and age are prepared (in more ways than one) to be practice-owners. I think VCA offers many good things to newer graduates (small animal/exotics; VCA doesn't operate large animal nor equine practices).

(The question of small-privately owned businesses vs. corporate practices, and what is good for the future of vet-med, etc., is another question. I try to read those discussions on VIN whenever I'm able to.)

Since this thread is regarding 'residencies bought by corporations' - well, I understand the modus-operandi. The company is seeking to attract, train and employ highly-qualified veterinarians. Naturally, the company will consider folks who they are already familiar with, vs. folks they are not. If they already know your personality, work ethic, etc., from your externships, internships or other interaction, it makes sense they would solicit you first.
 

david594

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I was a VCA employee for over eight years before vet school. I would work for them again, as a DVM.
My last day working at VCA one of the docs asked me if I would ever considering working for them after graduation. My conclusion was the same. The doctors were allowed to the medicine they wanted to, and there was nothing really objectionable going on.

(except all x-rays being required to be sent off for review... that I thought was bogus)
 

VeganSoprano

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We're private and we send all our rads for review too. Why wouldn't that make sense? To me it's obvious that a boarded radiologist is more qualified to interpret radiographs. They frquently catch things that may have been missed otherwise. It only costs us $15 per study. It's a small price for such a service.

I've worked for VCA in the past and in general, I think highly of them. Banfield, however, is another story.
 

crittergal

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Also, the application process for these dedicated VCA residencies at veterinary schools involves first VCA, who chooses the applicant, and then the school, who approves the applicant.
/QUOTE]

These are pretty similar the the military residencies that have been around for years. The Army pays the program to train an Army veterinarian, who is then required to work for the military for a certain amount of time./QUOTE]

This is something I have been pondering on lately. Does this mean that an individual interested in either a VCA or military residency would not go through the match process? I guess I do not completely understand how they can bypass this step.
 

VeganSoprano

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Not all internships/residencies happen through VIRMP. I'm not sure whether or not these do, but it's not a mandatory part of the process.
 

Electrophile

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Electrophile, can you elaborate on this a bit? I'm not sure I follow. Do you mean that vets whose residencies were funded by Company X would tend to be biased toward recommending that company's products, to the potential detriment of their patients?
Yup...always remember, there's no such thing as a free lunch and if it didn't work, they wouldn't do it.
 

sumstorm

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Eh, I can't be too optimistic. They likely talk about how completely horrible a home prepared raw diet will be. Pretty sure my snake doesn't eat AAFCO formulated and food trialed snake kibble though... Which would almost be nice because my stupid chest freezer in the garage stopped working last week and I lost about half a dozen frozen feeder rats that I bred.

Ours aren't anti-raw, but do give details about long freezing processes, especially for game, and talk about rechecking values of the diet regulary, especially Ca:p ratios, and that vets need to check for dietary drift regularly (ie have the client record the ingredients of the last few meals.) I even had one talk on about how great the blend I use for my SAR dogs is.

I do think the idea is most nutritionists will eventually end up in industry (better $) but assuming corporate funding will poison the nutritionist is kind of like assuming that receiving a back pack will indebt me to Hill’s. Maybe I am super shallow, but a backpack, or a residency, doesn’t buy my loyalty; that is actually one of the gripes about younger vets…we don’t have that kind of loyalty (which I think is good.) Heck, I am not even loyal to the state that is providing some of the funding for my education. I do feel loyalty to my professional associates in the zoo world and training world….which keeps me nicely grounded.
 

Electrophile

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Just about everyone says "oh, just cause I get a few freebies doesn't mean I'll be unintentionally (or intentionally) promoting a product." But really, would big pharma (and the big food companies) spend a tremendous amount of money on it if it didn't work? Besides, how ethical is it for a food company to charge consumers $60-100 for a 20-30 lbs bag of "prescription" dog/cat food when they spend a ridiculous amount on advertising and freebies? Consumers have to pay those costs for us to have a nice lunch, pens, backpacks, t-shirts, stethoscopes, etc. Stealthdog pointed this site a while back and it's really quite interesting:

http://nofreelunch.org/requiredinfluence.htm

Is Dr. Saker your guys' nutritionist? I'm actually hopefully coming down to Raleigh in a few weeks for an externship at VetHab. If she or another ACVN diplomate are relatively open to raw (or "raw done right," as I like to call it), I might want to have a chat with her. :D I, incidentally, will not be ending up in industry, unless I made my own diets.
 

No Imagination

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assuming corporate funding will poison the nutritionist is kind of like assuming that receiving a back pack will indebt me to Hill’s.
You guys got one too! I love it - Hills all the way!

Anyway, just realized something - Kinda on topic, but does that fact that Royal Canin and Banfield have the same parent company (pretty sure MARS for both) effect you decisions? Should it? I know NOTHING about nutrition or the industry yet... just curious
 

Bill59

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Does this mean that an individual interested in either a VCA or military residency would not go through the match process? I guess I do not completely understand how they can bypass this step.
Yes, these are typically outside the match.

Unlike the situation with human medicine, there is no penalty for veterinary programs taking interns and residents outside the match. I think there should be ... but for some reason there are still organizations that disagree with me on how things should be done.
 
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Seems like VCA is a decent enough business...so what makes vets go work for banfield??? there's so much negative publicity with them...
 

SilverSpyderGT

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They consistently hire new grads and pay them well... when the loan bills start coming, sometimes options are limited.

Also, I've heard that some new grads especially like them just because they have the "cookbook" software - Pet is vomiting - do A, B, and C. I can see how it would be something that a new grad without much confidence in their fresh-out-of-vet-school skills would appreciate.

Oh, yeah... and did I mention, they pay really well. Kind of like selling your soul. :)

(Nothing against the people that work there. I know quite a few of them! Everyone has their reasons.)
 

StealthDog

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but assuming corporate funding will poison the nutritionist is kind of like assuming that receiving a back pack will indebt me to Hill's
Maybe it doesn't affect you, but I've heard classmates say, with no sense of skepticism, "Well of course I'm going to recommend Purina in practice because they've been really nice to me as a student." Or, after Hills sponsored a class party at the end of third year, "Hills is so *nice* to throw this party for us!" Likewise, many classmates have negative opinions of Iams/Euaknuba products because they don't have a free feeding program like the other big companies. Never mind which company's products will be most appropriate for our patients or most cost effective for our clients... all that matters is who gave us the most/best/nicest stuff as vet students. I'm not so worried about the occassional free piece of pizza, but companies like Hills and Purina and Merial are giving us thousands of dollars worth of free product throughout our four years. To think that this doesn't foster positive feelings towards companies and products that have nothing to do with clinical efficacy, safety, or published data is naive. It might not affect everyone equally depending on what sort of practice you're going into, but I think it can have a huge impact on those going into small animal practice.
 

No Imagination

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Honestly, right now (I may change my mind as I move forward with my education), its ‘6 one way 1/2 dozen the other’ for a lot of these decisions.

Purina vs. Hils
Fort Dodge (this still around?) vs. Pfizer

While I would never pick the lesser of one product over another, you bet that if I cannot see a substantial difference between A and B, the group that made the greatest impression on me is going to win, whether its via CE, free stuff, or a generous rep.

The fact that company A and B are both still around, after X number of years really points to the equality of the two. Sure, there are differences, and some may be substantial; but really – add them all up, and IMO it’s a zero sum game.

So, unless Purina’s products are proven better then Hills (overall), I’ll be using Hills in my clinic because of the backpack.

And I don’t see anything wrong with that line of reasoning.
 

StealthDog

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So, unless Purina's products are proven better then Hills (overall), I'll be using Hills in my clinic because of the backpack.

And I don't see anything wrong with that line of reasoning.
The problem with that line of reasoning is that you've already told us your true opinion (that Hills and Purina are about the same), and you'd be willing to lie about your true opinion to your future clients for the sake of a $20 backpack. You're selling your professional integrity for an incredibly small price. If you really think Hills and Purina are about the same, you should be willing to say that to your clients. Would you honestly be willing to tell clients that you prefer Hills because of a gift they gave you as a student?

Here is a nice response about this conflict from the No Free Lunch site that was linked above:

Q. My friends in the business world are wined and dined all the time. Why should doctors be held to a different (higher) standard than business people?

A. Because the doctor-patient relationship, unlike many (but not all) business relationships--but like that between a lawyer-client or congressperson-citizen, is a fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary is someone with specialized skills or knowledge; holds the trust and confidence of others; is accountable and obligated both ethically and legally; who is held to a higher standard of conduct, and who therefore avoids conflicts of interest. All of these characteristics pertain to physicians. Though some may see medicine as "just a business," clearly—at the present time at least—patients, and society do not see it this way: Patients rightly expect their physician to act in their (the patient's) best interest. Patients do not enter the examining room caveat emptor. Patients should be confident that the drug being is prescribed is the best, the most cost-effective, not the best promoted.
There are all kinds of reasons to legitimately prefer one company's products over another (quality control, research, clinical efficacy in your own experience)... but receiving a gift from the company is not one of them.
 

No Imagination

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The problem with that line of reasoning is that you've already told us your true opinion (that Hills and Purina are about the same), and you'd be willing to lie about your true opinion to your future clients for the sake of a $20 backpack.
Honestly, right now (I may change my mind as I move forward with my education), its ‘6 one way 1/2 dozen the other’ for a lot of these decisions.
Yes, after comparing the two, if I were to determine that I could not say that one was better then the other, why not support the company that best supported me?!

If you really think Hills and Purina are about the same, you should be willing to say that to your clients.
Of course - I'd have no problem telling someone that they are the same (IMO). But as to which one I am going to sell in my clinic... thats another matter.

If someone wants my opinion between Hills C/D and Purina's XXX, I'll say they are the same. If they want to buy them from me, off my shelf, then they are going to get Hills, because thats what I choose to carry. Its not the same as lying, or saying one is better when i do not believe it to be the case - Simply a matter of inventory space and overhead.

Its the same thing as price... If they are the same in quality, but A is cheaper then B - then i will sell the cheaper (regardless of previous perks) - because it benefits me.
 

Electrophile

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Honestly, right now (I may change my mind as I move forward with my education), its ‘6 one way 1/2 dozen the other' for a lot of these decisions.

Purina vs. Hils
Fort Dodge (this still around?) vs. Pfizer

While I would never pick the lesser of one product over another, you bet that if I cannot see a substantial difference between A and B, the group that made the greatest impression on me is going to win, whether its via CE, free stuff, or a generous rep.

The fact that company A and B are both still around, after X number of years really points to the equality of the two. Sure, there are differences, and some may be substantial; but really – add them all up, and IMO it's a zero sum game.

So, unless Purina's products are proven better then Hills (overall), I'll be using Hills in my clinic because of the backpack.

And I don't see anything wrong with that line of reasoning.
I find it interesting that you are basically admitting you can be bought and sold based on who gave you free stuff assuming "all things being equal," even though ceteris paribus is by definition a logical fallacy in medicine as it also is in many other things. This is not a name brand versus generic debate, but two completely different products with different goals, They are not the "same" product. Mostly because nutrition is (ironically enough) NOT cookbook medicine. You often have to have several choices available if your favorite isn't working to your and the owner's satisfaction.

The approach that Hill's, Purina, Natura, IAMS, Nature's Variety, and so on take for a diet strategy are often markedly different in terms of ingredients, nutrients, supplements, manufacturing processes, research, and so on. It drives me as a future nutritionist CRAZY hearing people say that, particularly if they want to be GPs and will be dispensing nutrition advice daily even if they don't give a damn about nutrition. :laugh: It's like saying, well, use whatever you want for anti-parasitics. Revolution, Frontline, Advantage, Sentinel, Promeris, whatever. They're all basically the same. Or drugs for managing seizures. Or chronic renal failure. Or chronic heart failure. Eh, they're all the same, so who cares as long as the drug rep brought me a nice mug and a free lunch! I fail to see why that's even remotely ethical for patient care vs a conflict of interest for a backpack.
 

StealthDog

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Yes, after comparing the two, if I were to determine that I could not say that one was better then the other, why not support the company that best supported me?!
Because ethically, whether or not a company "supported" you should have no place in making medical decisions.

From the AVMA's Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics:

The choice of treatments or animal care should not be influenced by considerations other than the needs of the patient, the welfare of the client, and the safety of the public.

Veterinarians should not allow their medical judgment to be influenced by agreements by which they stand to profit through referring clients to other providers of services or products.
 

No Imagination

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You often have to have several choices available if your favorite isn't working to your and the owner's satisfaction
It seems like your are injecting your own fallacy here, to say that I or anyone else would continue to use the ‘wrong’ or a ‘lesser’ product after it was shown not to work satisfactory; certainly not at all what I am suggesting (I think you know that).

The approach that Hill's, Purina, Natura, IAMS, Nature's Variety, and so on take for a diet strategy are often markedly different in terms of ingredients, nutrients, supplements, manufacturing processes, research, and so on...
Are you basically saying there is no room for ‘preference’ over one product vs. another?

I think I understand what you are saying, and if I am reading your post correctly, there is always a ‘better’ product for a specific condition… and preference doesn’t or shouldn’t play a role in choosing.

If that’s the case, I’d find it interesting as I move further in my career, but somehow I doubt it.
 

No Imagination

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Because ethically, whether or not a company "supported" you should have no place in making medical decisions.

From the AVMA's Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics:
Veterinarians should not allow their medical judgment to be influenced by agreements by which they stand to profit through referring clients to other providers of services or products.
But we do it all the time... Vets commonly stock items that offer the greatest profit margin.

Idexx offers me 20% cheaper costs then Antex, I choose Idexx because of that... I am violating the AVMA by influenced by agreements by which they stand to profit through referring clients to other providers of services or products.??
 

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I was just reminded of a saying one of the vets I worked with told me awhile back.

Good
Fast
Cheap

Pick two. You can't have all three... Not entirely applicable.. but.. FWIW.

Regarding laboratories.. I guess you could make a decision on which lab to use most of the time based solely on cost. But ideally I would think you'd like to know things such as quality-control protocol at the lab, personnel (who is running which tests for you.. their credentials, etc.) and similar. And I am in no way trying to comment on either labs mentioned in the thread. I honestly haven't done much research into who is doing what/when, etc.

Regarding food companies.. I actually wish I had more education on the differences between these companies, their methodologies, etc. We just started learning food labels in Clinical Nutrition now, and I'm actually quite curious and interested. I 'like' Hill's, Purina, Natura, Royal Canin, and Iams, and I like to think that each company employs experts in their fields to research and formulate excellent diets... but what do I REALLY know about who is doing what? I missed the tour of the Hill's facility in Topeka (I have to pick and choose my educational battles) - but I hope that at some point before I start practicing that I will have a better understanding about who does what and why. For now, when my old cat decides he doesn't like k/d anymore, I have no problem offering him NF. And if that didn't work, I'd have no problem offering him Modified (if that's Royal Canin's renal diet still). And that's simply because I know/suspect these companies have all put in their R&D into those kidney formulations, and although they probably DO differ in kcal per cup, or perhaps protein source, or various [conc] or % of stuff, I at least know that they are made for my kidney-cat... even though different companies have different approaches in how to treat my kidney-cat via their specific formulation(s).

Sure, it's a nice back-pack, and I appreciate the free pizza, and it keeps these company names in the forefront of my mind... but I don't think I would ever consciously, deliberately make a choice based on who gave me a free lunch. However, I know I'm not a marketing girl, but these companies employ them, so I'm sure it affects me on some level - or else they wouldn't be doing it. (I'll check out the no-free lunch site when I have more time!)

Interesting discussion.
 

rugbychick16

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If you personally don't like a company (as I get the feeling many of you have for Hills) free stuff shouldn't change your mind. If you didn't know about the company beforehand or used and liked them beforehand, and still like them after getting free items, I don't see anything wrong with that.

I don't like Banfield. Heard way too many horror stories from fellow classmates who were nurses there, from a new grad I know who took a job there as a last resort and hates it, don't like their policies period. The fact that they've given me some pens, a lunch bag, and free pizza will not be changing my mind on them.

I had never dealth with Natura/Innova products or Oxbow products before vet school (not carried in stores in my area). Once I got free products and was exposed to them-I love them, my pets love them. My ferrets are now on Innova food, my rats on Oxbow food and treats, and I would defintely recommend both companies.

I used Frontline before vet school on my parents dogs-works great, seems to do much better than advantage for the ticks. Got free product from them-still like them. Wouldn't say I like them anymore because they gave me free stuff, but I'd still recommend it. Same with Hills-All my pets got int before I was in vet school, I dealt with selling it at the clinics I worked at, so its what I was familiar with, even before I got a free backpack.
 

Ben and Me

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I sometimes wonder if the free backpack isn't so much for us as for the public - if the public sees a veterinary student carrying a Hills bookbag, maybe they think "Wow, if vet students are feeding it, it must be good"

I kind of wonder if that plays into their free food for students, as well. I believe that they claim that their food is "Used by veterinarians for their own pets more than any other food" or something like that - I wonder if they're counting veterinary students in that claim? And if so, obviously it's fed by more - it's free.

I loved the Innova I received - and like others, I probably wouldn't have tried it had it not been free. I was happy with Eukanuba, but heard good things about Innova (and it was free!) so I tried it. Not sure what I'll do now that the free food is gone. Free is definitely appealing, but I also want to keep my pup around for as long as possible.

I personally have a hard time weighing the anti-Hills hype on the internet (and honestly, I would rather feed myself chicken instead of chicken byproducts...so why wouldn't that logic carry over for my dog?) with the good I hear from veterinarians. I do have a serious bit of skepticism regarding the motives of any big business, though....but I also know that their prescription diets have literally been a life saver for many pets. :confused:

I guess my jury's still out...
 

lailanni

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Some questions-

Banfield pays new grads very well? I've always heard this, but no one has ever given me a number. Numbers, anyone? Like 80k+ well? Aren't they production based, so if you're slow and pokey like most new grads I've seen, you're kind of screwed?

To make sure I'm understanding this bought-residency...Say I'm interning for VCA, I really want a cardio residency but my class rank/grades aren't the best. Despite that, VCA likes me. No one matches with me, but VCA could theoretically give me a cardio residency?
 

VeganSoprano

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Sure they could. For an internship/residency, the selection committee is choosing a coworker as much as anything. If they know and like you personally and think you are a good doctor with strong potential, you are very likely to get a position over a stranger who got better grades than you did. Internships and residencies have a good bit in common with "real world" job searches.
 

lailanni

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Note to self: You want a VCA internship...

So as AllieCat said somewhere, they create and also purchase residency slots from veterinary schools.

If there are only 12 cardio residency spots open in the match that year, they could magically make spot #13 for me? Provided I work for them for 3 years afterwards?

Are VCA internships especially difficult to get because of this?

I've never heard of this before, sorry for being extra dense about it. Kind of gives me hope. I'm not at the top of my class, but maybe someone will want me as a resident because I'm a nice, caring, hardworking person. That should count for something, right?
 

No Imagination

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but maybe someone will want me as a resident because I'm a nice, caring, hardworking person. That should count for something, right?
From what I understand, it does. Letters of rec, especially from people in your desired field, go a VERY VERY LONG way for many of these residencies.

Supposedly, a few good LoR from influential (I say that in terms of well known/respected, not people on admin boards) doctors are worth more then being top of your class.

Just repeating what we've been told...
 

lailanni

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From what I understand, it does. Letters of rec, especially from people in your desired field, go a VERY VERY LONG way for many of these residencies.

Supposedly, a few good LoR from influential (I say that in terms of well known/respected, not people on admin boards) doctors are worth more then being top of your class.

Just repeating what we've been told...
That would be nice. I'm certainly not at the top of my class and I feel like this year I've heard a LOT of emphasis on grades. I attended a Q&A about residencies and they made it seem like you have a snowball's chance in hell of getting one without being a perfect student. Plus I talked with a professor about residencies and he really put emphasis on how much harder they are to get than internships - so competitive, many people want one, again a snowball's chance in hell, etc.

It has been rather non-inspirational for me. So it is nice to hear that people might actually care about ME instead of my grades. I'm a hands on learner, not a book memorizer. I feel like going for the book grades alone cuts out a lot of people who haven't had their chance to shine.
 

VeganSoprano

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And I think lots of intern/resident selection committees feel the same way. In the real world it's about being an amazing doctor, not an amazing student. Of course, it's better if you can be both, but it's not the end of the world otherwise.

It is possible for residencies to be "created" with a particular person in mind. I've seen it happen. It can be good for all involved!
 

sumstorm

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I sometimes wonder if the free backpack isn't so much for us as for the public - if the public sees a veterinary student carrying a Hills bookbag, maybe they think "Wow, if vet students are feeding it, it must be good"
my though too..of course, my strap tore last semester, so I am not using it now.

I personally have a hard time weighing the anti-Hills hype on the internet (and honestly, I would rather feed myself chicken instead of chicken byproducts...so why wouldn't that logic carry over for my dog?) with the good I hear from veterinarians. I do have a serious bit of skepticism regarding the motives of any big business, though....but I also know that their prescription diets have literally been a life saver for many pets. :confused:
a lot of owners feeding raw feed chicken necks/backs and/or orgran meats. It always amuses me to hear the same folks complain about by-products. With 8 animals, I feed 2 raw (performance needs), 2 purina HA, 2 Hills weight/hairball, and 2 canidae. Somehow I don't think I have strong preferences, but I also know that I won't be able to carry all of that in a clinic. So I will select what is best for most of my clients as a brand, then write scripts if needed for other foods.

There are lots of reasons to support and not support a brand. I won't support Frontline because of CM marketing; I believe he is damaging to the human-animal bond in so many ways, and I have told every rep that. I won't bad mouth their product, but it won't be the one I carry. And they disregarded the advice of vet behaviorists. Is that a reasonable gripe? Depends on what is more valuable to you as a professional; I think frontline is adequate, but that other products are just as viable and don't promote behaviors I disagree with.

something else - some residencies are limited duration. IE X company pays for 5 years....then funding dries up...or they pay to establish a program but then it converts down the road. This is what just happened with our IAMS MRI imaging center. it is amazing, and we couldn't have afforded it on our own, but their 'name rights' dried up this month....it is now the imaging center, and to me that isn't bad; it served their interests (name out there) and our interests (best treatment of the animals).
 

sumstorm

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So, I assume those of you that object also object to the Merck-Merial funding for research?
 

alliecat44

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or they pay to establish a program but then it converts down the road. This is what just happened with our IAMS MRI imaging center. it is amazing, and we couldn't have afforded it on our own, but their 'name rights' dried up this month....it is now the imaging center, and to me that isn't bad; it served their interests (name out there) and our interests (best treatment of the animals).
The imaging arm of the Iams Company was bought out in August by AnimalScan. I believe they now own Iams's share of your MRI center, correct? A subtle difference from "the funding runs out." I could be wrong, though--your agreement could have been different...

(I was working at the IIC in August when the buy-out fax came through, and was there when the new management came through later that week. As soon as we got the fax, we had to start removal of all the logos, etc. )

Als0 to lailanni--yes, residencies can be created for an exceptional applicant. This process is a bit more complicated, because the program has to meet all of the requirements set forth by the specialty certification body--so it can't be created just anywhere (probably goes without saying).

I agree with everyone else re: LORs being muhc more important--and as an extension, your performance in clinics fourth year is much more important than your grades the previous three years.

However, for residency, what I've been told multiple times is that usually a 3.5 is competitive. Below a 3.0 and you'd better be pretty exceptional in another area. More and more people are specializing, so there is more and more competition.
 

Bill59

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To make sure I'm understanding this bought-residency...Say I'm interning for VCA, I really want a cardio residency but my class rank/grades aren't the best. Despite that, VCA likes me. No one matches with me, but VCA could theoretically give me a cardio residency?
Not necessarily. Although VCA pays the school to train the resident, the school -- unless they are idiots -- will still insist on being involved in the selection. Most programs would rather not have a residency slot at all compared to having the slot filled with someone that can't do the work or get along with anyone. With the VCA residencies we've been involved with, we always had "veto" power over the resident(s) they wanted us to train. A bad resident is worse than no resident.

Of course I'm not at all saying you would be a bad resident, just pointing out that the program will usually have a say in who they train.