• SDN Site Updates

    Hey everyone! The site will be down for approximately 2 hours on Thursday, August 5th for site updates.

Tonkspaws

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2014
92
35
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
Is anyone else afraid for the amount of commitment you have to make for vet med. I love the field and I'm really passionate about it , but sometimes I worry about the financial burdens being a vet will cause as well as how demanding the job is. I see the vets a my work constantly staying late, being over worked, and having to deal with compassion fatigue.

It sucks because I really love working at a vet and really do want to be a vet but sometimes I worry that I will have to give up my whole life for it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

WildAnimal

"There's nothing funnier than the human animal."
2+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2016
123
146
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
I've thought about this a lot during my time off of school. While there are pressures, stress, and burdens that come with the job, I honestly could not think of a career that I wanted to do more. I could decide to not go to vet school and end up in a 9-5 office job doing the same thing every day. At least in vet med I would get to see interesting cases and make a difference.

All other careers I thought about that I would probably enjoy were also high stress and take up a lot of time. There are ways to combat burnout such as creating a schedule and filling it with fun things to do with friends or family, exercising, yoga, community events for your clinic, etc. Try to get into a field that you're really passionate about after vet school. While you'll still experience burnout, it should feel more worthwhile and you'll have more endurance.

Hope this helps!
 

jmo1012

SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!
7+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2011
3,453
1,331
Under the Sea
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinarian
I think about this a bit. Honestly, it comes down to finding personal balance and taking care of yourself. just today i was readinga post by a 3rd year vet student on facebook talking about how much emotional sacrifice this career has, how you have to constantly give all of yourself to everyone else, often to the exclusion of yourself. it happens a lot, but its the wrong mentality. you have to protect yourself in this career, make time for your health and wellness, take care of yourself, because otherwise this career will eat you up and spit you out and you will have nothing. it is physically and emotionally demanding, and you have to have something left over for yourself at the end of the day, because ultimately, the only person you can control in life is you. you make your own happiness and your own wellbeing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 7 users
About the Ads

WhtsThFrequency

Full Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2006
16,916
15,256
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinarian
I think about this a bit. Honestly, it comes down to finding personal balance and taking care of yourself. just today i was readinga post by a 3rd year vet student on facebook talking about how much emotional sacrifice this career has, how you have to constantly give all of yourself to everyone else, often to the exclusion of yourself. it happens a lot, but its the wrong mentality. you have to protect yourself in this career, make time for your health and wellness, take care of yourself, because otherwise this career will eat you up and spit you out and you will have nothing. it is physically and emotionally demanding, and you have to have something left over for yourself at the end of the day, because ultimately, the only person you can control in life is you. you make your own happiness and your own wellbeing.

Well said. It boils down to learning how to say No to others, and Yes to yourself more. And as overachieving, perfectionist, validation-obsessed students, it is so easy to just say Yes, Yes, Yes to the demands of everyone around you. Yes, I will study for another hour, even I'm exhausted. Yes, I will join another club to boost my CV even though I barely have time to walk my dog or work out. Yes, I will pick up that extra shift. Yes, I will come in early even though I am sleep deprived. Etc. Learning how to say No was the hardest thing I've ever done. Even after 31 years on this earth, I'm still having to work on reminding myself to say it when I need to. But it's essential to keep your sanity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

Puffins

C/O 2019
Dec 22, 2011
164
119
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Veterinary
I think about this a bit. Honestly, it comes down to finding personal balance and taking care of yourself. just today i was readinga post by a 3rd year vet student on facebook talking about how much emotional sacrifice this career has, how you have to constantly give all of yourself to everyone else, often to the exclusion of yourself. it happens a lot, but its the wrong mentality. you have to protect yourself in this career, make time for your health and wellness, take care of yourself, because otherwise this career will eat you up and spit you out and you will have nothing. it is physically and emotionally demanding, and you have to have something left over for yourself at the end of the day, because ultimately, the only person you can control in life is you. you make your own happiness and your own wellbeing.
So well said and it applies at every step of the career, from vet school onwards.
 

CalliopeDVM

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2010
984
792
Toronto, ON
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinarian
Is anyone else afraid for the amount of commitment you have to make for vet med. I love the field and I'm really passionate about it , but sometimes I worry about the financial burdens being a vet will cause as well as how demanding the job is. I see the vets a my work constantly staying late, being over worked, and having to deal with compassion fatigue.

It sucks because I really love working at a vet and really do want to be a vet but sometimes I worry that I will have to give up my whole life for it.

The veterinary profession does not require that vets stay late and work overtime, unless they're in an area without an emergency clinic and/or nearby clinics to share on-call duties with. However, some vets may have bosses that expect it (shame on them), so if they are unable or unwilling to find a new job, they're stuck with that. Compassion fatigue - which is different than overwork and burn out - is certainly a risk, and we all have to battle against it by being proactive with our mental and physical health needs. Veterinary medicine (even if you do on call work) need NOT take over a vet's life - though some vets allow it to (or even want it to).

As for the financial burdens.......yes, you should be worried about them (assuming you are in the US). They are significant and the effect that will have on your life shouldn't be taken lightly.
 

Minnerbelle

Full Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2009
5,744
4,863
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
Being able to forgive myself for adverse outcomes however big or small (my fault or not), has been the biggest thing I've been battling since being in practice. Most of us are such people pleaser perfectionists that when things turn out less than perfect, our tendency is to blame ourselves and to try and do everything we can to right any possible wrong we may have committed. When there is a negative outcome (medical or random upset client, or upset staff) I know my inclination is to sit and dwell and think of every possible way that I could have been responsible for it and every possible way I could have maybe changed that outcome by having done something differently in hindsight. Then I tend to be overly apologetic about it, and it's hard to stop myself. It's a trait that makes people good doctors - we do this because we care more than most of our clients will ever know. But it eats you up inside and it's not healthy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 7 users

cowgirla

Oklahoma 2014
10+ Year Member
Oct 6, 2009
3,629
1,994
mid-atlantic
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinarian
Being able to forgive myself for adverse outcomes however big or small (my fault or not), has been the biggest thing I've been battling since being in practice. Most of us are such people pleaser perfectionists that when things turn out less than perfect, our tendency is to blame ourselves and to try and do everything we can to right any possible wrong we may have committed. When there is a negative outcome (medical or random upset client, or upset staff) I know my inclination is to sit and dwell and think of every possible way that I could have been responsible for it and every possible way I could have maybe changed that outcome by having done something differently in hindsight. Then I tend to be overly apologetic about it, and it's hard to stop myself. It's a trait that makes people good doctors - we do this because we care more than most of our clients will ever know. But it eats you up inside and it's not healthy.

This totally sums up the week I've been having. I've had a few cranky clients here and there, but all of a sudden this week it was like I was a total imposter- multiple complaints, about things that happened months ago. Spent most of the night googling basic medical things and client communication threads on VIN instead of sleeping. That's how much I let it get to me. Thank goodness that 1) I saw one of my favorite clients this morning and 2) I finally have a day off to drink wine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Minnerbelle

Full Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2009
5,744
4,863
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
This totally sums up the week I've been having. I've had a few cranky clients here and there, but all of a sudden this week it was like I was a total imposter- multiple complaints, about things that happened months ago. Spent most of the night googling basic medical things and client communication threads on VIN instead of sleeping. That's how much I let it get to me. Thank goodness that 1) I saw one of my favorite clients this morning and 2) I finally have a day off to drink wine.

I don't know why, but these things happen in waves just to make us miserable... Also happens when things are going really well and we're feeling on top of the world to bring us down a peg. Now I get so scared when things are going well. It never lasts :(
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

LetItSnow

Skipping the light fandango
10+ Year Member
Jan 13, 2011
20,074
20,734
Plymouth, MN, USA
animaltracks.wordpress.com
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinarian
When there is a negative outcome (medical or random upset client, or upset staff) I know my inclination is to sit and dwell and think of every possible way that I could have been responsible for it and every possible way I could have maybe changed that outcome by having done something differently in hindsight. Then I tend to be overly apologetic about it, and it's hard to stop myself.

ESPECIALLY when a miscommunication makes someone perceive you in a way that is pretty much opposite your actual character. I had a dying kitten in then hospital and one of my techs complained to the practice manager that I didn't seem to care or want to help the cat because in her perception I wasn't "doing anything" when she alerted me to the cat's declining condition.

In reality it was killing me that I couldn't help this kitten but the fact was there wasn't much else ANYONE could do and the owner didn't give permission to euthanize it. Hands tied.

But sure made me feel like **** to think that tech felt like I was heartless. Good old heartless Dr. LIS.
 

DVMDream

DVMNightmare
10+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2009
39,158
28,223
The Dragon School
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinarian
We had a dog come in for a recheck on internal medicine. He looked much improved, his rads were improved, CBC back to normal. Owner had reported he sleeps a lot but he was doing that before getting sick. Told the owner to recheck in two weeks since he was doing well. He died in his sleep that night. I still think did we miss something? Maybe we misunderstood the owner? Was there anything else we could have or should have done? I doubt it but you still question those things.
 

Minnerbelle

Full Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2009
5,744
4,863
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
ESPECIALLY when a miscommunication makes someone perceive you in a way that is pretty much opposite your actual character. I had a dying kitten in then hospital and one of my techs complained to the practice manager that I didn't seem to care or want to help the cat because in her perception I wasn't "doing anything" when she alerted me to the cat's declining condition.

In reality it was killing me that I couldn't help this kitten but the fact was there wasn't much else ANYONE could do and the owner didn't give permission to euthanize it. Hands tied.

But sure made me feel like **** to think that tech felt like I was heartless. Good old heartless Dr. LIS.

That's the worst. Happened more than once on my first job where the techs just assumed negative intention or incompetence on my part. Really pisses you off when people who should be on your team behave that way. Esp when I always gave THEM the benefit of doubt.
 

pinkpuppy9

Tired DVM
7+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2013
5,591
3,902
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinarian
We had a dog come in for a recheck on internal medicine. He looked much improved, his rads were improved, CBC back to normal. Owner had reported he sleeps a lot but he was doing that before getting sick. Told the owner to recheck in two weeks since he was doing well. He died in his sleep that night. I still think did we miss something? Maybe we misunderstood the owner? Was there anything else we could have or should have done? I doubt it but you still question those things.
This reminds me of a bulldog I saw at my undergrad clinic. Came in for a semi-annual check up/fecal/HWT I think. Everything checked out just fine. The next morning, the owner called to say she found him dead.
ESPECIALLY when a miscommunication makes someone perceive you in a way that is pretty much opposite your actual character. I had a dying kitten in then hospital and one of my techs complained to the practice manager that I didn't seem to care or want to help the cat because in her perception I wasn't "doing anything" when she alerted me to the cat's declining condition.

In reality it was killing me that I couldn't help this kitten but the fact was there wasn't much else ANYONE could do and the owner didn't give permission to euthanize it. Hands tied.

But sure made me feel like **** to think that tech felt like I was heartless. Good old heartless Dr. LIS.
Were you able to talk to the tech about it? If a staff member doesn't actually know the doctor's reasoning (whether it be because your hands are tied or not), they're not going to know why you're not addressing the patient. I still think it's a bit of a jump to go to the practice manager without first asking why the kitten isn't being looked at, but still. There are a couple of times where I've found myself in that tech's position. Granted, going to the practice manager at my clinic wouldn't have done anything good, but still.
 

squirrelsrule

Ohio State CVM c/o 2016!
7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2011
1,461
23
Ohio
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
I decided to go to vet school because I love wildlife rehab and needed a way to support myself and my rehab. My options were work at a rehab center doing what I truly love and make so little money I couldn't also rehab on my own the way I would like to or find another job that I will enjoy but not really love to support rehabbing. I thought about it for a year or two and then decided why not do veterinary medicine. It was legit like a passing thought of hmm, I might like that and they should make enough money to support rehabbing. Never had any experience working as a vet, never had a desire to be a vet, but thought heck why not. Looked into it more and discovered a career path that will bring me some joy and will support my true love in life- rehabbing.

I finished the pre-reqs since I had planned to go into animal care, not vet med so I didn't have O. Chem or biochem, and then I applied. I got in the first attempt and am now a 4th year. This year has been by far the roughest year for me, and I knew it would be since before I started vet school. It's a little easier now that it's winter and there aren't baby creatures, but giving up rehabbing (well I did have 8 squirrels, but I usually take 50+ and I only had 2 during clinics) for a year was the hardest thing I've ever done. It was even worse seeing everyone else around me really enjoying getting into the clinic and loving what they're doing and I was miserable, just wanting a baby squirrel or opossum, or cottontail. There were sick calves and even 2 tiny puppies to get me through, but it was rough. There were definitely days when I seriously wished that I hadn't decided to be a vet. The first 3 years were rough as well, but we had summers and I took babies in spring semester as well, so I got through.

My biggest adjustment in clinics, which I have finally made and am at peace with, is not comparing yourself to others. It's really hard on clinics when you're in rounds and they call on you and you don't know something. Really hard! They then go on to someone else and they know it and you think how you'll never be a great vet. You see all the answers everyone else gets right, but you also have to consider those questions that someone else didn't know that you got. When I finally accepted that I don't know everything and that that's OK and started collaborating with classmates and we helped eachother out, then things started getting better.

I also know that I am not going for being the greatest vet that ever lived. It's not my true passion in life, it's supporting my true passion in life. It was hard when everyone was genuinely interested in seeing something like cataract surgery or total hip replacement and I thought what a waste of time, I'm never going to do that. And it's true, I'm never going to do a lot of those things, but getting angry that you're wasting time isn't helpful, missing rehabbing won't allow you to rehab. So, instead, I started focusing on what I could get out of it. Started asking about cost of the procedure, paying attention to potential complications, post-op care, started really focusing on how they determine what candidates are good for total hip, etc. So, instead of viewing it as a waste of time, I started learning what I could talk to people about when referring them to another vet for a procedure, what I need to do for the animal after surgery, etc. So, it went from viewing the rotation as a waste, to realizing that yep, watching the procedure was a waste, but that was only like an hour of the 10+ hour day. Not gonna lie, it's still rough not being as interested in things as my classmates and having to fake an interest, but I'm almost done and I'm gonna be a vet and I'll be great.

As for veterinary medicine consuming your life. It will during vet school. You'll have summers, but pretty much it consumes your life for 4 years. Clinics will be an entire year of your life pretty much on hold as you finish vet school. There's so much to learn, though, that it's about the only way. Once you're done, you CAN get your life back! You are the one calling the shots after vet school. If you have another passion in life/don't want vet med to consume you, then you need to set up the boundaries and you need to set them up early. I have a potential job offer in the near future from one of my offsite electives. The clinic is open 8-6 Monday and Tuesday then 8-5 the rest of the weekdays and 8-noon on Saturday. The vets arrive at 8:30 and get one hour for lunch. So, it's legit a 40-45 hour a week schedule. The owner pulled me aside the beginning of the second week and asked me what I wanna do with my life. My first thing I told him was I wanna be able to rehab again. I told him obviously I want a job as a vet and that I'd like to come back to the area, but that veterinary medicine wouldn't be my primary focus in life and would be just a job and that I need to find somewhere where I can work less than 50 hours a week. He was very pleased that I had another passion in life and discussed with me how to make wildlife rehab and vet med work together. He then said that he will have a job offer in the next year and hoped I would consider accepting it. I have a meeting with him soon to discuss doing mobile veterinary work with him 2 days a week and working the other days at the clinic. He already knows my non-negotiable terms for employment are no more than 50 hours a week and I need one surgery day because I love surgery and need something to look forward to :).

I have also applied to two other jobs. I have an elective block with one of them coming up and I have an interview scheduled during the elective block with the other. Both would be 40-50 hours a week. There are tons of other opportunities out there that are either further away or have more hours and would cut into my rehabbing. So, I just didn't apply to those. There are jobs out there that can suit your needs, vet med doesn't have to be who you are, it's just what you do. If you wanna do vet med as hard core as I rehab because it's your true passion in life, there are also plenty of opportunities for that!
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 5 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.