The horror stories ... guys, console me!

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by WishingnHoping, May 26, 2008.

  1. WishingnHoping

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    Okay, I am getting cold feet and increasingly nervous but anyways, now I am scared about how much time and money I will have as a vet. I've been reading back to where vets come on here and say that they aren't happy now that they are out in the real world and are going back to be human doctors. And, I've never had to take out a loan in my life so this will be my first time. And OMG ... taking out that much in loans to make squat after we get out? I am very thrifty and can live on just about nothing so if I brought home $70k a year once I was established then I'd be extremely happy. But still there's the OMG factor. :( I LOVE veterinary medicine and cannot really picture myself as happy being a physician of some sort but OMG. OMG. I think I have a good head on my shoulders and my head is saying WAIT!!! Look at the economics of it! Am I going to regret being a vet like these others? Even vets around me have said "I wish I could go back and do something different". AAAAHHH!!!

    What about time? Guys, I don't want to be working TONS of hours a week. I enjoy my time off to ride my horse and spend time with my family. My parents are STILL pushing me to be a dentist since they work minimal hours and make a good living. Can't I have that and be a vet?!!?

    So ... I am scared!!!! Up until now I thought "vet med is what I make it" and that I would be fine. My hubby has the potential to make enough money so we don't have to worry and I can just relax and do vet med for fun but what if that doesn't happen?! And we are dirt floor poor because I didn't listen to my parents and go into dentistry? :scared:

    I love animals (mmm equines!), science, and medicine. And I am very "green". If I picture myself in medical school and not in vet school whenever I picture myself studying anatomy I think of "how is this different than in the horse?" ;) I can't imagine being focused on just the human since horses are my life.
     
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  3. SillyFilly

    SillyFilly Tennessee CVM 2012!

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    *hug* Calm down, deeeeep breath.

    I feel like we are the same - horse people looking for a good life helping the horses we love. I've never been in the position to own my own horse, nor have I been able to be a competitive rider. But I want to do all of this one day. I didn't really think it was possible.

    I worked for almost a year for a very successful equine only vet in my area. She worked mainly horse shows - and rode at least 3x a day. Several vets in my area show competitively. So I think it is possible!

    You are going to work long hours - but you can tailor your life and work style.

    Why did you apply in the first place? Go back to that time. You're stressed with your defense and such, TOTALLY understandable. But you wanted to do this. So you probably still do - you're just mislead and stressed!
     
  4. loo

    loo Always Sleepy

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    I hope you're not listening to your parents...

    Veterinarians will still be in demand by the time you graduate. Depending on what area of vet med you choose to pursue, a lot of practices have emergency clinics that virtually eliminate taking call. Mind you, this is not necessarily true in all facets of practice. Large animal may necessitate more on-call hours.

    Imagine the "OMG" factor if you spend a lot of money/time to end up in a career you may not like to begin with. It can become a prison. Trust me when I say it really sucks to do something you "kinda like" just because the hours/pay may be better or it seems "safe".

    Loans for education are a fact of life unless you are independently wealthy. It is an investment in your future. It seems as though you are preparing yourself to live frugally and only borrow what you need. Sounds very sensible to me.

    Don't worry too much. You will pay off your debt and you are not alone.:)
     
  5. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!

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    As hard as it is, you can't let money freak you out nor your parents' expectations. Life is a long race, not a short one. If you could see yourself happy as a dentist 20 years from now, you would have done it. I know I won't make that much money as a vet, but I will live frugally, save, and pay back my loans and have a great life doing something I love. There will be a lot of obstacles in vet school, so just keep your eye on the prize. Everyone doubts their choices, then I think that my worst day in vet med (when I'm scratched up, bitten, had anal glands or diarrhea shot on me, studying cranial nerves, etc) is still better than my best day at my last job.

    And another point: cranial nerves and facial anatomy SUCK and you gotta think you get a LOT of that in dental school. Just wait until you're stuck in lecture and they talk about doing facial nerve blocks for minor surgery and all the weird foramina you have to get in and you'll be glad you're not a dentist!! :p

    And as far as being a human doctor: read that thread I suggested in another pre-vet thread on chief complaints of human patients and you'll realize you'd rather deal with the occasional wacky owner rather than wacky patients. :p
     
  6. reefervet

    reefervet OSU c/o 2012

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    I think this is just a case of "the grass being greener on the other side." Just ask the career changers :rolleyes: Really though I know several vets that love and appreciate where they are right now. Don't let the negative ones bring you down. Honestly I think they would probably say something similar in whatever profession they were in.
     
  7. sofficat

    sofficat AU CVM c/o 11

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    Go find your horse (or one nearby)..... shove your face in its neck..... take a deeeeep breath..... and realize that if you couldn't spend your career with that you would die :)

    I am actually surprized that you know vetS that would have done something different. I've never even met one vet that would have changed career paths. The money isn't terrible. The first time you sign that loan agreement your heart will jump, but after that it's just something you have to live with. DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. period. What do you want to spend your day doing? Looking in people's mouths or getting kicked at by a horse? You know what I mean, and if I 'know' you from your post, I know you choose the latter.

    Good luck.
     
  8. DVMorBust

    DVMorBust UW SVM Class of 2013

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    Just thought I'd bring up something else, in case it helps -

    There are so many things you can do with a DVM - and so many different lifestyles available out there. You don't have to do regular equine care - you can go into equine dentistry (just listened to a very interesting talk about the rising need for quality DVM dentists in the horse world) or work in a specialty that doesn't have 'on call' as part of the job, or even just work in a larger clinic in a more near-urban area that has very well-established benefits and off-time.

    You don't even have to do equine! You may decide that you want to do something else with a DVM, and that's OK! There are so many options with a DVM that it seems silly to me to let the amount of money you make be the only deciding factor - unless that's not all there is to it.

    Bottom line - a DVM doesn't inherently bring with it a 24/7 job that pays peanuts.
     
  9. WishingnHoping

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    :bow: Thank you guys! I knew I could count on you! :D

    Nah, it's not just about the money. I don't want to work a zillion hours a week - I need free time to chill out (if you can't tell :p). I'm taking a deep breath and realize that yes, vet med is friggin' cool and I can't wait to have the "ultimate" knowledge. I guess I'll roll with the punches and try to do my best after I get out of school to earn what I can to pay back loans and enjoy my life. If only I had an in state school so the loans wouldn't freak me out so bad!

    Sofficat, I know what you mean! And yes, I know multiple vets who apparently aren't happy. It's terrifying. But, I also know the sweetest vet who said he cannot imagine doing anything else! He is blissfully happy. So ... I guess to each their own and geez guys, I do love this stuff.

    Okay, for my piece of mind, there are specialties or instances where I can be a vet (ie. make enough money to eat and have a horse or two) and not work lots and lots of hours (ie. 100 hrs a week)? If I were to not do equine but do small animal with an emergency clinic nearby?

    Ugh, my parents. That's a whole nother issue! I made the mistake of telling them my concerns and now they are "excited" that I am considering dentistry. As my dad said, "the world looks so much better now!" from HIS eyes. Gosh darnit!!!

    Thanks a MILLION. Seriously! :oops:
     
  10. SillyFilly

    SillyFilly Tennessee CVM 2012!

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    The equine vet I worked for sometime worked 100 hour weeks at shows... and then would work 20 hour weeks for 3 weeks. It worked out for her. She was a lameness specialist who did consulting/referral work most of the time. She maybe worked 3 full days a week, with 2 days with short appointments.

    I just think I can find anything - I want kids and a husband and everything, but am not going to bank my life on 'someday' this will happen. I know I want to do vet med, so that's that!
     
  11. SillyFilly

    SillyFilly Tennessee CVM 2012!

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    Hey - and ps - this is what you said for your "2nd career"
    Compete in upper level eventing/dressage and buy horses, train them, sell them and make money. And breed some high quality horses with great rideable, quiet temperaments (there are too many looneys out there). I'm doing that now and love it (except for the breeding) and don't want to give it up but ... hopefully I can still do it after getting my vet degree. Maybe hubby will make enough $$ that I can just do my own vet work and concentrate on the horses. :laugh: Hey, it's okay to dream, right?
    You didn't say dentistry! :D You can do this as a vet too. I just know it!
     
  12. VeganChick

    VeganChick Tufts University V'13

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    I work in a animal hospital referral center on the emergency side and the doctors work a zillion hours a week. HOWEVER, the internal medicine DVM, cardiologists, neurologists, surgeons, dentist and opthalmologist all work Monday through Friday, and sensible hours. They might have one weekend a month on call.

    I wouldn't worry about the hours...we all want to "work to live", not "live to work". It is what you make it. I would just understand what you are getting into when you pick what area you want to go into :).

    Oh, and it is way too early in your vet career to start having panic attacks! Save those for vet school! :D:D
     
  13. WishingnHoping

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    Thanks guys. Aw, SillyFilly, you're a huge help. :) I feel so much better! You're completely right ... I CAN do those things, can't I? Yay! Thanks for helping me through this.

    VeganChick, where are you located? I didn't know that there was enough demand for those specialties to exist and actually get enough clients. I'm in Maine and I don't think we have many people up here doing just those things. Boy, it sounds fun, though! I really would like to specialize, though I'm not sure what in. ;)

    Alright guys, I am finally getting EXCITED for vet school again. Wooo, this is much better. All because of YOU! :D

    ETA, sorry for being such a chicken. I'm not usually so insecure but geez this decision is huge. Who else would understand but other people in my same position! :)
     
  14. VeganChick

    VeganChick Tufts University V'13

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    I'm in Northern VA, Washington, DC metro area. There is DEFINITELY a need for these specialties! There are a number of centers like ours in this area, some with even more specialties (ie, oncology, dermatology, etc.) Also, alternative medicine is getting HUGELY popular. My own vet works at a practice and she received her acupuncture and physical therapy certificates. She is getting so much business, her boss is setting up an area just for her to practice the two!
     
  15. SillyFilly

    SillyFilly Tennessee CVM 2012!

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    We're gonna need all the support and encouragement we can get these next 4 years!
    :biglove:

    You know... some day... we are going to be COLLEAGUES!
     
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  17. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian

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    :laugh::laugh:gee MOM, DAD, you thought I meant HUMAN dentistry???:smuggrin::smuggrin::smuggrin::smuggrin::D
     
  18. meadow36

    meadow36 UF CVM 2013

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    I know several vets (and they are very good ones) who have told me "If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have gone into vet med". Basically the major complaint is that you don't get compensated for the amount of hours you put in. The exception might be if you're a specialist (cardiologist, internist, etc.) So maybe you might want to think about going that route.
     
  19. theunraveler

    theunraveler Member

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    actually this money making part of vet medicine really depends on which part of the world u are in, if u like travelling u can go asia or europe to work as a vet for a few years, they pay really well....

    for me i have about 300K AUD debt when i finished and naturally i want to pay it all back ASAP and since travelling is not an issue with me i'd probably head over to HK or singapore or europe to work my ass off for the next couple of years...
     
  20. WhtsThFrequency

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    There are so many things you can do with a DVM - and so many different lifestyles available out there. You don't have to do regular equine care - you can go into equine dentistry (just listened to a very interesting talk about the rising need for quality DVM dentists in the horse world) or work in a specialty that doesn't have 'on call' as part of the job, or even just work in a larger clinic in a more near-urban area that has very well-established benefits and off-time.

    You don't even have to do equine! You may decide that you want to do something else with a DVM, and that's OK! There are so many options with a DVM that it seems silly to me to let the amount of money you make be the only deciding factor - unless that's not all there is to it.

    Bottom line - a DVM doesn't inherently bring with it a 24/7 job that pays peanuts.


    That's a very good point. The versatility of the DVM degree is what makes it so wonderful - you can prusue many different career options depending on your finances, where you want to live, whether you want to be clinical, research, something in between, whether you want to specialize or not, etc.

    What about being an equine therio specialist? Or neonatology? I can see that being very interesting!
     
  21. lailanni

    lailanni c/o 2012
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    Slightly off topic, sorry!

    What are vet salaries like in Europe? Can Amercian vets practice there without additional exams?
     
  22. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers no wake up time. sleepy time.
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    Thought it requied the NAVLE...
     
  23. littlecaitling

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    I'm wondering the same about Singapore. Where do you find out about international salary info like that? A friend of mine is from Singapore and she can't stop talking about how wonderful it is!
     
  24. OSJ

    OSJ Michigan State CVM 2012

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    I don't think American vets can typically practice in Europe without licensing first. I know U of Edinburgh was both AVMA accredited and the European equivalent so going there you could practice in both.
     
  25. freyamaxine

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    I think your school has to have accreditation from The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (UK)

    Melbourne uni has accreditation.

    I'm not sure about practicing in Singapore.
     
  26. futrdvm

    futrdvm westernu class of 2012

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    i'm experiencing my own version of cold feet. looking at the loans is a daunting thing. i was reviewing salaries for graduating vets on VIN and got really freaked out until i realized that the post was several years old. in the recent postings the salaries have gone up, but they still pale in comparison to the debt load.
    however, i have no other viable alternatives and i really do want to be a vet.
    this will be the first time i'm moving away from home and i just hate change.
    i, too am scared of getting out and then becoming burned out on general practice, however with a DVM i am much more likely to be able to find other things to do then i can as a tech, even a registered one.
    when doing something like this, you just have to know you're doing the right thing and see it through. it never hurts to have a little faith that things wil all work out like they should in the long run.
     
  27. LucyLoo

    LucyLoo LucyLoo

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    Well, if it makes you feel any better, the government revamped the student repayment on federal loans so monthly payments are capped at 15% of your disposable income and any unpaid federal loan is forgiven after 25 years. I'll probably be looking at close to 300K between two bachelors and vet school (probably OOS). So I really do feel your pain:scared:
     
  28. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013

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    Interesting, can you site a source on this info?
     
  29. LucyLoo

    LucyLoo LucyLoo

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    http://www.nasfaa.org/publications/2007/G2669Summary091007.html#forgiveness

    This gives a brief summary of the new program under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act 2007(look at title II). Unfortunately, it does not apply to private loans. You would actually have to sign up for income based repayment. Oh, and I should have said discretionary not disposable income.
     
  30. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013

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    Thats pretty cool. Have to figure though that we should be able to get roughly 48k a year in federal loans, so hopefully most of us wont need private loans.

    There is an example here: http://www.nasfaa.org/publications/2007/gdefermentibr091307.html
    for med students saying that if they make $43k a year, they would only be paying $350 a month towards loans under this plan. Interest would still accrue on the unsubsidized loans, but the goverment would pay the interested on the subsidized loans for 3 years.

    In a short term sense this seems like this would atleast allow vets to do an internship and not have to worry about paying upwards of $2000 a month towards loans while making their meager intern salary.

    My brain isnt in the mood to think about the salary break even point where a vet would be better off going with the income based repayment and carrying it out for the full 25 yeears.
     
  31. LucyLoo

    LucyLoo LucyLoo

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    Yeah, I know, the financials can be a bit intense but it was a relief for me to know that there is some kind of safety net. I don't want to give half of my salary away for 10-15 years. I would be back in the same boat financially as I was before vet school. I don't expect to make tons of money but I hope to be a little better off. And I'm a non-trad who has to think of retirement:D
     
  32. happytowner

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    RCVS says on their website that you can practice there -- if you graduated from an AVMA accredited school and are licensed somewhere in the US, you have to register with them in person and go through some kind of swearing in/basic screening process, but it doesn't look like an agonizing (or exam containing) process at all. But it only allows you to practice in the UK (not the rest of Europe), and you'd have to jump through all the normal immigration hoops for almost any job to be allowed to work in the UK...
     
  33. theunraveler

    theunraveler Member

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    singapore sucks...the climate is hot and humid, ppl are unfrenly and rude and the pay for vet sucks in singapore. the only plus side is the low tax, low cost of living but i still think australia is better

    i am a singaporean myself and even i think that island is ****...

    http://www.sva.org.sg/en/index.php
     
  34. theunraveler

    theunraveler Member

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    not sure, i hear it from my lecturers that the $$$ is good in europe compared to australia...as much as 3x more

    i think american vets can practice in UK without further exams, not sure about the rest of europe
     

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