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Veteranary Medicine vs. Human

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by PreMedDocMD, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. PreMedDocMD

    PreMedDocMD 2+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    Some people have made the argument that vets have it harder because they need to be able to diagnose/ treat a wide variety of animals, while MDs only treat humans. Is this true?? I sorta always thought MDs have the hardest job. What do you guys think?
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  3. LadyWolverine

    LadyWolverine 10+ Year Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Hiding in your closet

    If you pre-meds must continue to start arguments, could you at least do it in the pre-med forum?

  4. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    Feb 23, 2007
    Ditto. :thumbdown:

    Pick a career that you want to do.
  5. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    Lamest thread ever.
  6. SanDiegoSOD

    SanDiegoSOD Milk was a bad choice 7+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2004
    Sunny California
    I need a rag, I just puked a little on my shirt.
  7. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2002
    While I echo what the other posters said--just a couple of thoughts.

    One, why do you care? Most people who are interested in human medicine aren't interested in veterinary medicine and vice versa. I have never heard one of my classmates mention that they were thinking about vet school at one time or another.

    Two, one of my good friends is a vet student and it's just plain old different than what MDs/DOs do. The vast majority of their work is outpatient. There is some inpatient stuff even with animal ICUs in some places, but purely on volume, vets do way more outpatient stuff.

    Three, doctors have a patient-doctor relationship. Vets have a patient-vet and a client-vet relationship. When I go to the vet with my dog (I've been three times this WEEK--what a money pit), she has to be able to calm him down and examine him thoroughly AND explain things to me and get a good history from me. It's a different dynamic.

    Four, we can euthanize animals. We can't do that with people (Oregon aside and even that's not quite euthanasia but that's another issue). When someone can't afford to treat their dog's cancer, they can ethically euthanize them. Happens all the time. Not so with someone's 98 year old demented grandfather riddled with COPD and lung cancer.

    Five, as far as vets having to manage a wider breadth of animals and diseases--I would say that's true but with some caveats. First, there's no doubt MDs/DOs have more depth in their understanding but vets have more breadth. Which is harder? I don't know. I don't care. It's the difference between being a family practioner and a pediatric neuroradiologist. The first deals with bread and butter but there's a hell of a lot of bread and butter out there. The second needs to know a million rare diseases but really only needs to know one system of one patient population.

    Six, this is coming from my vet friend so I don't know how true it is but he says that most vets don't practice medicine on every animal out there. I know my vet only does cats and dogs and it's a huge practice of 8 DVMs. Anyone doing reptiles, birds, insects, exotic fish, amphibians apparently does an exotics residency or fellowship and then only deals with exotics. Same is true for vets who focus on zoo animals or farm animals. I don't think any vet truly takes care of the entire range of animals from aadvarks to zebras.

    Finally, general veterinarians who basically take care of dogs and cats don't do residencies in order to practice like medical students have to do, so on the whole their training is going to be shorter. I don't think it makes veterinary practice easier though. It's comparing apples and oranges ultimately.
  8. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    So if you would rather treat humans but it were harder to be a vet, would that make any difference? IMO, that would be the most idiotic reason to pick a career.

    Vets are cool. Human physicians are cool. Both are smart, and both jobs are hard yet very important. Do whichever one seems more compelling to you. End of story.
  9. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    number of species x number of possible diseases + risk of malpractice = difficulty

    They have more species, but I'm pretty sure we can diagnose more diseases in humans, and the risk of malpractice is a lot higher with humans.
  10. Jack Daniel

    Jack Daniel In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2005
    A lot of emerging diseases are zoonotic, so DVMs have a place in human medicine in the public health arena.

    Of course, if life in outer space is ever found and somehow the alien species make their way to Earth--DVMs will be all the rage since they'll have the training to care for a gazillion different species.;)
  11. DoctorFunk

    DoctorFunk Get down with the boogie 7+ Year Member

    May 17, 2004
    The Good Land
    I'm sure that veterinary medicine is intellectually stimulating, but personally from the stories my wife (a veterinary technician) tells me about their appointments, I would despise vet med. Seems a lot like running an auto repair shop in that everyone thinks you're trying to rip them off and make a huge profit. Even worse, you have to talk many of your patients into the treatment plans because they're either too broke/apathetic to care for their own animals.

    I mean, she told me a story last night about a couple that were going to put down their epileptic dog because they couldn't handle the idea that he would be having occassional breakthrough grand mals while taking his anti-seizure meds (which had eliminated his seizures for two months prior to the last breakthrough). Funk that.
  12. Jack Daniel

    Jack Daniel In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2005
    Interesting story--this is exactly what I'd want to avoid were I a vet.

    Of course, one could go into wildlife vet medicine and be hired by government or exotic vet medicine and work for zoos. At least you don't have to convince people to get cancer treatments for their cat.
  13. Bertelman

    Bertelman Maverick! 7+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2006
    Had a Cooch
    I think one should embrace the search function, and quit dredging up old, tired arguments.

    At least make it more interesting by throwing in dentists while you are at it. I mean, geez, they only look in your mouth, right? :rolleyes:
  14. Orthonut

    Orthonut Garryowen 5+ Year Member

    SHHHHHHH! That's supposed to be a secret! Now we'll have to take away her secret decoder ring!

    lame post OP. Do what Bertelman said and embrace the search function.

    I think human docs are better. Med school is way harder than this vet school gig
    -I mean, all we ever do is party, and there's no board exams or anything :rollseyes:

    O'Nut, almost a DVM
  15. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2003
  16. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate 2+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2007
    Pthhh, don't you know they just use a needle for all that nowadays?

    And pillow, you're correct, vets in general will choose a track, like small animal/large animal/exotic animal, and a very few vets do a residency after getting their DVM (like say if you wanted vet oncology). I personally would have a hard time working with animals (dogs in particular) they look so innocent.
  17. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head) 10+ Year Member

    My mom took a mass off a Boxer's leg last week, the size of a ****ing softball. This poor dog had been dragging this ****ing thing around forever. She's normally pretty tactful about what is usually due to inability to pay, but she said she was just floored, and then started grilling the owners, who felt bad enough. But she said when she went to preop, she thought the dog had a ball in between its legs. She said there were vessels in there the size of her pinky.

    For every couple "just put 'im down" people though, there are "do whatever it takes" people too.

    I'm not sure why I dignified this thread with comments.

    I personally think people docs have it harder, but only because they can't put a muzzle on their patients to shut 'em the **** up.

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