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Veterinary Officer vs Medical Officer

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mckd851

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Hi so I keep debating whether I want to go to veterinary school or medical school. Either way I know that I intend to apply for the HPSP for the Army. Eventually, I want to go into Preventive Medicine/Public Health. Which Army program (Vet or Med) has better residencies/programs/employment opportunities for Public Health?
 

sonofva

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As a veterinary officer you will spend a lot of time learning abiut food inspection, because this is the second job of the army veterinarian. I dont know if you consider this to be preventative medicine. As a physician you can complete the RAM (residency in aerospace medicine). During the second year of this you do a lot of training in occ health or prev med, which allows you to sit for the board in one or the other. Downside of this is that you have to spend 2 years at fort rucker now, instead of pensicola like the old days...

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psychbender

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As a physician you can complete the RAM (residency in aerospace medicine). During the second year of this you do a lot of training in occ health or prev med, which allows you to sit for the board in one or the other. Downside of this is that you have to spend 2 years at fort rucker now, instead of pensicola like the old days...

Or, he could just do Prev Med residency, and train at USUHS/Bethesda.

OP, do you want to take care of people or non-human animals? That's the question you need to ask yourself, as one doesn't usually do the other. Although, one of my residency staff did anesthetize a military working dog when downrange...
 

Red Lobster Actual

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Vet school is also notoriously hard to get in to due to the small number of seats. Met a medical student that gave up on her dream to treat animals because she couldn't make it. Instead wound up at UC San Diego's medical school. Which is one darn good medical school.
 

Perrotfish

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Vet school is also notoriously hard to get in to due to the small number of seats. Met a medical student that gave up on her dream to treat animals because she couldn't make it. Instead wound up at UC San Diego's medical school. Which is one darn good medical school.
I've always wondered, is there a downside to Caribbean vet school? With no residency involved, does going to the islands limit you?

Of course if you want to treat something cute, nonverbal, and incontinent there's always Pediatrics.
 
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WernickeDO

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I've always wondered, is there a downside to Caribbean vet school? With no residency involved, does going to the islands limit you?

Of course if you want to treat something cute, nonverbal, and incontinent there's always Pediatrics.
I have a friend who did vet school in the Carib. She had no problem finding a job when she graduated. She owns her own practice now.

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Bismarck

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As a current VCO, I would emphasize that our mission is pretty varied. We cover animal medicine for all branches of the military to include the care of government-owned horses and working dogs and retiree/SM pets too. We also play a big role in food protection to include inspection of food preparation/storage areas on post (which is shared with Prev Med) and sanitary audits of commercial production facilities that sell food to the DoD. The Rabies/Bite Prevention and Zoonotic Disease programs are also in our purview but are not everyday things (at least in garrison). FWIW, we make significantly less than physicians as far as special pays go but do pretty well in comparison to civilian veterinarians. If you haven't already, spend some time shadowing a veterinarian to see if this career field is a good fir for you. Feel free to PM me with questions.

@Ziehl-Nielsen: There were a few days on large animal rotations where I wondered if changing the name of the clinic to "Necropy's Waiting Room" might be more accurate.

Aside: I sometimes lurk to see if the grass is greener on the other side of MilMed (which is how I saw this).
 

ArmyDentistGal

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I recommend choosing whichever profession you will enjoy practicing most before you specialize and narrow down into PrevMed and PH. From an HPSP standpoint, the Vet Corps HPSP is highly competitive.
 
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