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So, here's my dilemma. I love the idea of being a vet. I want to learn all the medical aspects and work with and for animals. However, the last thing I want to do is work with pets.

I want to go into vet school to become a zoo/wildlife veterinarian, I've been volunteering at a zoological research center with the wildlife vet and vet techs and I absolutely LOVE every second of it. Of course, it's very competitive, so I have second choices such as working in a diagnostics lab or specializing in research or surgeries. I think any of those would be really awesome too, but working with wildlife is my dream. I applied to vet school last year, got an interview, but didn't get in. So I'm applying for the second time now, and trying to get more clinic while I apply to internships.

I'm working at a small animal clinic right now (bathing dogs and working the kennels), and I realized just how much I DON'T want to work with cats and dogs. I know I'm going to have to work with them the most in vet school, but does anyone know how necessary is it going to be for me to work at a pet/small animal clinic after I graduate? Or for how long?

Also, is that limiting my chances of getting into vet school and/or finding a career afterwards? Should I just go to graduate school for something like zoology or animal behavior instead? I loved my pre-veterinary classes in college, and I thoroughly enjoy experiencing different veterinary aspects (the internship i'm applying for whitetail deer breeding, and I really hope I get it because it sounds so interesting and fun), but I just do NOT want to work with domestic animals like cats, dogs, and horses.

So, can someone with good advice please help me figure my life out? :)
 

Minnerbelle

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Don't go to vet school. That would likely be the biggest mistake of your life unless you are super wealthy and becoming a vet can be an expensive hobby for you.
 

Lab Vet

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Wildlife, exotics, and zoo is very competitive- the most competitive specialty within the profession. You'll need excellent grades and serious networking to get your foot in the door (your networking is what will get you the residency, after all other conditions are satisfied). Start early, and make every effort to gain exposure to your field of interest (be that wildlife, aquarium, zoo, etc.). Many people start out with this same ambition, and realize that there simply aren't sufficient opportunities for well-qualified people. I'd have a few backups waiting in the wings before you invest vet school tuition to realize you won't be getting a zoo residency right out of the gate. (after the rotating and specialized internships in SA, of course)

As for an advanced degree, it depends on what you want to do. Graduate school and vet school are two completely different balls of wax. I went to grad school initially, and am now completing vet school. Do you like research? Have you done enough research to know that it's something you want to do for the rest of your life? If you intend to advance in (academic) research spheres, you will do very little hands on work as you progress, and will be primarily responsible for the acquisition of funds and manuscript publication. Are you into that? If so, a career in research may be for you. I caution against going for a graduate degree lightly (i.e. I 'may' like this line of work). It's an enormous time investment, and a very hard slog.

If you're into wildlife, I'd suggest a career with US Fish and Wildlife, or USGS. The federal government has many advertised jobs for wildlife biologists- they're located all over the country, and cover everything from range science to birding. Have a look on usajobs.gov to see what's available.

The choice of a career is less about the subject and more about the function. What is it about a job that you enjoy doing? Do you like thinking about things, or do you like doing things (i.e. with your hands)? Two very different functions. Are you a free spirit, or can you work happily in a regulated environment? Independently or on teams? These characteristics have far more to do with your happiness than whether you're working with a Labrador retriever or dingo.

Zoo, wildlife, and aquarium work is possible, it's just very competitive and entrenched (i.e. people who snag those jobs don't tend to leave their positions until they're ready to retire). If it's your goal to break into this field, networking is the name of your game. It will make or break a job/residency offer (after the didactic requirements are met).

I just mentioned in my last post (different thread), it's important to have a variety of interests in mind if the 'one true calling' doesn't work out. Many times, things don't- not because we didn't try hard, or didn't want it bad enough...but simply because, they don't. You wouldn't want to be devastated because you only saw yourself doing one (and only one thing). Good luck!
 
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pinkpuppy9

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So, here's my dilemma. I love the idea of being a vet. I want to learn all the medical aspects and work with and for animals. However, the last thing I want to do is work with pets.

I want to go into vet school to become a zoo/wildlife veterinarian, I've been volunteering at a zoological research center with the wildlife vet and vet techs and I absolutely LOVE every second of it. Of course, it's very competitive, so I have second choices such as working in a diagnostics lab or specializing in research or surgeries. I think any of those would be really awesome too, but working with wildlife is my dream. I applied to vet school last year, got an interview, but didn't get in. So I'm applying for the second time now, and trying to get more clinic while I apply to internships.

I'm working at a small animal clinic right now (bathing dogs and working the kennels), and I realized just how much I DON'T want to work with cats and dogs. I know I'm going to have to work with them the most in vet school, but does anyone know how necessary is it going to be for me to work at a pet/small animal clinic after I graduate? Or for how long?

Also, is that limiting my chances of getting into vet school and/or finding a career afterwards? Should I just go to graduate school for something like zoology or animal behavior instead? I loved my pre-veterinary classes in college, and I thoroughly enjoy experiencing different veterinary aspects (the internship i'm applying for whitetail deer breeding, and I really hope I get it because it sounds so interesting and fun), but I just do NOT want to work with domestic animals like cats, dogs, and horses.

So, can someone with good advice please help me figure my life out? :)
Fellow zoo person here :hello:

A few things:

LabVet covered the zoo part, but I'll emphasize it. Zoo medicine, aquatics, or anything similar is ridiculously competitive with a poor job market (there aren't zoos on every corner, after all). It is certainly our passion, but it is critical that you remain realistic about your chances of even getting a residency (not even being employed at this point). Networking is crucial, but it won't save you if you don't have extremely competitive vet school grades. Next is actually passing your boards. I know a vet who finished her residency and failed the ACZM exam twice, and she's brilliant. Zoo and path are known to be two of the hardest board exams in vet med. Finally, employment. I know an ACZM boarded vet who finally found a job in a zoo after almost two years of looking after she passed her exam. It's a long, brutal road. Yes, it would lead to the best career in the world (obviously I'm biased), but you also get paid extremely poorly considering the training you go through.

In my class of 130, there's at least 10 of us that are hardcore zoo (I imagine this changes based on what a school has to offer). Out of the 10 of us, it'd be impressive if one of us actually got a residency. Here's a link to the ACZM-recognized residencies: http://www.aczm.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=366916&module_id=49007 . Out of this list, several of the programs are on hiatus or have been discontinued. All only take one student per year as far as I know, and at least one takes only one student every three years. You do not have to complete a residency to become boarded, but it is the fastest/most popular way. There are also other zoo medicine boards (ECZM) that you can aim for, but the approved residencies are different and across the globe.

About hating SA: Is it possible that you just hate the job you have? I'm always willing to admit that I hated being a vet assistant when I wasn't directly helping with something medical. No one likes scrubbing a filthy dog or scooping poop. I absolutely loathe kennel work. It doesn't mean I 'hate' small animal medicine. I just like zoo better.

If you absolutely refuse to work as a small animal practitioner, I'd reconsider going to vet school. The odds are high that you will end up in SA, especially if your only career goal is zoo/wildlife.

Also, fyi, whitetail deer are considered to be a production species by some (especially since we're moving towards modifying their genetics). Maybe you'd be interested in more than you think! This is exactly why it's very important for pre-vets to get a a variety of experience.
 
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You might be happier working in a zoo or aquarium as a keeper or even maybe a vet tech. There are LOTS of jobs that revolve around wildlife and exotics that's not vet med. from what I've heard, it's extremely, extraordinarily difficult to get a position as a zoo or aquarium vet because it's so competitive, and vets who do get in stay in until they retire (resulting in very few openings for new positions).
 

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You might be happier working in a zoo or aquarium as a keeper or even maybe a vet tech. There are LOTS of jobs that revolve around wildlife and exotics that's not vet med. from what I've heard, it's extremely, extraordinarily difficult to get a position as a zoo or aquarium vet because it's so competitive, and vets who do get in stay in until they retire (resulting in very few openings for new positions).
or worse....(true story).

I second the keeper idea. I would have pursued a career as a keeper had I not gotten in to veterinary school.
 

hazelmoo

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or worse....(true story).

I second the keeper idea. I would have pursued a career as a keeper had I not gotten in to veterinary school.
I'm so happy that I got a chance to work at a zoo before applying to vet school. I thought I wanted to be a zoo vet because I have a strong passion for nonprofit work and wild/zoo animals, but zoo med would not be for me after being able to shadow and see how life is for a zoo vet and how much they go through to get there (and barely get paid diddly squat)! I still plan on volunteering or hopefully being able to observe or assist in zoo surgeries every once in a while (although I'm not sure how realistic this is).
 

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I'm so happy that I got a chance to work at a zoo before applying to vet school. I thought I wanted to be a zoo vet because I have a strong passion for nonprofit work and wild/zoo animals, but zoo med would not be for me after being able to shadow and see how life is for a zoo vet and how much they go through to get there (and barely get paid diddly squat)! I still plan on volunteering or hopefully being able to observe or assist in zoo surgeries every once in a while (although I'm not sure how realistic this is).
If I make it, you can hang out with me!

I all seriousness, zoo medicine is just GP with captive wildlife. That's hugely simplifying things, but captive wildlife is barely touched on in most curricula. This is where all of the extra training comes in.
 
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hazelmoo

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If I make it, you can hang out with me!

I all seriousness, zoo medicine is just GP with captive wildlife. That's hugely simplifying things, but captive wildlife is barely touched on in most curricula. This is where all of the extra training comes in.
YAYYY!! :)
I love wildlife med, at my small animal clinic I work for we see all of the wildlife from the wildlife center I work in. I love it!
 
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Thank you all for answering!

I think, going off of everyone's advice, I probably need to find a happy medium between being a keeper and a vet. I guess I should just try to do a lot of internships in a lot of different areas? But here's what I know I like:
  • Working with my hands
  • Conservation
  • Surgeries/dissections
  • Lab work/microbiology
  • Anatomy
  • Animal behavior
  • Animal nutrition
  • I like the idea of capturing/tagging wildlife, but I'm not sure how much I would enjoy the technical writing aspect of research that involves that.
Things I know I don't like:
  • Repetition
  • Working in a cut-throat atmosphere (kind of stupid of me, considering vets are constantly in that atmosphere)
  • High level maths/physics
This is a pre-vet forum, but if you guys have any career field suggestions that you think I would like, I'm all ears :)
 

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Have you ever done any work in wildlife rehab?
 

LadyOtheFarm

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Wildlife embryologist!
Labwork, conservation, animal behavior and nutrition, hands on work, ...
It checks all the boxes! I did my MS in a program that could have led me that way...

But, I can't think of any job that doesn't have some repetition.
 

pinkpuppy9

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Thank you all for answering!

I think, going off of everyone's advice, I probably need to find a happy medium between being a keeper and a vet. I guess I should just try to do a lot of internships in a lot of different areas? But here's what I know I like:
  • Working with my hands
  • Conservation
  • Surgeries/dissections
  • Lab work/microbiology
  • Anatomy
  • Animal behavior
  • Animal nutrition
  • I like the idea of capturing/tagging wildlife, but I'm not sure how much I would enjoy the technical writing aspect of research that involves that.
Things I know I don't like:
  • Repetition
  • Working in a cut-throat atmosphere (kind of stupid of me, considering vets are constantly in that atmosphere)
  • High level maths/physics
This is a pre-vet forum, but if you guys have any career field suggestions that you think I would like, I'm all ears :)
Zoo nutritionist. That job is just as hard to find, not all zoos employ nutritionists (most rely on veterinarians to make nutritional decisions). Zoo behaviorist/enrichment tech is another idea.
 
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Have you ever done any work in wildlife rehab?
Yes! I worked at a wildlife rehab center in South Africa a couple of years back and it was awesome! Although, from what I've heard you pay out of your own pocket to have that job and barely get a salary for it, unless I've been misled on that aspect.
 
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Wildlife embryologist!
Labwork, conservation, animal behavior and nutrition, hands on work, ...
It checks all the boxes! I did my MS in a program that could have led me that way...

But, I can't think of any job that doesn't have some repetition.
Ooooo, that sounds interesting! What did you get your MS in?

Also, I guess repetition isn't the right phrase....I think it's more that I want to see/deal with something unique every now and again.
 

pinkpuppy9

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Yes! I worked at a wildlife rehab center in South Africa a couple of years back and it was awesome! Although, from what I've heard you pay out of your own pocket to have that job and barely get a salary for it, unless I've been misled on that aspect.
Most wildlife rehab centers are charity-based, so it gets pretty hard to make a good living. It's not uncommon for small animal vets to donate their services/equipment to local rehab facilities.
 

Devastating

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I am also very, very interested in zoo/exotic med as my first choice. Most of my animal volunteering experiences are in exotics or wildlife rehab, and like you, I would also rather not work in SA practice (not that I HATE it, but I decided long ago that I can't see myself staying in small animal long-term for various reasons...)

BUT I realize that it is a very difficult and competitive area to get into. Back when I was in pre-vet club a guest speaker made it clear that opportunities in the field are limited and that the vast majority of students who enter with intentions for exotic med will not end up there. With that in mind, I am also interested in the possibility of general LA/equine/other domestic livestock as my vet med backup.

I'm...not sure where I'm going with this :p Are there any particular reasons you don't wish to work with domestics (as in not just cats/dogs but horses etc.), or is it just a preference? I don't know if anyone else touched on this part but you mentioned that you may also be interested in diagnostics, research or surgery as your backups. If you think you'd enjoy those areas regardless of what species may be involved, then I think vet school could still be an option for you. If not, then I agree with all the other career suggestions ahead of me :)
 

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Fellow zoo person here :hello:

If you absolutely refuse to work as a small animal practitioner, I'd reconsider going to vet school. The odds are high that you will end up in SA.
I disagree with this. If lab animal doesn't work out for me, SA private practice is the last place I'm going. I would be incredibly unhappy in SA practice, but that doesn't negate a veterinary career in the least. There are lots of opportunities in the field other than SA private practice.
 

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I disagree with this. If lab animal doesn't work out for me, SA private practice is the last place I'm going. I would be incredibly unhappy in SA practice, but that doesn't negate a veterinary career in the least. There are lots of opportunities in the field other than SA private practice.
I'm with you. If some sort of fish/aquaculture/aquatics/aquarium doesn't work out. I'm going for my plans B-Y before I get to SA (Plan Z).
 
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I'm...not sure where I'm going with this :p Are there any particular reasons you don't wish to work with domestics (as in not just cats/dogs but horses etc.), or is it just a preference? I don't know if anyone else touched on this part but you mentioned that you may also be interested in diagnostics, research or surgery as your backups. If you think you'd enjoy those areas regardless of what species may be involved, then I think vet school could still be an option for you. If not, then I agree with all the other career suggestions ahead of me :)
Most of these positions (like zoo/wild) will require additional schooling past the DVM, so the OP should be prepared for that.
 
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katashark

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Most of these (like zoo/wild) will require additional schooling past the DVM, so the OP should be prepared for that.
Most definitely, be prepared for more training/schooling and more networking and very very hard work to do well in vet school. Also be prepared if you go zoo/aquarium route that there are major politics in play at these institutions. You are not your own boss.
 
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I disagree with this. If lab animal doesn't work out for me, SA private practice is the last place I'm going. I would be incredibly unhappy in SA practice, but that doesn't negate a veterinary career in the least. There are lots of opportunities in the field other than SA private practice.
Feck that noise, I would never go into SA practice either. I would drop out of the entire field before I went into SA practice (or honestly, any clinical practice at all).
 
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Most definitely, be prepared for more training/schooling and more networking and very very hard work to do well in vet school. Also be prepared if you go zoo/aquarium route that there are major politics in play at these institutions. You are not your own boss.

This.
 
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Just agreeing - find a non-vet way to have a job you enjoy. It will be a lot less financially risky for you, and you'll have more flexibility too.
 

hazelmoo

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Just agreeing - find a non-vet way to have a job you enjoy. It will be a lot less financially risky for you, and you'll have more flexibility too.
That's the main thing I would be worried about... Spending all that time and hundreds of thousands of dollars for a small chance of having the perfect job. But if the risk is worth it for the OP, it's worth it!
 

twelvetigers

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That's the main thing I would be worried about... Spending all that time and hundreds of thousands of dollars for a small chance of having the perfect job. But if the risk is worth it for the OP, it's worth it!
Ehhhhhhh... well. It's not *my* money (or time), so... it's true, they can do whatever they wanna do. ;)
 
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pinkpuppy9

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Feck that noise, I would never go into SA practice either. I would drop out of the entire field before I went into SA practice (or honestly, any clinical practice at all).
This is what I was getting at. There is always a chance that you won't end up where you want to be. What would be left? Small animal. If you refuse to work in SA, again, I'd reconsider. You don't have to want to be in SA, but it serves as a pretty good backup for most career aspirations, even if it's only temporary.
 
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This is what I was getting at. There is always a chance that you won't end up where you want to be. What would be left? Small animal. If you refuse to work in SA, again, I'd reconsider. You don't have to want to be in SA, but it serves as a pretty good backup for most career aspirations, even if it's only temporary.
I still think that's a bit much. Are you saying that everyone who goes to vet school should be prepared to be okay with being a small animal practitioner, or else they shouldn't go at all? There are many other directions to go in vet med than that, and I doubt someone would be reduced to doing SA or absolutely nothing at all.

Or are you specifically referring to the OP's situation where they should be prepared to consider it due to the complexity/competitiveness of wildlife/zoo med and because a lot of people that try to get into it end up in SA?
 
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hazelmoo

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I still think that's a bit much. Are you saying that everyone who goes to vet school should be prepared to be okay with being a small animal practitioner, or else they shouldn't go at all? There are many other directions to go in vet med than that, and I doubt someone would be reduced to doing SA or absolutely nothing at all.
I think she's just saying that the likelihood of working in a zoo is so unlikely, and SA jobs are the most abundant and easiest to find, so becoming a vet while saying "absolutely no SA ever ever ever" is riskier than being more open. Not that everyone will work with small animals, it's just much more likely.
 
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I think she's just saying that the likelihood of working in a zoo is so unlikely, and SA jobs are the most abundant and easiest to find, so becoming a vet while saying "absolutely no SA ever ever ever" is riskier than being more open. Not that everyone will work with small animals, it's just much more likely.
It's "riskier" in some ways, but she seemed to be implying that people unwilling to work SA should reconsider going to vet school, period. Unless I am generalizing and she was referring specifically to the trend of wildlife people to end up in SA.
 

Devastating

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IDK, I think LA, food, or at least mixed are about as abundant as SA (I assume), so I don't think SA is necessarily the end-all for anyone who can't get into more competitive specialties. OP said they didn't want to work with domestic animals period, but I think LA gets a bit closer to zoo (when it comes to ungulates, at least). The guest speaker I mentioned in my previous post said something like large animal formed most of the background for students interested in zoo med.
 

pinkpuppy9

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I still think that's a bit much. Are you saying that everyone who goes to vet school should be prepared to be okay with being a small animal practitioner, or else they shouldn't go at all? There are many other directions to go in vet med than that, and I doubt someone would be reduced to doing SA or absolutely nothing at all.

Or are you specifically referring to the OP's situation where they should be prepared to consider it due to the complexity/competitiveness of wildlife/zoo med and because a lot of people that try to get into it end up in SA?
The latter, sorry for being unclear! The OP basically implied that his/her only interest is zoo/wildlife (as of now, anyways).

It seems more likely that those who want to end up in say, production/equine/etc. would end up there and not have to fall back on SA. It makes sense for someone to say they want to do equine and never touch a dog. It's definitely riskier to say you want to be in a zoo and never have to touch a dog.
 
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I'll second (or third) that you can go to veterinary school without ever wanting to be a small animal clinical practitioner. Just be sure to have backups. In my case, I started interested in pathology, but switched into public health.

IDK, I think LA, food, or at least mixed are about as abundant as SA (I assume), so I don't think SA is necessarily the end-all for anyone who can't get into more competitive specialties. OP said they didn't want to work with domestic animals period, but I think LA gets a bit closer to zoo (when it comes to ungulates, at least). The guest speaker I mentioned in my previous post said something like large animal formed most of the background for students interested in zoo med.
I like this. Additionally, several states have loan-repayment options for students who want to work in rural areas or food animal medicine. More info at https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Pages/State-veterinary-loan-repayment-programs.aspx#ok

OP, what are your thoughts on large animal medicine?
 
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IDK, I think LA, food, or at least mixed are about as abundant as SA (I assume), so I don't think SA is necessarily the end-all for anyone who can't get into more competitive specialties. OP said they didn't want to work with domestic animals period, but I think LA gets a bit closer to zoo (when it comes to ungulates, at least). The guest speaker I mentioned in my previous post said something like large animal formed most of the background for students interested in zoo med.
I'll second (or third) that you can go to veterinary school without ever wanting to be a small animal clinical practitioner. Just be sure to have backups. In my case, I started interested in pathology, but switched into public health.


I like this. Additionally, several states have loan-repayment options for students who want to work in rural areas or food animal medicine. More info at https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Pages/State-veterinary-loan-repayment-programs.aspx#ok

OP, what are your thoughts on large animal medicine?
Sadly, large animal and farm animal jobs aren't as abundant as small animal jobs, even if maybe there should be.........there may be a shortage of LA and FA vets, but that doesn't mean that there's a shortage of jobs. A lot of areas that don't have vets also don't have a job market for vets - i.e. there isn't enough business to sustain a new (or additional) vet in those areas. Many of the applicants for those loans are vets who are already working in those areas, or new grads who will be joining a family business already in those areas. It's not intended just to get a new grad to work there for a few years,

"the promise of loan repayment is not necessarily what brings veterinarians to a shortage area, as Vosburg's story demonstrates. Practitioners already situated in or near shortage areas when they receive awards outnumber 2-to-1 practitioners who move there after securing the financial assistance, according to Sherman. Dr. John Thomson, a retired veterinary school dean and former large animal practitioner whose political advocacy helped create the loan repayment program, said it makes sense that many top applications are submitted by veterinarians already in the target areas. “It’s much easier for them to match the need if they’ve got a (job) offer or they have a practice that they’re buying, that type of thing,” said Thomson....some might criticize the program for awarding people who are already in place. But the goal, he said, is not only to bring doctors to underserved areas but to provide financial stability to those in place, and help them expand their reach....." http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=30806

Also, remember, large animal/farm animal jobs require on-call work, which a lot of new grads don't want to do, so you've got to be willing to adopt the whole rural/farm animal vet lifestyle.
 

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Or are you specifically referring to the OP's situation where they should be prepared to consider it due to the complexity/competitiveness of wildlife/zoo med and because a lot of people that try to get into it end up in SA?
The thing is, unless OP has the money/time to invest in getting to alternate fields outside of domestic animal clinical work, it would be difficult to just all of the sudden realize at graduation or beyond that zoo med/wildlife isn't going to work out, and then go into something like path, research, lab animal, or radiology as a "backup plan" on a whim.

It's a little different if you have path, research, lab animal or some sort of combo thereof in mind to start with and you start networking and getting experience/exposure/showing interest in those fields in advance.

If you really want a good shot at wildlife/zoo med you kind of need to go all in, and not be preparing for like multiple other possible fields to go into that take specialization
 
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The latter, sorry for being unclear! The OP basically implied that his/her only interest is zoo/wildlife (as of now, anyways).

It seems more likely that those who want to end up in say, production/equine/etc. would end up there and not have to fall back on SA. It makes sense for someone to say they want to do equine and never touch a dog. It's definitely riskier to say you want to be in a zoo and never have to touch a dog.
Ah, gotcha. That's what I thought you meant but wanted to be sure.
 

LadyOtheFarm

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Ooooo, that sounds interesting! What did you get your MS in?

Also, I guess repetition isn't the right phrase....I think it's more that I want to see/deal with something unique every now and again.
I got my MS in Assisted Reproductive Technology. I took a whole lot of repro classes including an awesome comparitive one where researchers from many different species came in and talked about what makes their species unique, ie adaptations that need work around in conservation, and where current research and ART techniques are now... I actually made a suggestion to an amphibian researcher in South America that they are going to try (based on techniques I saw in a zoo internship)!

About 50% of our time was spent in the IVF lab working with gametes and embryos. Many of my classmates are out getting jobs right now for about $50-$75,000 per year as a starting salary.

Warning: The wildlife jobs are tougher to find and often pay less, but, if you like deer, there is an embryologist position open in TX for about $60,000...
 

Gwenevre

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I got my MS in Assisted Reproductive Technology. I took a whole lot of repro classes including an awesome comparitive one where researchers from many different species came in and talked about what makes their species unique, ie adaptations that need work around in conservation, and where current research and ART techniques are now... I actually made a suggestion to an amphibian researcher in South America that they are going to try (based on techniques I saw in a zoo internship)!

About 50% of our time was spent in the IVF lab working with gametes and embryos. Many of my classmates are out getting jobs right now for about $50-$75,000 per year as a starting salary.

Warning: The wildlife jobs are tougher to find and often pay less, but, if you like deer, there is an embryologist position open in TX for about $60,000...
I'm all about that life. Where did you get your MS?
 

Cephal0pod

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I think someone mentioned it briefly above, I think it's worth noting that it is quite common to do 1+ domestic animal internship(s) prior to zoo/wildlife residencies. If you're gungho for that world, do realize you are likely going to have to do some domestics work at some point. Also realize that experience in working with things like domestic ruminants is very useful (and important) when you go to work with things like giraffes and addax.

LA/SA may not be fields you want to pursue a career in long term, but be careful about having a mindset that is opposed to going near them-- even in pursuing zoo med, you most likely will need to for at least a while.

Also... depending on the facility, even zoo vets have to treat dogs, cats, and domestic large animals at times. ;) Quite different than seeing them in GP, sure, but nonetheless. :)
 
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wildlifer

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If you're into wildlife, I'd suggest a career with US Fish and Wildlife, or USGS. The federal government has many advertised jobs for wildlife biologists- they're located all over the country, and cover everything from range science to birding. Have a look on usajobs.gov to see what's available.

usajobs.gov is a major pain in the you know what. You'll spend hours applying and then just get a response of "not referred to the hiring agency", even if you are clearly qualified. Personally, I prefer
Texas A&M job board for wildlife jobs searches/applying. They have internships, seasonal positions, full time, and graduate assistantships listed on there. Most if not all of my wildlife experience has been directly from that job board.
 
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batsenecal

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Good to know! I'm interested in reproduction and would be willing to get my MS. CSU would be super convenient. lol.

usajobs.gov is a major pain in the you know what. You'll spend hours applying and then just get a response of "not referred to the hiring agency", even if you are clearly qualified. Personally, I prefer
Texas A&M job board for wildlife jobs searches/applying. They have internships, seasonal positions, full time, and graduate assistantships listed on there. Most if not all of my wildlife experience has been directly from that job board.
I love school job boards.
 
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Oh my goodness, I stopped getting reply emails so I thought this thread went dead, but it definitely hasn't, which is good for me lol

As far as veterinary branches goes, to clear up confusion because I didn't really explain that well, sorry about that :) my top pick is zoo/wildlife, but i could also see myself being happy if I specialize in things like research, nutrition, diagnostics,surgery, and perhaps even FA and exotic pets (birds, snakes, etc). Of course, in veterinary school I would be dealing mostly with dogs and cats, and I understand that, I just don't want to do it as a living afterwards for longer than a year or two if possible. The only problem is that I don't think I would know for sure what branch (or even MS degree if I decide vet school is a no-go) I would really enjoy unless I got experience in it, and I feel that internships in these areas are very lacking, if nonexistent, in quantity (especially ones that provide housing, which is a must for me). But I will check out more college job boards and see if I can find something!

I'll second (or third) that you can go to veterinary school without ever wanting to be a small animal clinical practitioner. Just be sure to have backups. In my case, I started interested in pathology, but switched into public health.


I like this. Additionally, several states have loan-repayment options for students who want to work in rural areas or food animal medicine. More info at https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Pages/State-veterinary-loan-repayment-programs.aspx#ok

OP, what are your thoughts on large animal medicine?
I'm not sure about LA, but I think I would prefer it over SA. I've worked with livestock before, and strangely enough I liked dealing with cattle over dogs and cats, but I don't think I have enough experience on the veterinary side of it to make an informed opinion on specializing in it.

I got my MS in Assisted Reproductive Technology. I took a whole lot of repro classes including an awesome comparitive one where researchers from many different species came in and talked about what makes their species unique, ie adaptations that need work around in conservation, and where current research and ART techniques are now... I actually made a suggestion to an amphibian researcher in South America that they are going to try (based on techniques I saw in a zoo internship)!

About 50% of our time was spent in the IVF lab working with gametes and embryos. Many of my classmates are out getting jobs right now for about $50-$75,000 per year as a starting salary.

Warning: The wildlife jobs are tougher to find and often pay less, but, if you like deer, there is an embryologist position open in TX for about $60,000...
Now, that right there sounds like a really, really cool job/degree to say the least. I've been trying to find opportunities to learn more about it and haven't found much, but i'm going to keep searching :) I'll definitely have to check out CSU's website on their MS programs too.
 

LadyOtheFarm

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If anybody wants the link info, they made me do a whole video promoting the program, I could definitely send you to at least the main page. Just pm me. Gotta keep the competition down a little in case I don't get into vet school and have to go work in an IVF lab. ;)

Most of the current students are bovine repro based, but the program is designed for people that want to go into human IVF or wildlife conservation as well. My year, I was in the minority as an animal path, but our advisor is the one who just released Bison onto Soapstone prairie and she has a ton of contacts since the original lab head is a very very big name in ivf and repro.
 

hazelmoo

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If anybody wants the link info, they made me do a whole video promoting the program, I could definitely send you to at least the main page. Just pm me. Gotta keep the competition down a little in case I don't get into vet school and have to go work in an IVF lab. ;)

Most of the current students are bovine repro based, but the program is designed for people that want to go into human IVF or wildlife conservation as well. My year, I was in the minority as an animal path, but our advisor is the one who just released Bison onto Soapstone prairie and she has a ton of contacts since the original lab head is a very very big name in ivf and repro.
You'll get in!!!
 
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katashark

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Thanks! I have hope, but it's been a long road and I know my direct competition for the exact PhD spot. At least 2 of them are young and shiny...

Here's to hoping the adcom isn't made of untreated ADHD crows!
Young and shiny is overrated
 
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