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Hopey_001

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What's something nobody tells you that you really should know when going into vet medicine? What's the greatest challenge being a vet?
 

jmo1012

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What's something nobody tells you that you really should know when going into vet medicine? What's the greatest challenge being a vet?
I think it's not so much that there are things no one tells you, and more that when you are on the entering side, it's hard to listen to the hard truths that people share with you. Rose colored glasses. You think "oh that won't be me, I won't care about those things" or "I won't feel that way, I just adore every minute of this" and then you get a little older, get into the thick of it, get beyond school, and suddenly you realize that the sage advice had some real merit. So listen to the things your mentors are telling you. Don't just hear them and ignore the advice they give.
 
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that redhead

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What's something nobody tells you that you really should know when going into vet medicine? What's the greatest challenge being a vet?

There is a lot of responsibility that you take on as a veterinarian, a level that most people have not experienced in their lives thus far. It's a very sobering thing.

Obviously it can be emotionally draining and it is so important to find outlets outside of not only work but outside of vet med altogether.

Like jmo said, listen to your mentors.
 
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chickenlittle

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I did not realize just how much of small animal GP is sales. People at least in my area, really don't WANT to care for their pets. So instead of educating them, I've really had to shift my perspective to selling them on the importance of care, upselling them on better care, and reaching my clinic's financial targets. Wasn't prepared for that.
 
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Cyndia

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I didn't realize just how bad interest would be on loans..

I always knew that vet school would be bad financially and that I would be facing a heck of a lot of loans, but it wasn't until I started vet school and did some of the example loan repayment calculations that I realized my loan payments won't even touch my principal amount because of how high my interest rates ended up being (they were like 6-7%, as I also had to take out grad plus loans since I'm OOS and am not getting any help from family). So my interest is climbing like crazy, even during vet school. It's just a little more depressing than I thought it would be - I don't think it would have changed my plans overall since I do really love the profession and hope to own my practice which may make it a little easier to pay off my loans, but I wish I had been a little more aware of that and probably would have tried harder to go IS.
 
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epivetlove

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I didn't realize just how bad interest would be on loans..

I always knew that vet school would be bad financially and that I would be facing a heck of a lot of loans, but it wasn't until I started vet school and did some of the example loan repayment calculations that I realized my loan payments won't even touch my principal amount because of how high my interest rates ended up being (they were like 6-7%, as I also had to take out grad plus loans since I'm OOS and am not getting any help from family). So my interest is climbing like crazy, even during vet school. It's just a little more depressing than I thought it would be - I don't think it would have changed my plans overall since I do really love the profession and hope to own my practice which may make it a little easier to pay off my loans, but I wish I had been a little more aware of that and probably would have tried harder to go IS.

This. So much this. And I'm IS with no previous loans before starting vet school and I still can't believe how much I've spent and how much interest has accrued already. I have many classmates who have participated in summer experiences that cost $8k-10k in additional loans...and they've told me, "I'm already in a ton of debt, what is 10k more?" Except it's not just 10k... I mean, just because you're already in a hole, doesn't mean you have to keep digging deeper. But maybe that's just me.
 
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pinkpuppy9

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This. So much this. And I'm IS with no previous loans before starting vet school and I still can't believe how much I've spent and how much interest has accrued already. I have many classmates who have participated in summer experiences that cost $8k-10k in additional loans...and they've told me, "I'm already in a ton of debt, what is 10k more?" Except it's not just 10k... I mean, just because you're already in a hole, doesn't mean you have to keep digging deeper. But maybe that's just me.
I have a few friends who are going to Brazil, South Africa, and other places (one girl is going to multiple places). They say the same thing, "what's another $10k?" All of these students are OOS as well. It makes me nervous because those are probably decent opportunities, but at the same time, I don't need to spend thousands of dollars so I can hand out at a Brazilian vet school on their zoo med service for two weeks.

And here I am, guilting myself for getting takeout once a week.
 
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I didn't realize just how bad interest would be on loans..

I always knew that vet school would be bad financially and that I would be facing a heck of a lot of loans, but it wasn't until I started vet school and did some of the example loan repayment calculations that I realized my loan payments won't even touch my principal amount because of how high my interest rates ended up being (they were like 6-7%, as I also had to take out grad plus loans since I'm OOS and am not getting any help from family). So my interest is climbing like crazy, even during vet school. It's just a little more depressing than I thought it would be - I don't think it would have changed my plans overall since I do really love the profession and hope to own my practice which may make it a little easier to pay off my loans, but I wish I had been a little more aware of that and probably would have tried harder to go IS.

This. So much this. And I'm IS with no previous loans before starting vet school and I still can't believe how much I've spent and how much interest has accrued already. I have many classmates who have participated in summer experiences that cost $8k-10k in additional loans...and they've told me, "I'm already in a ton of debt, what is 10k more?" Except it's not just 10k... I mean, just because you're already in a hole, doesn't mean you have to keep digging deeper. But maybe that's just me.
Totally agreed. Looked at my running loan total the other day and wanted to throw up. I'm lucky enough to paying IS rates at one of the cheapest schools for IS tuition, but I have a decent amount of undergrad loans (around $46k). Between my five years of undergrad and one year of vet school, I'm already over $80k in debt including interest. It is really, really scary knowing that that number is only going to continue to increase. I'm just very thankful that I was accepted to a school where I could be considered a resident---I was waitlisted at and eventually accepted to one OOS and one international school that both would have put me at or over $350k total between vet school and undergrad. Even paying IS, I'm still going to be around $200k in the hole.

Pre-vets, seriously, do whatever you reasonably can to get accepted to your IS school (unless it is one of the more expensive ones like UMN, Penn, or Tufts), especially if you have undergrad debt. It can and will make a difference. Unless you're independently wealthy and/or have family paying for your vet school, cost should absolutely be the #1 consideration.
 
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KCgophervet

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Just to play devil's advocate, it is an amazing opportunity to go abroad and participate in those kinds of experiences, and one of the few times it's really feasible to do it is in school. Granted, it's all about weighing the pros and cons, but I've always been one to be willing to spend money on travel and experiences over a lot of other things. I went on a trip abroad between my 2nd and 3rd year of vet school with a bunch of my classmates to Costa Rica on a spay/neuter/wellness trip and do not regret a single second of it. We did a lot of fundraising ahead of time and applied for a grant from the school, so our overall costs were probably less than $1k each, which to me was totally worth it. I also worked the rest of the summer and 1-2 jobs during vet school and also rarely ate out. Shrug.

I also spent $5K in savings on a 7 week European backpacking trip the summer before vet school (and quit my job early to do it) so maybe I'm not the best one to take advice on this from, but again don't regret that trip in the slightest. Life is about experiences.
 
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Cephal0pod

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I have a few friends who are going to Brazil, South Africa, and other places (one girl is going to multiple places). They say the same thing, "what's another $10k?" All of these students are OOS as well. It makes me nervous because those are probably decent opportunities, but at the same time, I don't need to spend thousands of dollars so I can hand out at a Brazilian vet school on their zoo med service for two weeks.

And here I am, guilting myself for getting takeout once a week.

Yes, yes, yes.

There is one study abroad experience at my school that I would like to do, but I'm not sure it's worth 6.5k more in the hole before interest.

I also came into vet school with no undergrad loans and am attending my IS school. Will still end up with somewhere in the neighborhood of 170k before interest.

The YOLO-esque attitude some people have about loans is quite scary to me.
 

pinkpuppy9

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Just to play devil's advocate, it is an amazing opportunity to go abroad and participate in those kinds of experiences, and one of the few times it's really feasible to do it is in school. Granted, it's all about weighing the pros and cons, but I've always been one to be willing to spend money on travel and experiences over a lot of other things. I went on a trip abroad between my 2nd and 3rd year of vet school with a bunch of my classmates to Costa Rica on a spay/neuter/wellness trip and do not regret a single second of it. We did a lot of fundraising ahead of time and applied for a grant from the school, so our overall costs were probably less than $1k each, which to me was totally worth it. I also worked the rest of the summer and 1-2 jobs during vet school and also rarely ate out. Shrug.

I also spent $5K in savings on a 7 week European backpacking trip the summer before vet school (and quit my job early to do it) so maybe I'm not the best one to take advice on this from, but again don't regret that trip in the slightest. Life is about experiences.
Don't get me wrong, I agree, to an extent. My MarVet trip cost me roughly $2000 (that wiped out what savings I had left), and IMO sounds like a better trip in terms of relative career experience than the $10k+ Africa trip sounds like, or spending two weeks shadowing in Brazil. Some of these trips are still a whole lot of eco-tourism, which is why I tend to pass up on some of them. The spay/neuter trips sound awesome, though. Several of my classmates went to Nicaragua over break and had a great time and learned a lot.

I don't regret my Paris trip last year, but we also did that so cheap it was practically a crime given the hotel we stayed at and how it was a five minute walk from the tower. However, now that I can say I'm living off 100% loans since I'm flat broke otherwise, I really am not about to drop $10k or more on a glamour trip (I'm not referring to spay/neuter trips...just some other trips classmates are going on that I read about and passed on).

Edit: I mean I desperately wanted to go do my undergrad's Africa study abroad. I wanted to go so badly. I didn't, saved $15k, and I don't know that I'm and worse off for it. I don't think someone who went to Africa on a veterinary trip and got to take pictures with an anesthetized animal and draw their blood during an exam is going to have a leg up on me, when I can do the same thing during an externship, you know? Maybe some of those experiences are truly better learning opportunities than what you could get in the States, but I doubt it.
 

Filly Bay

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Studying abroad is definitely worth it to me. Spent several thousand to spend a summer at a vet school in Japan. One of the most amazing experiences of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
 
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battie

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I had to get tires for my truck last month, on top of Christmas spending. I about died when I looked at how much I spent last month.

There are people in my class that go to Einstein's/Starbucks every day or are planning on going to the class ski trip spiking in at $200 for the weekend. I'd rather save that money for the SAVMA trip or for my friends' wedding in April (now during midterms week ).
 

LetItSnow

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I had to get tires for my truck last month, on top of Christmas spending. I about died when I looked at how much I spent last month.

There are people in my class that go to Einstein's/Starbucks every day or are planning on going to the class ski trip spiking in at $200 for the weekend. I'd rather save that money for the SAVMA trip or for my friends' wedding in April (now during midterms week ).

Well.

Decompressing can be pretty important in vet school, too.

I mean, I agree that saving money and reducing stress is super important. But ... I wouldn't be too judgmental of what people are doing. It's their business. And it's hard to know what arrangements they made... maybe they are in that 10% of vet students who don't have debt. Maybe they have family support. Maybe they worked extra hours to pay for it. Maybe they have an SO who covered it. *shrug*
 
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battie

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Well.

Decompressing can be pretty important in vet school, too.

I mean, I agree that saving money and reducing stress is super important. But ... I wouldn't be too judgmental of what people are doing. It's their business. And it's hard to know what arrangements they made... maybe they are in that 10% of vet students who don't have debt. Maybe they have family support. Maybe they worked extra hours to pay for it. Maybe they have an SO who covered it. *shrug*

I get that decompressing is important. And there's certainly a chunk of people who have said they're getting a decent amount of help from family. I guess I'm just frustrated that people in the class keep suggesting big class trips for our class get togethers over small things; what's wrong with a Star Wars marathon in our biggest lecture hall or something that'll be 5$?
 

pinkpuppy9

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I get that decompressing is important. And there's certainly a chunk of people who have said they're getting a decent amount of help from family. I guess I'm just frustrated that people in the class keep suggesting big class trips for our class get togethers over small things; what's wrong with a Star Wars marathon in our biggest lecture hall or something that'll be 5$?
I think a lot if it is wanting to get out of Chambana, lol.
 

LetItSnow

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what's wrong with a Star Wars marathon in our biggest lecture hall or something that'll be 5$?

Nothing! Organize it! :)

(Statistically, last time I checked, 10% of vet students have no debt upon graduation. Every time you read one of those "average $160k debt on graduation" that number is <OF STUDENTS WHO HAVE DEBT>. It excludes those that don't. I always remember being shocked that 10% don't have any. More people than I thought, I guess, had family covering the tab?)
 

pinkpuppy9

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Nothing! Organize it! :)

(Statistically, last time I checked, 10% of vet students have no debt upon graduation. Every time you read one of those "average $160k debt on graduation" that number is <OF STUDENTS WHO HAVE DEBT>. It excludes those that don't. I always remember being shocked that 10% don't have any. More people than I thought, I guess, had family covering the tab?)
I've been surprised to hear how many of my classmates are having their tuition covered by their parents as well. I'm not judging, it's not my business and they're lucky their parents are in that position. I also know of students whose parents are just paying off their interest while their kid is in school, covering 50%, etc. Even just covering room and board would be a burden lifted. I didn't think so many families would be able to cover costs like this (when I say "so many," it's really like the handful of people I know that are open about their support). I used to think 100% of vet students would have to take loans out.
 

battie

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Nothing! Organize it! :)

(Statistically, last time I checked, 10% of vet students have no debt upon graduation. Every time you read one of those "average $160k debt on graduation" that number is <OF STUDENTS WHO HAVE DEBT>. It excludes those that don't. I always remember being shocked that 10% don't have any. More people than I thought, I guess, had family covering the tab?)

I'm also thinking a karaoke night. lol.

I've been surprised to hear how many of my classmates are having their tuition covered by their parents as well. I'm not judging, it's not my business and they're lucky their parents are in that position. I also know of students whose parents are just paying off their interest while their kid is in school, covering 50%, etc. Even just covering room and board would be a burden lifted. I didn't think so many families would be able to cover costs like this (when I say "so many," it's really like the handful of people I know that are open about their support). I used to think 100% of vet students would have to take loans out.

I'm fortunate enough my great-grandpa left his stuff to the great-grandkids to use for either medical emergencies or school. He's paid for this year. I also graduated undergrad without debt. But I'll still have 225K when it's all said and done. I honestly don't think I would have gone to vet med if I hadn't had that year of help from the old man.
 

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Our Open House was last weekend, and a parent of a prospective student (out of state) asked how I am paying for school/ handling the debt. I was honest and told him & the applicant that if in state is an option, then there is no good argument for out of state. Probably not what they were hoping to hear, but it's true.
 
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