Cornish

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Since I've been asked this a few times now and don't really know what to say (I am a women, btw), why do you think there are so many more women in vet school than men? I know that 30 or so years ago being a vet was "mans" job and there were few women even allowed in, but now that its been opened up to women, whats with the dramatic swtich? Why is this not something men seem to want to do much anymore? Obviously there are men, I'm not saying NO men want to do it anymore, but there are just soooo many more women and I can't pintpoint why.
 
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there are many factors involved and articles on this you can look up. I for one, am glad that most of my class is female. The less testosterone-driven posturing going on around me, the better. :) I am male btw.
 

HopefulAg

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In general, women study more and thus make better grades, and are more affable in interviews.

Then there's the psychological approach which I won't cover because I don't know enough about the specifics of how much each facet comes into play (things like liking animals now-a-days being associated as 'girly').
 

parietal

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I also think the relatively low salaries are an issue. There may be more pressure on men interested in medical fields to go into human medicine or dentistry where the salaries are much higher. (Female here.)
 

HopefulAg

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No, but when compared to their male counterparts, it makes a difference.

You gotta look at what caused more women applying to vet school to find the root. And my guess for that is shift in mentality towards small animals and pets in general. Moving away from large animals being the predominantly cared for animals.

The GPA/people skills just solidify them into the position.


Also if you look back 40 years (20 years ago the shift began happening, you generally start applying when you're in your 20s, so 40 years total) and that's the era of women's rights and being more independent yes? So the first group of women on the cusp would've been raised in the era and the mentality probably lent itself towards making being a vet more palpable to women, and thus the field started shifting.
 

chordy4

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I would say it also has to do with the dynamics of veterinary careers nowadays.

Thirty plus years ago, I believe the predominant jobs veterinarians were going for were large animal/equine related. Due to some of the aspects of this sort of career and thinking of the time, it was viewed as much more of a man's field, and something women weren't really capable of doing.
 

JosephKnechtDVM

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It is mainly due to the greater money you can make with the other fields like dentistry or medicine. Even nurse anesthetists have over 40% male population due to the average of over $150,000 you can make with nursing degree and then a masters in anesthesia. Physician assistants have about 40% male enrollment with the salaries above veterinary starting salaries but only the cost of the masters degree of about $60,000. Men have figured out a DVM degree has low rate of return compared to what you can earn with it.

Joe
 

frozen_canadian

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Just to add to Joe's comment, I think money is less of a concern among females. Men are still often the primary breadwinner of the family (not always I realize...no flaming!), and as such I think potential salary is much more important to a guy than a girl. MHO.
 

Kat0303

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In general, women study more and thus make better grades, and are more affable in interviews.
I'd be interested to see some source citations on this one...Sort of a blanket statement, but if you have some data that supports it you should share. I'm not sure I buy that "women study more". (female here, btw)
 

crittergal

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Somewhat OT but... I had a conversation with my 90 year old grandmother three days ago. I was discussing my excitement about learning large animal medicine and she was floored. She assumed that the women vets worked on the dogs and cats but the large animals were left to the men. After all, that's a man's job. :bang:

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, we had an awesome conversation about the shift in gender roles during her lifetime. She's my biggest supporter and meant no offense, but seriously??
 

No Imagination

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I know that 30 or so years ago being a vet was "mans" job and there were few women even allowed in
Huhh?!

I have to disagree with a lot of the responses, as I do not believe it has anything to do with a womens ability to "get in" via grades or being more 'personable'. When I was going through the app cycle, I looked up quite a few statistics, and the one I remember (didn't see data from all vet schools), but it seems like the man:women ratio who apply roughly matched the ratio of those who got accepted.

Would love to see some stats that say otherwise.
 

BlacKAT33

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I'd be interested to see some source citations on this one...Sort of a blanket statement, but if you have some data that supports it you should share. I'm not sure I buy that "women study more". (female here, btw)
ya me too. i think it was just hopefulag's opinion. i def study less than most of my guy friends. im not a genius, i just dont like to study. this habit will have to change now!
 

HopefulAg

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No I've been told that by three adcom members. Now whether it's their opinion, I can't comment on that.
 

Jamr0ckin

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I, too, think it has to do with the dynamics of the profession. Vet med has shifted to more companion animal. Society has come around to utilizing the veterinarian for their small animals. As our food animal industry has changed, the perception of the veterinarian has changed. All these things influence the applicant pool, and have caused a slow and steady shift in male/female ratio. I personally think its a shame. Being a vet is not feminine, even if he/she is primarily small animal. I hope the future brings a more balanced ratio.
 

Nephromaniac

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I have to disagree with a lot of the responses, as I do not believe it has anything to do with a womens ability to "get in" via grades or being more 'personable'. When I was going through the app cycle, I looked up quite a few statistics, and the one I remember (didn't see data from all vet schools), but it seems like the man:women ratio who apply roughly matched the ratio of those who got accepted.
This supports what I've found & been told as well... The disproportion seems to be related to the fact that less men are applying, moreso than that women have a better chance of getting in. As to why that is, I think people have touched on some really good possibilities already - income, public perception, etc. And I'll definitely agree that I (another female) wish we were a bit more evened out, lol... Come on guys! Too much estrogen in one room for 4 years!
 

JosephKnechtDVM

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I will answer for the men. Veterinary school costs too much, pays too little (with salaries stagnant or falling) and offers poor opportunities for the future relative to other educational investments in the healthcare field. I know of one married veterinary couple who sold their practice so the male veterinarian could become a dentist because of the money. He is probably now making more money than the both of them made in veterinary practice together. Caring for animals is important but it must be profitable to make the investment in education worthwhile. The only way to make a good living as a veterinarian( according to NCVEI) is to own a clinic of which there are too many already.
 
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I think there might be a much less sexist reason than women being more collegial or studious than men, or the stereotype that all women love cuddly little puppies & kitties. It could just be that when the profession opened to women, many women who had wanted to be vets but previously felt that they couldn't flooded in. This flooding reversed the gender balance, and what had previously been perceived as a male career began to be perceived as a female career. I personally find this hypothesis of the trend-fueled sea change to be the most convincing, as it makes the least assumptions about the applicants based on gender stereotypes.
 

Nexx

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There is indeed a less sexist reason, and one where cost isn't a concern...

It's a reflection of university in general. Since at least 2002 its been reported that more women are entering university, performing better, and getting out quicker than their male counterparts.

I think it's been reported that a good number of schools are now approaching the 60:40 ratio.

This continues on into most grad schools (outside of engineering and architecture, likely) and is probably enhanced in vet schools that have low class numbers and select students that are high-performing, motivated individuals who have high GPAs, have done a fair bit of work in the field, and have a level-head.
 

Ben and Me

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There is indeed a less sexist reason, and one where cost isn't a concern...

It's a reflection of university in general. Since at least 2002 its been reported that more women are entering university, performing better, and getting out quicker than their male counterparts.
But, from what I understand (from my mom, who is on a committee at a local university that has a huge gender discrepancy and has studied this), this gender gap in "regular" undergrad is also due to sexist reasons.

The traditionally "male" fields that do not require a college degree all pay fairly well - auto mechanic, plumber, etc. The traditionally "female" fields that don't require a college degree do not pay as well, so women choose to go to college to get a better-paying job. Men have more (socially accepted, common and better paying) jobs available after high school than women, so they don't feel a need to continue with their education. Of course women can go off and be plumbers and auto mechanics, but it still isn't the "norm" for our society.

The above college has a pretty large gender gap (~60% female) but that gender gap matches the proportion of female:male applicants. Most schools that don't have a gender gap (our other major area university, for example) tend to have big agriculture or engineering programs that draw men in...and those programs have the opposite gender disparity!

Anyway, not really related to veterinary medicine per se, but I thought it was an interesting insight.

As for why in veterinary medicine: I agree with everyone! I think it has a lot to do with salary, the shift towards companion animal medicine and the gender disparity in undergrad. Medical school and dental school are both seeing increased (even a slight majority?) percentages of females in their classes.

Edited to add - Just checked out 2 medical schools - UPenn is still 55% male, but the Class of 2013 at UNC is 60% female!
 
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sumstorm

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The traditionally "male" fields that do not require a college degree all pay fairly well - auto mechanic, plumber, etc. The traditionally "female" fields that don't require a college degree do not pay as well, so women choose to go to college to get a better-paying job. Men have more (socially accepted, common and better paying) jobs available after high school than women, so they don't feel a need to continue with their education. Of course women can go off and be plumbers and auto mechanics, but it still isn't the "norm" for our society.
Yeah, I made more as a welder than I did with my BA. And many traditionally female fields in the US do now require degrees (nursing) while many traditional male fields don't (welding)...and we are seeing more men entering nursing, particularly with the ability to pursue anesthesia/surgery etc that make higher income:hungover:ebt ratio.

My understanding is that for cost inputs to earning ability, nursing is still a great field to enter. I admire those who can handle it.
 
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In past century women was not given more freedom to work and study in this century women have got a highest ration by proving that yes we can do better then a men and that's what the world is waiting for the women to raise up and up....What say?

Last time I checked, true feminism is about equality, not superiority.
 

Braki

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At my school, our class of 79 only has 8 males. We have been told that those numbers do reflect the gender ratio of applications. I'm sure the shift towards small animal does have something to do with it, but our class is roughly 40% mixed practice, 30% small animal, and 20% equine, with the other 10% spread out among the other different types of careers.

I do agree with Nexx that it seems there are just more females entering and graduating college. We had a conference back in September between all the different interprofessional students at the university. We had students from vet med, medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy, pharmacy, and nutrition. I asked the students, and in every single class, there are more females than males. Although vet med is certainly an extreme side of this, it's not really limited to just us anymore.
 

sumstorm

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Last time I checked, true feminism is about equality, not superiority.
I agree it is about equality, but that doens't mean that women in male dominated fields aren't having to go well above/beyond to prove their mettle, at least that has been my experience in welding, security, and on the E. fishing fleet. I may want equality, but I've had to prove superiority in several fields to even have a chance at equality.
 
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I agree it is about equality, but that doens't mean that women in male dominated fields aren't having to go well above/beyond to prove their mettle, at least that has been my experience in welding, security, and on the E. fishing fleet. I may want equality, but I've had to prove superiority in several fields to even have a chance at equality.
Oh, I agree with you about having to put forth increased effort in certain fields. It was just the tone of the quote that made me raise an eyebrow.
 

sumstorm

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i feel like the answer is pretty basic: title IX

pet peeve is how few female students know how vital that act is.
 

gambit78

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it has to be due to the switch of large/equine/farm animal studies to of smaller animals...I really don't think it is due to lower salaries. Pharmacists hold the one of the highest salaries for an undergraduate (well, PharmD now) degree and it is now a higher-women-to-men ratio. In my pharm. class it was around 70% women. They attributed that to better/flexible schedules---making 50,000/yr doing part-time pharmacy floater work? Very suitable for moms.
 

odieoh

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My ration of women seems to have decreased dramatically ever since I got married. Could it be related?

In past century women was not given more freedom to work and study in this century women have got a highest ration by proving that yes we can do better then a men and that's what the world is waiting for the women to raise up and up.... What say?
I say that in the past century sum womenz was given sum chances to study there grammarz and sum of them didn't and we is waiting for them to rise up and do so.
 
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I agree (with the "why?"). The ratio of men to women in large animal stuff was still in favor of women in my class - the men by no means dominated the field. If all the men did large and all the women did small, I could see a number difference. But it's spread out everywhere.

There are more women in *every* sub-category of vet med.

The issue is more that increasing numbers of women pursing college and professional degrees, IMO. Research shows they are outstripping men in MANY areas number-wise, even the usually male-dominated fields are seeing more women.
 

StartingoverVet

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There are more women in *every* sub-category of vet med.

The issue is more that increasing numbers of women pursing college and professional degrees, IMO. Research shows they are outstripping men in MANY areas number-wise, even the usually male-dominated fields are seeing more women.
That would only make sense as an explanation if the female:male ratio was similar across professional programs. It is not. Vet med is particularly skewed, so there is clearly a reason why more women choose vet med over other professional fields more frequently than men do.

My guess is the answer lies on the male side and really has little to do with women (he he).. Why do so few men choose vet med?

I would guess the answer to my question is that there is now something emasculating about vet med. Similar to why few men choose nursing. The combination of low pay and having to be seen as a "caring" person is probably just too much for some guys' fragile self-esteem.
 
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That would only make sense as an explanation if the female:male ratio was similar across professional programs. It is not. Vet med is particularly skewed, so there is clearly a reason why more women choose vet med over other professional fields more frequently than men do.

What I was saying is that it's not just because of an increase in small animal medicine. I think there are far too many other factors at play to place the 100% of the skew on that, based on my experience.

And there IS an increasing number of women in many fields, including medicine and engineering and everything else. Have they grown at the same *pace* as vet med? No. But I would bet money that a significant contributor may be simple m/f ratios in higher education as a whole. Of course, there are other factors at play too. But more small animal med is likely a very small part, not a huge reason, IMO.
 

HopefulAg

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I would guess the answer to my question is that there is now something emasculating about vet med. Similar to why few men choose nursing. The combination of low pay and having to be seen as a "caring" person is probably just too much for some guys' fragile self-esteem.
I'd buy that argument for the future classes, but those who are in or going in now, I don't think they grew up with the majority of the profession being women, so I don't see how that could make a huge difference.

Or maybe it's an exposure thing. I remember all our vets we took our dogs to growing up were male, so maybe I just didn't make the connection. Perhaps those that only see female vets make that association and thus drop it as a field to pursue, especially when they learn about the lower salary and what not.
 

Bill59

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I would guess the answer to my question is that there is now something emasculating about vet med. Similar to why few men choose nursing. The combination of low pay and having to be seen as a "caring" person is probably just too much for some guys' fragile self-esteem.
Nursing has always been predominately female, at least in recent history. But vetmed has not, it was predominately male. So the question is, what changed?

It's always been low paying compared to MDs, dentists, lawyers and other comparably educated professions. The shift to small animal emphasis started in the 1950s but the gender shift is more recent.
 

JosephKnechtDVM

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Men are relatively rare in nursing and there are some stereotypes involved of course. What is interesting to me is that the nursing anesthetist field has about 1/3 men. I do not know the proportions for other nursing specialties. However, nurse anesthetists can easily make in the mid 100 grand range so that may be a major reason too. I think men definitely put a higher emphasis on the financial rewards in almost any field that they choose to study in college. Another thought is that maybe as the value of a 4 year degree is declining, men are just looking at other educational options that fill their needs better. I know of men going into technical education programs who easily make more money than most 4 yr graduates in non technical fields by the time both graduate. The whole idea of what type of education and what amount is needed in our knowledge based economy is in flux.

Joe
 

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it has to be due to the switch of large/equine/farm animal studies to of smaller animals...I really don't think it is due to lower salaries. Pharmacists hold the one of the highest salaries for an undergraduate (well, PharmD now) degree and it is now a higher-women-to-men ratio. In my pharm. class it was around 70% women. They attributed that to better/flexible schedules---making 50,000/yr doing part-time pharmacy floater work? Very suitable for moms.
That's interesting. There are a large number of students that want to get in to pharmacy school from my university. The ratio of applicants is ~50/50. I personally know more males than females who are trying to get in, but I know that more females than males have been accepted from our school in the last couple of years.

A couple of the males want to go into teaching as a back-up, which is another profession where there has been a shift over the years. Seems that women are more likely to teach at the elementary level while men have been dominating the junior and senior high levels. I think THAT one can be explained by the "woman are more nurturing quote" that was present in another thread :p
 

RadRadTerp

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I would guess the answer to my question is that there is now something emasculating about vet med. Similar to why few men choose nursing. The combination of low pay and having to be seen as a "caring" person is probably just too much for some guys' fragile self-esteem.
I know that coming from a "traditional" family of first-gen immigrants, the male as the breadwinner archetype is particularly strong in my family, and the fact that vet med doesn't earn as much as say engineering is probably a big factor for guys with a background similar to my own. I talked to a high school class about careers in veterinary medicine on Monday and one guy who reminded me of myself (though maybe I was stereotyping other brown people who look like me!) asked about going to vet school after studying engineering in undergrad. I can't say I was surprised he was headed that way. My father has always been pushing me since I was a kid to consider the most lucrative career options to ensure that I have a "comfortable" life after school. It's hard to tell him that I don't care about being rich because it matters to him a lot as part of his view of the American dream.

I'd suspect that the combination of rapidly rising tuition rates and cost of living in urbanized parts of America (that used to be rural and affordable) has decreased the attractiveness of vet med for some people.
 

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Interesting comments on here.

Just read this morning that 50 years ago Texas A&M didn't even admit women. To any program.

Also, IMO advances in sedation have helped tremendously in opening up the large animal practitioner field to women.