Why are vets so important?
Today’s veterinarians are the only doctors educated to protect the health of both animals and people. They work hard to address the health and welfare needs of every species of animal. Veterinarians also play critical roles in environmental protection, research, food safety, and public health.
Protecting the health of animals and society
Employment opportunities for veterinarians include such diverse areas as clinical practice, teaching and research, regulatory medicine, public health, and the uniformed services.
Private or corporate clinical practice
In the United States, approximately two-thirds of veterinarians work in private or corporate clinical practice, providing veterinary care for a wide range of species. Many treat only traditional or exotic pets such as dogs, cats, birds, small mammals (e.g., hamsters, guinea pigs), reptiles, and fish. Some veterinarians exclusively treat horses. Others treat a combination of species. Some veterinarians limit their practice to the care of farm/ranch animals and advise owners on production medicine and protecting our nation’s food supply from farm to fork.
Teaching and research
Veterinarians in academia instruct veterinary students, veterinary technology students, other medical professionals, and scientists. Veterinary college faculty members conduct research, teach, provide care for animals in the veterinary teaching hospital, and develop continuing education programs to help practicing veterinarians acquire new knowledge and skills.
Research veterinarians employed at universities, colleges, governmental agencies, or in industry are finding new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent animal and human health disorders. These veterinarians have made many important contributions to human health. For example, veterinarians made discoveries that helped control malaria and yellow fever, solved the mystery of botulism, produced an anticoagulant used to treat some people with heart disease, and identified the cause of West Nile virus infection. They also developed and refined techniques such as permanent artificial limbs and new treatments for joint disease and broken bones.
Veterinarians just have a way with words
Pet owners trust their veterinarians when it comes to maintaining the health and well-being of their pets. Why? Veterinarians know their stuff! Whether diagnosing sick animals, recommending important treatments, or explaining complicated medical conditions—veterinarians pull from their extensive knowledge and experience to ensure the best patient outcomes possible. Plus, they keep it simple so the average pet owner can understand and remember important information.
Veterinarians truly want what’s best for the pet
Thanks to the breadth of their expertise, veterinarians can use their extensive knowledge of animal medicine to plot the most effective, budget-friendly methods of treatment for sick and injured patients. Although maintaining pet health is a business, veterinarians make the effort to truly prioritize the well-being of pets and their owners during every visit—and beyond.
Veterinarians go out of their way to help minimize stress for their patients
Out of kindness and consideration for each individual pet, Veterinarians know that not all patients will react positively when on the exam table. As such, they are respectful of making any necessary accommodations to ensure the visit is as painless as possible for pets and pet owners alike.
Are you suited to be a veterinarian?
Veterinarians have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also realistic, meaning they’re independent, stable, persistent, genuine, practical, and thrifty.
What is the workplace of a Veterinarian like?
Small animal veterinarians typically work in veterinary clinics or veterinary hospitals, or both. Large animal veterinarians often spend more time traveling to see their patients at the primary facilities which house them (zoos, farms, etc).
As opposed to a human doctor’s office, which only has exam rooms, a veterinarian’s office is more like a hospital with a full pharmacy. Waiting rooms are available often with separate areas for dogs, cats, and exotics.
Reasons to Become a Veterinarian
Veterinary medicine is one of the animal careers that can offer a high-paying salary, though you do have to take into consideration all the educational costs of obtaining that coveted DVM degree. Veterinarians earn a median salary of $89,000 as of early 2019, with a salary range between $50,000 and $200,000 per year. Those with additional specialty training or board certifications can earn even higher salaries.
Vets get to meet many members of the community by virtue of seeing their animals for appointments and emergencies. They also have opportunities to educate and advise owners about a variety of important health issues, such as spay/neuter programs and proper nutrition for their animals.
Some detective work must be done to evaluate each case, and a key trait of a veterinarian is that they enjoy this challenge. The animal obviously can’t explain what is bothering them, so you’ll have to figure things out based on the physical exam, lab tests, and owner comments.
Veterinarians never stop learning new things. Continuing education hours are required to renew your license to practice medicine, and most vets want to learn new techniques and innovations even when there is no official requirement.
The industry constantly evolves, and it is important to keep up with the latest developments so you can provide the best possible care to your clients. Vets can pursue board certification in a host of specialty areas that require a great deal of additional training and hands-on experience.
While you may start out working for an established clinic, you have the option of starting your own practice, perhaps even a mobile practice, which greatly reduces startup costs. You can become a partner in an established clinic if they are looking to expand or if other vets are planning to retire. Most vets have a degree of flexibility in their schedules, particularly as they become more established.