Monday, November 5, 2012

The best laid plans of mice and men... (Looking into the future of vet med)

In recent months, I've explored other aspects of the veterinary profession besides what they do, and I can say that what I've found is depressing. It already seems nearly impossible to get in to vet school, and on top of that you throw in the fact that after you graduate, you may not have a job?! More vet schools are starting up, which sounds good for a prospective veterinary student, but when I read what others (fellow bloggers, veterinary news articles, etc.) I realize that new vet schools are just adding to the problem of too many vets, not enough work, not enough money. I'm terrified for me and for Doom... He trusts me enough to say he'll follow me wherever I go, with whatever I'll do, but that just places more responsibility on my shoulders. I don't want to drag him down. I've read that an appropriate amount of school debt should be as much as your starting salary after graduation, but with vet students graduating on average with ~140,000+ in debt, with starting salaries of ~60,000, I must say I'm scared! And I don't think I'm overreacting either.
I'm reaching the point of my life where there is no one that can say, "Just do this and this and that, and you'll be fine." I have to make decisions on my own, do my own research, pick the path of my own future.
Right now, I've got a plan, but you know what they say, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."
This semester, I've made the decision to apply the summer of my senior year instead of this upcoming summer (of junior year) which means I'll be adding another 2 semesters of classes while I apply. I'm hoping this will give me more time to take some good, upper-division bio classes, as well as raise my GPA and hopefully get into some research! But it was a scary decision to make. I'm a pretty indecisive person to begin with, but now that I feel like each decision will haunt me for the rest of my adult life... I can barely think straight.
My friends are encouraging and supportive of course, but somehow, when it comes to your own future, "Follow your dreams" doesn't sound like a good enough answer. But since I don't have a crystal ball, to some extent I do just have to close my eyes and leap...

Some insightful links...
And related blogs that I follow...
And I found this since I'm interested in large animals...


  1. Yeah I have similar concerns but to a lesser degree. Dog trainers/behaviorists don't get paid very well either, but with so many voodoo shows cropping up there's plenty of bad mannered out of control dogs to give me work even if I don't get much money out of it. But I also know that I couldn't do anything other than my dream and be happy. What about going into specialties like canine dermatologist just for example. I can't say what your dream is but there are always the lesser known and rarer specialty fields!

  2. Honestly, I'm 2 and some odd months into this education, and I'm still having doubts. It definitely can be done, but shouldering a heap of debt onto your shoulders is terrifying. Especially when there's so much going against us. Not only are new vet schools posing a problem, but the existing vet schools have added 20 to 30% more to their class size, so they're graduating more vets per class than before. All these vets being foisted onto the world and we've got nowhere to go.

    Keep doing the research on it. You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders and you're in the right frame of mind (hopeful but realistic) about everything, which is more than a good deal of people trying to get into vet med. If it's what you want and you can't imaging life without being a vet, it. Plenty of people find ways to manage a degree without graduating $140,000+ in debt. :)