Job Title: Veterinarian
Type of Company: I work for a private veterinary hospital.
Education: BS, Biology DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine)
Previous Experience: I have also worked as a veterinary assistant and technician.
Job Tasks: I spend 80% of my time seeing scheduled and emergency appointments for dogs and cats in a private small animal hospital. Some of these appointments are annual check-ups and some are sick pets and emergencies. I also oversee the care of animals who are hospitalized and make referrals to specialists in cardiology, oncology and the like.
About 20% of my time is spent performing anesthetic procedures. Most are scheduled, but occasionally I perform them on an emergency basis. Examples are sterilization surgery, mass removals, and dentistry.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the valuable contribution I feel I make to families in helping take care of their pets. I also feel great value in helping the animals overall. I enjoy educating clients on how they can improve their pets' quality of care or quality of life.
The worst part of my job is when finances limit a person's ability to offer care for a pet. It is always tough when a client has to elect euthanasia for a pet that has a treatable condition because he cannot afford what the animal needs.
1.) make sure you work in the field as an assistant or technician to get a true perspective of what the career really involves. If you don't like people, this isn't the right career.
2.) Do not choose an undergraduate major just to get into veterinary school. Choose what will make you happy and possibly act as a back-up plan if vet school doesn't work out.
3.) Make sure to have other things outside of veterinary medicine in your life, or compassion fatigue and burnout are much more likely.
Additional Thoughts: I love my job every day: really - every day. There are triumphs and failures around every corner, but there is always another opportunity to do better. I think that the more insight you have into the reality of the field, the more you can bring to your education and your career as a doctor.
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