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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
    So how many large animal vet schools are there left in the US? I know a lot of people go outside the US and I know of three or four in the US.
    What do you mean? Every vet school has both large and small animal education and clinicals.
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--



  2. #22
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    I thought they were focused on small animals these days since that's what most applicants want to do and I don't hear much about large animal vet programs except from a few universities.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  3. #23
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    This article is what I've been trying to articulate to people for a while now.

    I was admitted to veterinary school and due to medical reasons, withdrew. Now, at a pass, I am sitting trying to evaluate whether or not to return.

    I am carrying a decent amount of debt from my undergraduate and graduate loans and would add another 100k or so for the vet school loans.

    However, I have kept in close touch with quite a few classmates and have heard and discussed their struggles. One graduated last May and found a job around Thanksgiving for almost what I make now.

    I just don't know if I could subject my husband to that much more debt (and stress for 4 years, etc) for little financial benefit. Yes, I would love my job, but...

    I am still contemplating. I am hoping that there ends up being some sort of financial break or realization soon. If I do go back, it's for lab medicine. Better hours, your clients pay their bills, and don't have people trying to guilt trip you into giving away free services every five minutes.

    Lex--they all have LA programs. Some make you take both LA & SA coursework and rotations to graduate (more of a balance). Others let you specialize early on. Depends on the university & program.



  4. #24
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    Having been a vet now for almost 30 yrs and having done most every part of vet med there is to do. I have not only my DVM, but also completed a master's degree after that, did 2 residencies, and got board certified in one of those specialties. I have worked in 1 man rural mixed practices, in 5 different universities, in multi-veterinarian specialty referral practices. And everything in between. I have worked in rural towns of WV with only 1 stop light and downtown D.C, on both coasts, and in several countries. I don't think there is a species I haven't done, though there are now a lot I don't want to do any more. I have laid on my belly in the mud and the rain and pulled calves out or pushed uteruses back in cows. And have done cutting edge procedures.
    I have been self employed in private practice (equine), done relief work, taught in 3 universities and 1 technician program, have been a "regular" employee in "regular" veterinary small animal practice with regular 8-5 hours, have worked nights at emergency practices, etc.

    I did not have a huge debt by any means compared today's new grads. And it still took me what seemed like forever to pay it off.

    I am obviously pretty well educated, probably better than your average practicing vet if I can be so bold as to make that statement about myself. Yet I make less per hour than any of us here pay for a 1 hr lesson (or even 45 min lesson).

    I work, on average, 14-15 hour days. No lunch breaks. No paid vacation. No paid sick days. No 401K, etc. I do have a flexible schedule, which is the trade off. But the days I take off for my horse stuff, I do knowing I am not getting paid.

    For a normal veterinarian to "earn their keep", ie earn their salary, they must generate at least 5 times what they are paid. Ie, if you get a $100 bill from your vet, less than $20 of that goes to the vet. The rest goes to pay overhead.

    I love my job. But I don't know that if I had to do it again, knowing what I know now, that I would do it again.


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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
    I thought they were focused on small animals these days since that's what most applicants want to do and I don't hear much about large animal vet programs except from a few universities.
    All of the traditional veterinary schools have large and small animal medicine, but their caseloads in LA are way down with the economy. The DVM is still as of now a broad degree and students have to do a certain amount of LA and SA medicine to graduate and pass boards.

    Students are choosing to go into SA because they might actually be able to make a living in SA and not have to be on call 24/7 since there are more and more emergency clinics popping up. Even people that want to be LA going to school often switch. And then there are students that graduate and want to do LA but can't find a job that will pay them enough to pay their loans, or can't find a job near where they want to live etc. The job market for LA vets is so bad right now that I know board certified specialists that have switched to doing SA or are not practicing medicine.

    Ugh.

    That article is a must read - I don't know that I can recommend vet school to students that would have to take out loans to pay for it. And that's sad to me, because I graduated almost 15 years ago and I love what I do....



  6. #26
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    The waning LA caseloads as alluded to above is a real problem for many schools. My alma mater, NCSU, has circumvented that by their TAU (Teaching Animal Unit) herds--NCSU keeps a running herd of horses, beef and dairy cattle, goats (used to be diary, now only meat), sheep, pigs, and poultry. Students are involved in husbandry and veterinary care for these herds all through school, regardless if they plan to practice SA or LA medicine. AFAIK, it's the only school with a TAU like this.
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.



  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by animaldoc View Post

    That article is a must read - I don't know that I can recommend vet school to students that would have to take out loans to pay for it. And that's sad to me, because I graduated almost 15 years ago and I love what I do....

    *sings* I'm not listening.
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--



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