My Decision Not to Become a Veterinarian
Why I like vets but would never want to be one – anymore.
When I was younger I thought I would love nothing more than to be a veterinarian, not a vet that cares so well for our dogs, cats and other family pets, but a large animal vet, to be more specific, I wanted to specialize in horses and breeding, becoming a veterinarian seemed like a natural choice for me.
You may ask why I didn’t pursue my dreams of becoming a veterinarian? To be completely honest my younger self did not believe I could handle the years of schooling, nor could I at that time, afford the financial costs involved.
Up until the past several years I wondered how my life would have been different if I had pursued the dream of becoming a veterinarian. Instead of living in the city maybe I would be living on a farm surrounded by animals, large and small. I would spend my days with the animals that I love, caring and treating them, and hopefully, saving them all.
But would this have been a reality or just a dream? Maybe there was a reason I didn’t follow this path of becoming a veterinarian?
I believe now that being a veterinarian may not have been for me. It’s not all puppy dog visits and fluffy kittens. There are days that can and do include making difficult decisions that affect the lives of animals and the humans that love them. I believe being a vet today is a very difficult, and yes, a very stressful profession.
When I was growing up there was no Internet to type in your pets’ symptoms. If my pet was unwell and my vet told me my dog or cat needed or didn’t need something I took their word for it.
Today vets have to compete with “Doctor Google” and the world of social media. There is no shortage of people telling us what’s wrong with our pet and what they think is the best way to treat and care for them. Veterinarians are having to defend themselves as to why you should or shouldn’t believe what you read online.
Of course I’m not saying you should believe everything you’re being told – actually “believe” is not the proper word to use. When my veterinarian suggests a medical treatment or plan of action for any of my pets and I’m not completely sure of what is being told to me, or why my vet is making these suggestions, I ask questions – sometimes I ask a lot of questions!
Asking questions helps me understand what my vet is suggesting and why it is important to my pet and their situation at that time . It could be a discussion with my vet about medications, procedures, or what vaccinations my pet needs and how often they need them.
Just like people, our pets and their health situations are not all the same. Some pets need to be treated differently than others because that’s what would work best for them at that time.
And of course I am not so naive to believe that every vet has all the answers. As with any profession, and every person you meet, some we get along with, some we don’t – that’s life.
I wonder no more about the decision I made not to go into the veterinarian field, but I thank those that have and dedicate their lives to helping animals. I’m thankful my vet is there for me from the puppy and kitten stage, that they are comforting to me when my pets are ill, and helpful and supportive as my pets age.
Veterinarian’s and veterinarian technicians help keep my pets healthy so I can enjoy life with my pets for as long as possible. And that’s what really matters.
March 18, 2016
We all have made decisions that could have led us down a completely different life path, but there’s no going back and rather than regret, I believe we are where we are for a reason. For better or worse this is our life, all we can do is make decisions to better our future and find the happiness in where we are right now. No, veterinarians do not have it easy with all the online advice and their clients thinking they already know the answers! But it’s also good to have lot’s of info so you can choose what is right for your pet.
March 8, 2016
I’m glad you have no regrets about your decision to take a different path. I appreciate the reminder to ask questions when it comes to what we are told by our vets about our pet’s care. I’m about to be dealing with an orthopedic team in trying to get to the bottom of what is happening with Piper. It looks like she has some sort of genetic soft tissue abnormality and I may have spent a little too much time on Google in the past 24 hours researching the terms in the initial radiology report because I now have a fairly long list of questions 😉
March 14, 2016
I hope you get answers soon about Piper and I hope there is something that can be done to help her! And yes, I think we are all guilty of going on Google to search for answers,but what’s important is to get the right answers from the right people. Let me know how Piper makes out.
March 3, 2016
I’m guessing that many children and young people who loved animals dreamed of being a veterinarian. I know I did. Heck, I considered it as recently as 4 years ago when I lost my job in corporate America and I wasn’t sure what I should do with the rest of my life. Some of us are definitely cut out for it, and the rest of us serve an important role as dog moms, rescue advocates, and dog bloggers! 🙂
March 2, 2016
I am glad that you aren’t wishing you had pursued that dream! I’m sure that being a vet is both rewarding and difficult, and I’m grateful for having vets that I can trust with my dog’s lives. I see my vet as a the best resource for my dog’s health, but not the only resource and I’m comfortable saying “no” in certain situations.
March 3, 2016
We must be able to have an open conversation with our vets when it comes to our pets health so we can make the best decisions.
March 2, 2016
I’m a vet tech and often get asked, “So are you studying to be a veterinarian?” I kind of laugh but quickly say absolutely not. I’m happy where I’m at in life, and there is just so much that goes into being a vet. The fights against Dr. Google and the clients who say “it’s just a dog” and not to mention the years of schooling would just totally kill my soul. Thank god for the good vets though because they’re hard to come by.
March 3, 2016
Vet techs should be applauded! You work so hard and do so much behind the scenes!
I’ve heard “it’s just a dog” or “just a cat” and it upsets me.
Being a vet tech or veterinarian can take an emotional toll on a person.
March 2, 2016
Good post, I too thought I wanted to be a Vet when I was young. It’s a tough field and I’m glad I didn’t try to enter it either. Thanks.
February 29, 2016
I imagine it is very frustrating for vets and other doctors to have to compete with Dr. Google.
March 3, 2016
It’s appears to be a real issue