What Do Veterinarians Do? Career Ideas for Life After Vet School!
What do veterinarians do? The majority of veterinarians work in a private or a corporate clinical practice. They treat animals that are sick and provide wellness care. Wellness care can include updates on vaccines, routine bloodwork, and health checks. Veterinarians have gone through years and years of college just to get to where they are. They also need 4 or more years of professional training at an accredited veterinary university. The competition to get in is high! The reason the competition is much higher then medical school is because there are only 30 vet schools in the USA. So with that being said give your local veterinarian some respect and appreciation!
What do veterinarians do? Veterinarians who work in animal hospitals or local clinics do a lot of animal neutering, teeth cleaning, and updating vaccines. If you want to be a veterinarian but don’t see yourself working in a private practice, there are options! While in veterinary college you will be exposed to all kinds of student clubs. These clubs can give you hands on experience in the many different disciplines of veterinary medicine.
You might also already have specific interests, if you love parasitology perhaps you can become a Professor of parasitology at a veterinary university.
“Only you can control your future.” Dr. Seuss
If you want to be a veterinarian but don’t want to work in a clinic, look at what some of these veterinarians chose for a unique career path!
- Specialize in internal medicine. Dr. Slade specializes in internal medicine at the Animal Medical Center in NYC. He is board certified (DACVIM), through the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. This requires a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine. What does a veterinarian who specializes in internal medicine do? This will all depend on the interests of the veterinarian. Dr. Slade’s interests lie within gastroenterology, hepatology, endocrinology, and immunology. He has provided my own dog Sherlock who has had a disorder in his urinary system, with a better quality of life. Sherlock has not able to empty his bladder on his own and needed physical help with 2-3 daily catheter insertions. This required 2 people to do. With Dr. Slade’s suggestion, Sherlock has been placed with a percutaneous cystotomy tube. This permanent tube will allow us to drain his bladder more often. Without Dr. Slade’s board-certified expertise, I might not have had a solution for Sherlock’s unfortunate situation. Dr. Slade is able to use an investigative mind and help solve unique cases that have to do with the internal anatomy and physiology of animals.
- Open your own hospice practice. Dr. Dani McVety and Dr. Gardner became entrepreneur business partners and opened up Lap of Love, which is now a national pet hospice practice. When Dr. McVety was in undergrad she volunteered at a human hospice. This gave her so much experience and expertise in the area of hospice care. A TED talk might even in your future as a veterinary professional! The TED talk titled “Why Veterinarians Will Change the Face of Human Death”, was given by Dr. McVety a few years ago. Now do you think while Dr. McVety was volunteering at that hospice in undergrad she would ever have imagined that years later she would be giving a TED talk?! Take risks and do what you love! Their goal is to empower every owner to care for their geriatric pets. Both Doctors graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. You can read Dr. McVety’s interview here and Dr. Gardners interview here.
- Become a DVM that specializes in Veterinary Forensics like Dr. Eller. A veterinarian that specializes in veterinary forensics works closely with law enforcement and court cases. This type of career usually requires quite a bit of traveling. You will need an advanced Master’s Degree in Veterinary Forensics after you complete your DVM. Oftentimes forensic veterinary pathologists are called onto a case to determine the cause of death or cause of injuries. Many different disciplines aside from veterinary medicine can be involved in forensic work, including entomology, botany, and ballistics. This is a relatively new field.
- Use your expertise to become an author, podcaster, and blogger like Dr. K. She uses her DVM degree to help vet students navigate vet school smarter and more efficiently. Dr. Kung says on her website “If you want to be successful – and by that I mean happy, fulfilled and totally in charge of your own destiny – there are skills you need to develop and important things you need to know long before you become a DVM.” She has written a series of books which you can find on Amazon. So check out her affordable books here! Check out her interview here: “The DVM degree has the potential to empower you to do so many amazing things and to have such an amazing life.” Dr. April Kung
- What do veterinarians do? They can become a veterinary oncologist like Dr. Farrelly who works in NYC at Blue Pearl. A veterinary oncologist has to go through extensive training after graduating with a DVM title. They are certified in Medical Oncology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). If you want to make a difference in the lives of pets who are diagnosed with cancer, then oncology might just be your calling! You can also get involved in cutting edge advances in veterinary medicine like CyberKnife and pinpoint radiation therapy.
- Create a brand! Dr. Lisa Lippman with her business partner Loni Edwards has created a pet product brand (WYLDE), is a media personality, social media influencer, and go-to source for expertise in pet health/safety in NYC. Dr. Lippman didn’t get into vet school on her first try but she is a now a successful house-call veterinarian, podcaster, and entrepreneur. If you haven’t heard her podcast Pets and Punchlines, you need to download it now from any podcast app on your phone! You will learn, be entertained, and laugh! It’s how I get through my daily commutes in NYC! Read her interview on how she got into veterinary school
- Specialize in the field of laboratory animal medicine, like Amanda. Amanda is a non-traditional student at NCSU whom we interviewed in 2017. Amanda went to graduate school and was also enrolled in a PhD program when she received the acceptance letter to NCSU veterinary school.
This article: What Do Veterinarians Do? Should give you some great ideas!
The 6 unique ideas for life after vet school should get you thinking about some excellent opportunities that you’ll have with a DVM degree. Becoming a veterinarian means that there are endless career choices and paths that you can take. You just need to open your mind to some non-traditional and perhaps harder than usual career paths! Be receptive, try new things, and you just might end up in a career that you never imagined being possible when you first began your vet school journey!