All the Things You Wish You Knew Before Getting Into Veterinary Medicine

Deciding what you want to be when you grow up is very difficult, and pursuing veterinary medicine is no different. Making that decision on your own at such a young age is never easy. Deciding to jump in the waters of a medical career is breathtaking.

Deciding to become a veterinary professional, either veterinarian or a veterinary technician/nurse is huge. Some of our colleagues never regret it, some change careers after few years, some just get by…

veterinary medicine visual representation

We asked our dear followers to tell us what were the things they wish they knew before deciding to dedicate their lives to the patients who cannot tell where it hurts.

This includes how they manage to cope with the everyday struggle to deal with medically uneducated pet owners that knowingly or not neglect their pet and to the pain of losing adorable, fury, and loving patients.

People think that all vets and vet nurses do all day is cuddle with puppies and an occasional vaccine. No, the veterinary profession is very demanding.

What we Wish we Knew Before Getting Into Veterinary Medicine

  • Nobody will tell you that the veterinary field is one of the most demanding but at the same time one of the lowest paying of all the medical practices.
  • Nobody will prepare you that the owners will be the biggest setback in your workday. Nobody will tell at vet school that they will bring you patients on death beds with the excuses that “it was fine yesterday”.
  • Nobody will care to prepare you that nobody cares how much you care for your patients. The owners of those patients that are supposed to care will look at you just like a money-grabbing careless person that will do unnecessary diagnostic exams just to find out what is wrong with their pets.
  • Nobody at vet school will dedicate a lesson to teach you and prepare that you can’t save them all. Nobody will prepare you how to deal with the pain that some of the patients were just brought in too late and there was nothing you can do about it.
vet school logo outside vet school building
  • Nobody will tell you that in most countries, the small practices don’t really care about your health insurance, your psychological health, and your feelings.
  • Nobody at vet school will care to warn you to take care of yourself and try to avoid job-related spinal injuries from all those Golden retrievers you carried in your arms.
  • Nobody at vet school will prepare how much it hurts to have to euthanize a patient and hold its paw while watching the light in its eyes go off.
  • Nobody will prepare you that you will have to deal with people more than you will have to deal with their pets. You decided to become veterinarian just to avoid people, but oh well.
  • Nobody will tell you that if you stop caring about your patients after many years that is the clue to get out.  
  • Nobody at vet school will inform you how low the salary will be and that after a while you will lose your motivation to work, no matter how cute that kitten is.
  • Nobody will tell you that relocating is very difficult, and getting licensed at every new place is a nightmare.
  • If you are coming from a small developing country, at the end of your studies, maybe they will tell you that your diploma, for which you worked so hard for 6+ years, is not recognized anywhere in the world except in that small developing country where nobody will employ you. Even if you be so lucky to find a job, the salary will be so low and you will wonder why you even bothered to get that diploma.
large animal veterinarian with a herd of cows
  • If you decide to become a large animal vet, nobody will warn you that the farmers will prefer if you were male. We still live in a world where some professions are strictly male and female large animal vets will have to struggle to get the same respect as males.

But at the end of the day, after long hours at the clinic, covered in feces, dog and cat hair, nail clippings all over your scrubs, at the end of the day nobody will tell you that you will feel like a superhero. Like a smelly, furry superhero that lives for the moment of saving just one more abused dog and just one more neglected cat.

Nobody will prepare you for that heartwarming feeling at the end of the day and nobody can take that away from you.