I honestly don't know much about vet science so excuse my ignorance, however I'd assume that one of the good things about medicine over vet is that you're dealing with people which can give a lot of depth to the career since you have to consider a wide range of causes for the patient's condition and base it around each of their unique circumstances (e.g. age, weight, genotype, where they work, where they've been to on holiday, etc.) and so this can make the career more interesting for some. On the other hand, the working hours and stress involved with medicine are quite bad, not sure how this compares to vets though. Overall though, it is your decision to make and no one can make the decision for you, just make a list of the pros and cons of each and see which reasons you value more than others.
o.o they are SUCH different careers.
Firstly, if you are interested in money, medicine pays alot better.
If you want to be a vet, you'll have to be willing to get your hands dirty. There is ALOT of hands on animal husbandry work experience in the course, as well as clinical studies. You should have a passion for animal welfare, and be willing to work in manymany different environments - from a mucky farm to a sterile operating room.You obviously have to have good interpersonal skills as you will be working with the owners just as much as the animals.
I mean, its a question only you can answer.. WHY do you want to be a vet, what are the 'benefits of the career' for you?
Do you want to treat animals? Yes? Go for vet med.
Do you want to treat humans? Yes? Go for medicine.
That's quite a difficult question! I guess it also depends on what you want from life too i.e. your expectation of income, full/part time work, on call, stress, job satisfaction etc..
Firstly with repsect to salary, hoards of people have the misconception that vets earn a fortune. It is difficult to state a starting salary for a vet, as it varies. Vet salaries are like a big secret in the profession! My estimation would be 20-29k. It depends on the practice, the area, type of work ...... so many things. When you calculate the hours worked/week including on call, it's not very much!
There is a tendancy now for more clinics to use an out of hours service but this only applies to small animal clinics. I'm not sure how the docs compare/organise out of hours services.
Stress wise, a survey has recently been published where vets had a 4% higher suicide rate than the general population. Medics & dentists were 2% above average. It is not really known as to why this is.
I think the medics seem to be ahead of the vets in being accommodating for part-time work, especially for the ladies with families. I guess the vet profession will have to deal with this soon since there are far more girls in vet school than boys!
Ultimately, I think how much you enjoy the job and the satisfaction it gives to you are the most important. If you are unsure it may be a good idea to do work experience in both vets and with the medics. It would be worth having a good chat with some medics too to make a comparison.
I hope this is of some help, it's not an easy decision to make!
Best of luck x
A salary survey of vets is conducted regularly by SPVS (society of practising vets). To obtain this information you have to become a member, in order to be a member you have to meet certain criteria.
As far as I am aware there is no website/public information which displays vet's salaries.
Just as an addition, many interns earn very little - some as low as 13k.
I would say there are a few fundamental differences between the careers, they often seem to be lumped together as being similar, and I whilst they are to some degree, they are big differences as well.
Obviously one of the main ones is your patients - vets treat animals (but also have to deal with people, so not a option if you don't like people, as some people seem to think!) and doctors treat humans. So which can you see yourself wanting to treat/work with? Some people prefer the fact there seems to be more 'worth' in treating people to animals, other people couldn't deal with operating on a person etc.
Vets tend to end up being more of a jack of all trades. yes, there is chance to work in one field more, specialise etc, but...vets will be consultants, surgeons, doctors, give health advice, dentists, podiatrists and so on. Whereas doctors will end up more limited in the areas they work in, but are very skilled in that area. Again, which would you prefer?
There are other differences as well, but it is really down to where you can see yourself being. Have you done any work experience yet? Try and arrange a week with a vet and a week with a doctor. Hopefully that will help you lean towards one or the other. How about other work experience. Which would you prefer to do, a week on a farm covered in cow poo, kicked in the shins by numerous cows, working outside in the cold, dark and pouring rain. Or in an old peoples home and all that entails, bathing people, dealing with catheters, dealing with people dieing etc. I would have thought pretty soon you would realise what area you prefer working in!!
Well thanks for the opinions.
I understand the great difference between salaries of the two careers, but I am genuinely more passionate about animals than people however studying for 7 years and then only getting that minimal salary is something I have to think about, although I understand money isn't everything.
I have been doing work experience at a small animal veterinary practice for over half a year now and have become certain it is the job I want to persue. However the competitiveness of getting accepted into a Veterinary University plus the salary at the end is off putting, yet I am in year 10 and have time to think about these matters further.
I had had to make the same decission as you last year. There are 2 main reasons i didnt want to do medicine
1. If you make a mistake as a vet and kill and animal its not a big deal. If i made a mistake eg miss diagnosed, didnt check somet as a docter and a person died because of that i would struggle to cope
2. Being a doctor you are going to be around people dying all the time, again i dont think i would like that.
however it would be good to save peoples lives on the flip side
I wouldn't want to be a doc, the thought of being around sick people all day is horrible! Also I don't think I could cope with hypercondriacs (spelling?)
Also when my friend of applying for medicine she worked in a nursing home and had to wash an old lady everywhere! if you get what i mean, I'll stick to sticking my hand up cows bums thankyou :P
In response to an earlier post, inadvertently killing an animal or making a hefty mistake is a big deal!!
There are more cases brought against vets in the UK than in the USA. It is quite scary that there are only approx 18,000 vets in the UK.
Some clients value their pets far more than their partners and children, other clients perceive pets as children...... so beware!