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    Hi, I am currently considering 3 main career paths: biological research, medicine and veterinary medicine.
    I was wondering if any vets could tell me how satisfied they are with their jobs, as I have read some slightly off-putting statements from a few vets saying they regret their choice. Also, are you happy with the salary, as I have read many people feel it is very mediocre - I understand if you are really interested in the profession then maybe it shouldn't even come into question but I just want to be realistic
    Also if any current veterinary medicine students could tell me how they find the course that would be great!?
    Of course I love animals, but I think I would be more interested in the sciencey side of things, so becoming more specialised would be ideal - is this possible?
    Sorry for the essay, and sorry if this question has already been asked (I found some threads but they were all very old).
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    I graduated from Liverpool Vet School in the summer of 2016 and have been working in small animal practice for almost 6 months now.
    I personally don't regret my choice. Yes, at times it is challenging. The hardest part of my job is coping with people who shout at me because they think it is despicable that I charge money for treatment, tests, euthanasia etc. The reality is there is no NHS for pet, we are not a charity, and if I offered free stuff then I would be out of a job, or if multiple did that then we would cease to exist as a practice. I also find it difficult to euthanase animals because owners cannot afford treatment but I do so knowing I have ended their suffering.
    On the other side I do think it is an immensely rewarding job- seeing animals improve and get better is always the thing that keeps me going. I enjoy constantly learning too.

    Specialisation wise you can do certificates (to become a GP vet with a special interest) or diplomas (where you can work in referral centres as a specialist in one field of study). It is still not as specialised as being a medic however - junior doctors 6 months out of medical school won't being doing ovariohysterectomies (spays) or removing eyes, for example, which I can do now without any red tape or extra qualifications. As a vet you can go down the research route too of course , if you want the science side without the clinical side. It certainly does require a level of scientific knowledge in order to assess a patient, order the most valuable tests, interpret the tests and treat the animal.

    Salary wise I earn £30,000, and at 2 years qualified with this company I will ear £35,000. I don't do out of hours, but I do often do unpaid overtime. I work from 8.30 and can leave between 6pm and 7pm but I do sometimes need to stay beyond that. The latest I've worked so far was leaving at 8.15pm so almost a 12hr working day. I do a 5 day week (including weekend work) and if you include overtime around 50hrs or so per week. Starting salaries range from around £25-30k for a new grad. I'm on the "higher" end of the spectrum because I live in quite an expensive part of the country (outside but near to London). If you specialise you may see you salary cut even by as much as 50% for a lot of years so there is a financial hurdle if you want to do, for example, a diploma. Not all bosses will pay for certificates either so some vets will self fund these (at a cost of around £6 so I am told). I'm happy with my salary despite knowing, in the long run, I could earn a lot more as a medic for instance. Having said that, it'll be a very long time before I will be able to afford a house of my own in my area and I am in the fortunate position of not needing to rent. Depends what you think you will enjoy more, or what you think matters more to you.

    Hope this helps answer some of your questions!!
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    Thank you so much for taking to time answer my questions! I will definitely get some more work experience to see if it's right for me
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    See what I've always wondered is how do current vet students study veterinary medicine? Everyone has their own studying techniques but is it the same as studying for school? Can you continue using flash cards etc or do have to use other techniques? Because you do have to learn alot! Just wondering !
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    (Original post by Annabelle0700)
    Hi, I am currently considering 3 main career paths: biological research, medicine and veterinary medicine.
    I was wondering if any vets could tell me how satisfied they are with their jobs, as I have read some slightly off-putting statements from a few vets saying they regret their choice.
    Also, are you happy with the salary, as I have read many people feel it is very mediocre - I understand if you are really interested in the profession then maybe it shouldn't even come into question but I just want to be realistic
    The disillusionment with the profession extends beyond salary expectations, work-life balance and career progression are also key aspects in the debate.

    Even if average salaries were increased bringing them closer to similar fields (eg; medicine, dentistry, etc) you are still left with a relatively poor work life balance (ie; long hours, often statutory minimum annual leave, potentially on-call/OOH work), a lack of career progression and a lack of job benefits (ie; a decent retirement package, childcare, etc).

    It is pretty depressing when you consider that most vets salaries and careers will top out after 4-8 years around the £40K salary mark.

    £40,000 a year may sound amazing as a student but when you factor in a mortgage, student debt repayment, pension/retirement contributions and potentially kids it doesn't go that far.

    Do not get me wrong, you can break that £40K mark, but generally you have to work even harder (eg; management, specialisation) and make some compromises (eg; work longer or more unsociable hours, more stress, putting sales before science or customer care) - you can't just live an easy life as a GP vet.

    (Original post by SilverstarDJ)
    Not all bosses will pay for certificates either so some vets will self fund these (at a cost of around £6 so I am told).
    A lot will provided you agree to a training contract (ie; you agree to repay your fees if you leave before the end of your certificate or 1-2 years after finishing it).

    £6,000 sounds a lot but it will take most people at least 3 years to finish, most people's CPD budget will cover at least half of that. If it means that a vet can do slightly more advanced work (and thus charge more for the privilege) and it bonds the employee to the practice then the owner will make a substantial profit the majority of the time.

    I'm happy with my salary despite knowing, in the long run, I could earn a lot more as a medic for instance.
    Probably not without a diploma

    The closer I get to completing my CertAVP the more I realise that it is unlikely to have much of an effect on salary and career progression (unless it is used to help secure a place on an internship/residency pathway).
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    Hours suck. Really really can suck, especially with OOH.
    Pay is relatively rubbish.
    Stress and grief from ungrateful/rude clients.
    Don't do it.
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    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    The disillusionment with the profession extends beyond salary expectations, work-life balance and career progression are also key aspects in the debate.

    Even if average salaries were increased bringing them closer to similar fields (eg; medicine, dentistry, etc) you are still left with a relatively poor work life balance (ie; long hours, often statutory minimum annual leave, potentially on-call/OOH work), a lack of career progression and a lack of job benefits (ie; a decent retirement package, childcare, etc).

    It is pretty depressing when you consider that most vets salaries and careers will top out after 4-8 years around the £40K salary mark.

    £40,000 a year may sound amazing as a student but when you factor in a mortgage, student debt repayment, pension/retirement contributions and potentially kids it doesn't go that far.

    Do not get me wrong, you can break that £40K mark, but generally you have to work even harder (eg; management, specialisation) and make some compromises (eg; work longer or more unsociable hours, more stress, putting sales before science or customer care) - you can't just live an easy life as a GP vet.



    A lot will provided you agree to a training contract (ie; you agree to repay your fees if you leave before the end of your certificate or 1-2 years after finishing it).

    £6,000 sounds a lot but it will take most people at least 3 years to finish, most people's CPD budget will cover at least half of that. If it means that a vet can do slightly more advanced work (and thus charge more for the privilege) and it bonds the employee to the practice then the owner will make a substantial profit the majority of the time.



    Probably not without a diploma

    The closer I get to completing my CertAVP the more I realise that it is unlikely to have much of an effect on salary and career progression (unless it is used to help secure a place on an internship/residency pathway).
    Thank you so much for all that information! Would you say you regret your decision to become a vet? Also, do you know what the salary is for a specialised vet? Sorry I can't seem to find any figures online for this.
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    (Original post by Annabelle0700)
    Thank you so much for all that information! Would you say you regret your decision to become a vet?
    I don't regret the decision (yet) but certainly over time I have become more dissatisfied with the career prospects, earning potential and quality of life that the profession offers. I'm at a critical point in my career, if you asked me that question in 2-3 years you might get a very different (and far more negative!) answer.

    This tends to be a perspective that comes with time spent in the industry and experience, hence why the profession is seeing a significant brain drain of 3-8 year graduated vets.

    You also need to understand that the industry is changing, corporate practice is growing (fast), there is greater commercial competition and property/business prices are high. What that means is that the days of spending a couple of years working for a practice before buying in, sharing the success of the company (and the profits) and making a comfortable living are becoming rarer and rarer.

    Equally student debt is increasing substantially.

    Also, do you know what the salary is for a specialised vet? Sorry I can't seem to find any figures online for this.
    It depends on where they work (eg; a vet school vs private practice), location and the "ethos" of the company or institution (eg; profit vs offering a diverse service to clients of all backgrounds).

    For example, a diploma holder in a vet school may be looking at around £45-55k a year whereas one in private practice may earn £50-70k on average (very rough figures).
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    Very good points above; only thing I'd add is that if you decide to go down the diploma route, you're looking at at least a years internship which is horrendous hours and god awful pay for the most part. Then a 3-4 year residency where the hours are pretty awful and pay ain't great. So yeah, whilst in the long run you'll earn slightly more, getting there is multiple years of not the most fun
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    Very good points above; only thing I'd add is that if you decide to go down the diploma route, you're looking at at least a years internship which is horrendous hours and god awful pay for the most part. Then a 3-4 year residency where the hours are pretty awful and pay ain't great. So yeah, whilst in the long run you'll earn slightly more, getting there is multiple years of not the most fun
    To be fair, not all internships are badly paid... I was better off financially doing mine than I am in private practice.
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    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    I don't regret the decision (yet) but certainly over time I have become more dissatisfied with the career prospects, earning potential and quality of life that the profession offers. I'm at a critical point in my career, if you asked me that question in 2-3 years you might get a very different (and far more negative!) answer.

    This tends to be a perspective that comes with time spent in the industry and experience, hence why the profession is seeing a significant brain drain of 3-8 year graduated vets.

    You also need to understand that the industry is changing, corporate practice is growing (fast), there is greater commercial competition and property/business prices are high. What that means is that the days of spending a couple of years working for a practice before buying in, sharing the success of the company (and the profits) and making a comfortable living are becoming rarer and rarer.

    Equally student debt is increasing substantially.



    It depends on where they work (eg; a vet school vs private practice), location and the "ethos" of the company or institution (eg; profit vs offering a diverse service to clients of all backgrounds).

    For example, a diploma holder in a vet school may be looking at around £45-55k a year whereas one in private practice may earn £50-70k on average (very rough figures).
    Thanky you so much for all your help! That's all great to know
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    Very good points above; only thing I'd add is that if you decide to go down the diploma route, you're looking at at least a years internship which is horrendous hours and god awful pay for the most part. Then a 3-4 year residency where the hours are pretty awful and pay ain't great. So yeah, whilst in the long run you'll earn slightly more, getting there is multiple years of not the most fun
    Absolutely.

    To give some perspective, as an experienced vet you can command a salary of £35,000-40,000 working 40 hours a week with no out of hours commitment.

    However if you applied for an internship you would be looking at a 50% cut in salary, or a 30% cut in salary with regards to a residency, while also being contracted to work substantially longer hours as well as OOH work.

    Also, another important point is that that most interns are treated like crap by most institutions!

    (Original post by ouchthathurts)
    To be fair, not all internships are badly paid... I was better off financially doing mine than I am in private practice.
    It depends what the package offers, what stage of your career you are at and how aggressive you are with regards to your career.

    Sure my first job was poorly paid and I worked bloody long hours, I probably wasn't much better off than an intern on a low, tax free salary with access to cheap (or even free) accommodation.

    However my salary and my circumstances have changed substantially over the last 2-3 years for the better - I would never go back!
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    (Original post by ouchthathurts)
    Hours suck. Really really can suck, especially with OOH.
    Pay is relatively rubbish.
    Stress and grief from ungrateful/rude clients.
    Don't do it.
    New job is going well then.... :lol:

    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    Absolutely.

    To give some perspective, as an experienced vet you can command a salary of £35,000-40,000 working 40 hours a week with no out of hours commitment.

    However if you applied for an internship you would be looking at a 50% cut in salary, or a 30% cut in salary with regards to a residency, while also being contracted to work substantially longer hours as well as OOH work.

    Also, another important point is that that most interns are treated like crap by most institutions!



    It depends what the package offers, what stage of your career you are at and how aggressive you are with regards to your career.

    Sure my first job was poorly paid and I worked bloody long hours, I probably wasn't much better off than an intern on a low, tax free salary with access to cheap (or even free) accommodation.

    However my salary and my circumstances have changed substantially over the last 2-3 years for the better - I would never go back!
    Yeah I just don't see the appeal tbh of interning - treated like **** for the most part. It's why I'm going into herd health vetting tbh
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    Yeah I just don't see the appeal tbh of interning - treated like **** for the most part. It's why I'm going into herd health vetting tbh
    Unless you plan on doing a residency and then working in a referral centre I wouldn't normally recommend it.

    There is also some benefit with very inexperienced or unconfident vets. As a practice we have "referred" a couple of former applicants and employees to internships when there have been glaring gaps in their knowledge and skills base.

    TBH herd health/farm animal practice has seen some highest salary rises in recent years. If you enjoy it could work out very well!
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    Thanks tp silverstardj and choco for giving interesting insights. the salary talk was interesting, seeing where that side is compared to other professions.
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    New job is going well then.... :lol:
    Absolutely! Bit of a generally crap time at the moment as we're woefully understaffed and the partners haven't pulled their fingers out when it comes to recruiting. Plus lot of TB testing going on coming into winter what with housing and ridiculous number of farms going down. It has really hit us hard and made a lot of extra work for us which will continue through the spring while lambing/calving kicks off. To be fair, on a good day I really love my job and actually, this is a good practice to work in compared to others I've seen/worked in during the course of internship things/locuming. Incidentally, if you're at all tempted by mixed vetting and probably more of a farm bias we're recruiting.

    I do miss the internship a bit though, I really like learning and improving my knowledge more than anything else and it's difficult in practice. Also I miss my financial situation with it, to be fair it was probably a bit unique though, lots of things were happening around me and fell together to my advantage.

    Anyway, today I'd thoroughly recommend being a vet, even though I've spent the whole day TB testing. Clients the past few days have been decent as well, tail end of last week I even got a rather nice selection of ales off one farmer. Much better than a tin of biscuits- it's frowned upon to drink at work so I couldn't really leave them in the office for people to help themselves... I'm in a bit of a good mood at the moment (which is odd as I'm also on call which usually makes me grumpy) so being a vet is a good idea.
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    Hi, does anyone of you are familiar with Vets4pets or Medivet graduate programmes? If somebody could share the experience, would be great to know before accepting their offer
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    (Original post by Vaasa)
    Hi, does anyone of you are familiar with Vets4pets or Medivet graduate programmes? If somebody could share the experience, would be great to know before accepting their offer
    As someone who works for a large corporate (with its own bespoke new grad program) and has spent the last couple of years training new grads...

    Your confidence and experience is influenced more greatly by your colleagues and managers than it is the vast majority of "graduate programmes" that pay for your BVA or BSAVA memberships and send you on CPD regularly.

    What you need is a supportive practice environment in general, a decent mentor and good managers - unfortunately acceptance onto a NG scheme is no guarantee of that!

    Talking from experience with my current employer, as well as CompanionCare, Vets4Pets and MediVet, while they tend to have a good reputation there is a lot of variation and the practice environment is dependent upon the practice principal (eg; Senior Vet, Clinic Director or Joint Venture Partner). There are some great practices with good staff retention, and there are some poorer ones with high turnover of staff - all under the umbrella of the same company name!

    The only way you can really gauge what it will really be like is by finding out where you will be based and spending time in that practice. Even then some places will still pull the wool over your eyes (they will be on their best behaviour for your trial day just as you will be).

    As a general heads up £21K salary for the Medivet programme is very poor, it is better than it was but they still have a long way to go. We have just recruited a new grad and their starting salary is substantially more (with similar job benefits).

    If you are looking specifically for a NG programme don't forget to check out CVS

    If you are interested in a job in the midlands (with or without a NG scheme) message me. If we haven't got any vacancies I can at least get you on the mailing list should one come up.

    ---

    EDIT: For the record...

    Conventional "New Graduate Schemes" are a very dated idea. From an employers perspective putting someone through a NG scheme is no guarantee that that person will be a confident and able vet at the end of the day, or that all of the time and money invested in them will be worth it.

    We have been arguing that the relationship should be started earlier, through promoting a supportive environment during EMS. That way you get to trial future applicants (for free!) and they get to learn practice protocols, develop friendships and find out whether it is somewhere they would like to work in the future. Unfortunately a lot of practices cannot be bothered to invest the time to create a supportive environment for vet students or don't have the right people to make this idea work (and most NG schemes are arguably a poor attempt to address this issue).

    All of our successful NGs we have recruited over the last couple of years have been students who have spent extended periods of time with us on EMS.
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    (Original post by Vaasa)
    Hi, does anyone of you are familiar with Vets4pets or Medivet graduate programmes? If somebody could share the experience, would be great to know before accepting their offer
    I am a JVP of a practice who will (hopefully) be recruiting someone on the graduate scheme in September. We haven't had anyone through it before but the structured and centrally paid for CPD is a great idea. The practices are all so different and as has already been said things really vary depending who owns the one you are working at. The starting salary through the grad scheme is good these days too.
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    (Original post by Vaasa)
    Hi, does anyone of you are familiar with Vets4pets or Medivet graduate programmes? If somebody could share the experience, would be great to know before accepting their offer
    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    If you are looking specifically for a NG programme don't forget to check out CVS
    Do you work for CVS then, ch0c0h01ic?

    I am currently on the Year 1 CVS new grad programme and would say it is brilliant in terms of the CPD that is on offer!

    But as ch0c0h01ic mentioned, the practice you are working for is more important than whether they have a new grad scheme or not. I think it is useful to ask if they have employed new grads before, how long they stayed as well. It's really important to know what support they can offer you e.g. I was given 30mins of consult time to start with until I was able to work through things more quickly. On the other than I am often doing branch work, operating and working on my own without any real backup or backup that is slow to come when **** hits the fan, which I should have enquired a bit more at the time of interview!
 
 
 
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