While many animal lovers enter the veterinary field to help animals, there is more to the job than meets the eye. Note that you will be at a higher risk for disability than the general population as a practicing veterinarian.
This is due to the potential for exposure to zoonotic diseases, long hours on your feet, and the need to perform physically demanding tasks. It can be beneficial to have disability insurance for recently graduated veterinarians.
Here are things you should know before becoming a veterinarian:
The Job Is More Than Caring for Animals
As a veterinarian, you will be responsible for the health and well-being of your patients. Your job will involve working with pet owners. This means effectively communicating with people who may be emotional about their animal’s health. You will need to be empathetic and understanding while providing clear instructions and follow-up care.
You will also work with other members of the veterinary team, as well as sales representatives and pharmaceutical companies. The ability to build strong working relationships can give you an advantage in the veterinary field.
There Is a Lot of Schooling Involved
Just like becoming a human doctor, becoming a veterinarian requires a significant investment of time and money. After completing an undergraduate degree, you will attend veterinary school. The cost of veterinary school has been rising in recent years. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the average debt load for veterinary students is now over $150,000.
The Job Can Be Emotionally Demanding
In addition to the physical demands associated with the job such as long hours on your feet, working with animals can be emotionally demanding. You will be dealing with sick and injured animals on a daily basis. Compassion fatigue is a prevalent phenomenon in the veterinary field.
You should have a strong support system in place to help you deal with the emotional challenges of the job. This might include talking to a counselor or joining a support group for veterinarians.
Running a Vet Business
You will need to consider the business aspect of the veterinary profession. If you plan on having your own practice, you should have a solid understanding of business principles. This means keeping track of inventory, ordering supplies, billing clients, and managing employees. If you are not comfortable with numbers and paperwork, you may consider hiring a practice manager.
Some Animals Will Be Difficult To Handle
You will deal with difficult or uncooperative animals from time to time. Remember that they are usually scared or in pain. Be gentle and reassuring while still being able to get the job done. Handling aggressive animals can be dangerous for both you and the animal. You will develop the skills necessary to safely handle even the most challenging animals with time and experience.
You Will Work Long Hours, Including Weekends and Holidays
The hours you work as a veterinarian will be long and often unpredictable. You may be required to work weekends, evenings, and holidays. You may also be on call for after-hours emergencies. While it can be difficult to maintain a work-life balance, make time for your personal life and hobbies outside of work. You may find yourself burning out quickly if you don’t prioritize personal time. Try setting a schedule that allows you to only work some weekends or nights.
You, Will, See a Lot of Death
Working in the veterinary field means that you will see a lot of death. This can be difficult to deal with, especially if you are an animal lover. Whether it is euthanizing an animal or dealing with the death of a long-time patient, you will need to have a strong emotional support system in place to help you deal with the loss.
You may be required to work with cadavers as part of your training. This can be emotionally challenging, but it is a necessary part of the job. Therapists can be a good resource for vets dealing with the loss of animals.
Kickstart Your Career by Getting Disability Insurance for Recently Graduated Veterinarians
As a new graduate, you have a lot to think about. Where you will work, what type of veterinary medicine you want to practice, and how to pay off your student loans are all things you should consider. Another important consideration is financial protection in the event that you are unable to work due to an illness or injury.
As a veterinarian, your income is your biggest asset. If you are unable to work, disability insurance can replace a portion of your lost income. It will help you to maintain your lifestyle and pay your bills. Get the right disability insurance for recently graduated veterinarians in place now so you can focus on your career without worrying about the financial consequences of an unexpected disability.