The field of veterinary medicine is one that is ever-changing and always evolving. The latest trends have identified plenty of reasons for why becoming a veterinarian is a lucrative career choice. Here is a closer look at some of the latest trends that are relevant to aspiring veterinarians.
The Reasons behind Job Growth
The increase in veterinary jobs are not simply due to more pet owners as the number of dog owners stands somewhere between 70 and 80 million while cat owners boast even greater statistics. The increase in demand can also be attributed to upgrades in many new types of treatments. Pet owners now have new options when it comes to treating cancer, replacing hips and blood transfusions. Even though there are more cats than dogs, the numbers of dogs who visit veterinarians are 30% greater, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Enrollment on the rise
Enrollment in veterinary college and the amount of debt accrued are both on the rise. Vet school tuition has seen a significant bump in the last decade, although attending an in-state school can cut those costs in half. Establishing residency within a state differs among those respective states. Each state has its own requirements on how long students must have lived there before being labeled as a resident, which qualifies them for in-state tuition. In terms of enrollment increases, this is also being done to compensate for a lack of veterinarians in certain areas. For example, there is a greater need for large animal vets and livestock vets than there is for companion animal healthcare. This continues to open new opportunities.
The business side of being a veterinarian
While so much involved in a veterinary practice involves animal healthcare, business strategies should not be overlooked. Multiple studies have indicated that more than half of veterinary practices do not rely on financial concepts in order to facilitate their day-to-day activities. There is also a lack of marketing that exists among practicing veterinarians. Understanding and utilizing financial and business concepts has the capability of fast tracking new veterinary practices to high levels of success in relatively short spans of time. For example, marketing to cat owners is a growing market, particularly with so many new kinds of chronic pain treatments available for felines.
The realities of an internship
One of the most common pathways following the completion of veterinary college is to take on an internship. It should be noted that these internships typically come with low pay and a lot of hours. In some instances, mentorship is very good, although there are internships where mentorship it severely lacking. It really comes down to the practice, especially since there are no established standards for interns. It is up to the discretion of the facility to work veterinary interns as much as they want. The flip side is that interns gain valuable experience. Some learn more than one year in an internship than they did through all four years of veterinary school. So it is important to do some research before accepting an internship and the best way to do that is by seeking out someone who actually went through that program and getting their feedback.
Testing capabilities expand
More testing capabilities now favor pet owners as they can identify problems earlier on. This is also advantageous to veterinarians as it means more business. Diagnostic testing has now evolved to the point where kidney testing can be done at much quicker rates. There is a new array of diagnostic testing that can be done in-house and that remains more important than ever with geographic diseases now becoming more common in various parts of the United States. Even common ailments like Lyme’s Disease is showing up in new areas where it has not been prevalent and that places a high premium on testing capabilities.