There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the field of veterinarian medicine, some of which can lead to prospective vets walking into veterinary school with certain false expectations or can make some shy away from pursuing a veterinary career. Here are some of the common misconceptions about the veterinary field.
Dogs and cats are the most common pets, and if you are in a general veterinary practice you may spend most of your time dealing with them, but there are many more animals you may end up treating. Hamsters, bunnies, birds, and snakes can be brought into a veterinary practice for treatment too, so you may need at least a basic knowledge about other potential pets. During vet school, you can learn about exotic animals, small animals, birds, reptiles, farm animals, or large animals.
Wildlife reserves and zoos also need vets, so you can treat lions and zebras if you want to learn about that.
Veterinarians are doctors in every sense of the word, they just practice on animals instead of humans. Vets go through a four-year medical school and have a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Their training is just as thorough as that of a human doctor's, they just learn about multiple species.
Some may think that a pet will not receive the same quality of care that a human does, but that is completely untrue. A veterinarian knows many of the same procedures that a human doctor does.
Think about the apocalyptic movies and shows you have watched; many of them have a veterinarian as the only doctor in the group, but they still give the humans the quality of care they would expect from a people doctor. That is because veterinarians are indeed real doctors.
While veterinary medicine may have once been a male-dominated profession, that has changed in recent years. The American Veterinary Medical Association conducted research in 2018 that shows that as of the end of 2018 there were 113,394 vets in the U.S. and 69,908 were female, compared to only 43,345 men in the field. If you are a woman thinking about a veterinarian career, do not let this misconception stop you from pursuing your dreams.
While you can find the basic services at most veterinary practices, they are often specialized in specific fields. When in school pursuing a veterinary career, you can choose to specialize in different types of animals, surgeries, or something else.
If you have a dog or cat, you can likely find annual checkups, vaccines, and other basic diagnostic services at most clinics. If you have an exotic animal, you may need to do some research before selecting a veterinarian, because not all clinics have someone who specializes in exotic animals. There are some highly specialized things that are not found at most veterinary clinics and require a referral from your general practitioner for an appointment; a physical therapist or an MRI are good examples of this.