Saturday, September 26, 2015

Refining Your Specialty. A college students project.

I received a request for an online interview. I thought there were some very good questions that I might have benefited from if I had been a bit more inquisitive, slightly  more trusting of those who walked before me, and much less blindly determined to become what I believed I was destined to be.



My name is Christine and I'm very interested in veterinary medicine. I'm currently a student at XX University and I'm working towards becoming a veterinarian.  I found your blog and I have watched a few of your YouTube videos and I have really enjoyed them. I was hoping you could answer some questions for an aspiring veterinarian. I'm doing a project in one of my classes that is going to help us refine our specialty, so if you could please take a little bit of time to answer these question, it would be so helpful.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I appreciate it so much.

Hello Christine,
Here are my answers,

1) What do you use in your every day work? (e.g. tools, critical thinking, computer, assistants, etc.)
 I  use my brain, my experience, and a few very important tools that include a stethoscope, microscope, x-ray, computer for patient records and research, and a whole host of ancillary things like in house lab equipment, surgery equipment, laser, tools for the eyes, ears, nose, throat, and the rest of the body (like a scale). Oh, and books, I still use lots of reference books!

2) What is a typical day at work for you?
 Typically I work from 9 am to 6 pm, or if I work the afternoon shift 1 pm to 9 pm. 5 days a week.

3) What are a few of the most important things you need to know to be a successful veterinarian?
You need to know who you are, what you stand for and why you are dedicated to becoming a vet. There will be many challenging days ahead and if your heart and soul are not invested as much as your time and money is you will end up like the many other veterinarians I know who have left veterinary medicine. Many of us enter vet school with the best and most noble of intentions, work our butts off to get in and out of vet school and then leave bitter and heartbroken when the realities of real-life practice settle in.

4) What is something important that being a veterinarian taught you, but that vet school didn't teach you?
That each case is a mystery with a plot, a heroine (or two), a few bad guys (cancer/disease, etc), a long list of characters, and lots of twists and turns along the way. Sometimes there are happy endings and sometimes life doesn't give you a "happily ever after".. but there is always a "The End"..but all the stuff in between the opening line and the last chapter are where the fun, the beauty, and the passion of purpose lie. That's the best part..that's what vet school doesn't teach you. That making connections, living a life you are proud of and that helps others (even if it a tiny rescued kitten that no one ever knows you saved) is what carries you through the tough times.

5) How has social media helped you in your field?
Social media has connected me with people and places I would otherwise never had the opportunity to assist. It is the reason I created I can help people around the world take better care of their pets. I have extended my reach and my purpose across all socio-economic and geophysical boundaries.

I hope this helps. I would like to use this for my blog. I hope you are ok with that? I think these were some excellent questions!

P.S. Please think long, hard, and objectively about vet school. No one tells you that  it can cost you a fortune and you will someday be questioning why you spent so much time, energy and money to make so little money. I know no one wants to think about income when you are in high school/college, BUT, someday you will want a house, a car, and to put your kids through college,,, and someday always comes. I worked for a vet for a long time who I loved and respected. He told me everyday to find another career. He said it because he loved me too. Neither one of us ever wanted to be anything other than a veterinarian, but being a veterinarian is hard work. Emotionally, physically, and often financially. I know veterinarians who owe more than $200,000 in student loans and make $50,000. They are 10 years out of vet school and have no way out from their debt for at least another 10  years. That just isn't fair or sensible.

Good Luck in school,

Krista Magnifico, DVM


I welcome your thoughts and feedback. Join me here, or you can ask me a pet centered question at Pawbly is free to use and open to everyone who wants to help pets and their people.

I am also on Twitter @FreePetAdvice and at the clinic Jarrettsville Vet, living the dream (happy and not-always happy endings) in Jarrettsville Maryland.

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