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What was the hardest step to take after graduating college for Veterinarians?

I know that a lot more schooling goes into the process of being a Veterinarian, and job shadows. But what I’m worried about is what to do with my degree after school. Do I join in with a firm? Or do I make a private practice? I don’t know which is the right or easier step to take after college to further progress my career as a vet. #veterinaryscience #aftercollege


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Danika’s Answer

There are many things you can do after graduation. You can work for the government at agencies like public health departments, the Center for Disease Control, the FDA, the USDA, or any of the armed forces (yup! They all have veterinarians!). You could work in the private agriculture sector with dairies, beef farms, poultry farms, or swine farms. If you choose to go the small animal path (dogs, cats, etc), and you want to go right into practice (vs. doing an internship and a residency to specialize in something like radiology, internal medicine, etc), it would probably be best to work at an established clinic (vs starting your own or buying a clinic) so that you can get mentorship and build your skills. While getting through vet school does require a lot of schooling, it certainly does not teach you everything so many new veterinary graduates choose to work at an established clinic to refine their skills.


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Courtney’s Answer

I recommend joining a clinic that's already established so you can get the experience. Starting your own practice is more than just being a vet, it's also knowing how to start and run a company, manage employees, complying with state and federal employment laws, IRS reporting requirements, etc. which you would typically get a Business Management degree for. By joining a practice you will get an idea of what it would take to have your own practice. Also keep in mind that there's a lot more out there than just working in a clinic setting. Zoos have staff vets. Think of how much fun it would be working with bears, lions, tigers, etc. versus working with cats and dogs all day?


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Keely’s Answer

Hi Sierra! My name is Keely and I am currently in my final year of veterinary school at Kansas State University. As I am preparing for graduation and finding my first veterinary job, I believe I can be some help in this department. I am currently interviewing to join another established veterinary practice as an Associate Veterinarian - meaning a non-owner of the practice. I believe this is the most common route graduating veterinarians take. From there, many either move on to other practices, buy into the current practice (become partners), or save money to begin their own practice. There really is no limit to what you can do after graduation!

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Keely’s Answer

Others of my classmates are actually continuing in school to specialize in a certain veterinary field, such as radiology, cardiology, internal medicine, etc. For this path, one must complete a 1-year internship and then apply for a 3-year residency, similar to human medicine. Please let me know if this was helpful and if you have any other questions about this wonderful profession!

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