Common misconceptions about vet careers

Revealing the facts

Image © Mark Carrel / Fotolia

If you're thinking about working in the veterinary profession, it's important to have the correct information about training and careers at your fingertips.

Here are some common misconceptions related to vet jobs:

Most vet work is centred on cats and dogs

It may seem that vet work tends to focus on cats and dogs, but the scope is much wider than this. During veterinary training, students can learn about other areas, including exotic animal medicine, equine medicine or large animal medicine.

In fact, vets don't just work in practice; they can be employed in research, consulting, teaching and corporate jobs.

It's impossible to get into vet school

Competition is fierce to study to become a vet, so you may face some challenges when making applications.

It's worth bearing in mind that there are also various career paths you can take, so if working in the veterinary profession is your ultimate dream, make sure you explore your different options. Gaining work experience, for example, can really help to get a foot in the door.

Vet jobs are dominated by men

In the past, there tended to be more men working in the veterinary profession than women, especially at higher levels, such as surgeon roles.

As with many other areas of once male-dominated careers, women are now enjoying a healthy presence in this sector (almost 60% of the profession is female), and not just at entry-level positions or in nurse roles.

Vets know everything about every animal

During training, vets will learn about many common types of animals, but it would be impractical to teach them everything about every type of species.

If you turn up at a surgery with a very unusual or rare type of pet, don't be too surprised if the vet can't answer all of your questions with complete confidence.

Vets aren't proper doctors

Following successful training, vets are able to use the title of doctor if they wish, so they are, in fact, real doctors – just not the kind who treat human beings.

The training is just as intense as studying to be a medical practitioner, while, obviously, having to learn about more than one species.

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