Veterinary Medicine as a Career Essay

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VETERINARY MEDICINE AS A CAREER

Working with animals has been a dream of mine since childhood. I was raised next door to the town veterinarian, Dr. Murphy. He specialized in farm animals, which my family raised, so he visited our house on a regular basis. He knew I loved to hear stories about his patients and always entertained me, no matter how busy he was. When I was 10, Dr. Murphy gave me a copy of “All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriot. The book told the story of a country veterinarian and his daily work. To this day, that book remains one of my favorites and always renews my interest in animals.

I recently spoke with Dr. Murphy, who is now retired, about his experience in the field of veterinary medicine. He
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Veterinarians who seek specialty certification in a field such as opthalmology, pathology, surgery, radiology, or laboratory animal medicine must complete a 3-year residency program, and pass an examination. In addition to academic instruction, training includes clinical experience in diagnosing and treating animal diseases, performing surgery, and performing laboratory work in anatomy, biochemistry, and other scientific and medical subjects. (The Veterinary Profession n. pag.).

The veterinary profession is a stable career because animals, like humans, will always need to be cared for. Today veterinarians have the option to choose between several areas of practice. Private clinical practice remains the highest for percentage of total veterinarians and annual earnings. Large animal practices earn $79,600 on average while small animal practices earn $75,000. There are also opportunities within public education systems, federal and state government agencies, and the uniformed services. However, these practices earn a considerable about less. The average salary is $60,000 - 65,000 per year. (AVMA n. pag.).

Today’s veterinarians also have the option to specialize in a number of areas such as radiology, pathology, toxicology, and oncology. These veterinarians will perform general duties like dressing wounds, setting broken bones, and prescribing medication, but will utilize their additional training when

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