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What no one ever tells you about being a vet

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Young school children often declare, “I want to be a vet,” when asked about their future. The love of animals starts at a very young age. As the child matures and still shows an interest in animals and science, you may want to guide him or her toward the reality of veterinary medicine study. You should consider these challenges and rewards of pursuing a career as a veterinary surgeon. Here’s what no one ever tells you about being a vet.


Across the UK, each veterinary school has slightly different entrance requirements, but, in general, strong science-related A-levels are required for university entrance. On those A-levels, while some schools require two A grades and 1 B grade, most require 3 A grades. Some schools will accept the AS level, but this is not common. Some schools do offer alternative plans for those students who did not qualify on A-levels or who did not take required sciences. As you can see, just to have the opportunity to study to be a veterinary surgeon has high prerequisites. Once in university, the coursework is demanding, and it can get expensive. While they aren’t a great option due to the debt level, loans are available to help with costs.

It’s dangerous

Make no mistake, the one issue that makes being a veterinary surgeon dangerous is animal bites. In some surveys, over half of veterinarians suffered from more than one work-related injury in a year. From large animals, such as cows and horses, to small animals, such as guinea pigs, cats, and dogs, animals have teeth, and they can bite, with or without provocation. Even well-behaved pets that have been properly socialised can react defensively when a stranger is prodding and poking them, especially if pain is involved. Just like humans, animals don’t like pain or having strangers touch them uninvited.

The best parts about being a vet

The greatest perk about being a veterinary surgeon is that your day is never predictable. You will have scheduled appointments, but most practices are also animal emergency rooms. One of the most common complaints about most careers or jobs is how routine they can become, but that is not the case in veterinary medicine. Another big advantage of becoming a veterinarian is the opportunity you will have to establish strong relationships with animals and their humans. As you move through your professional relationship with your client, friendships often evolve.

While obtaining a veterinary degree will have its challenges, the rewards will, most likely, be well worth the effort. From career independence to being paid to play with puppies and kittens every day, the advantages of veterinary medicine far outweigh any temporary hurdles. If you have a passion for science and want to serve the community, becoming a veterinary surgeon might be a great option.

What else do you think no one tells you about being a vet? Let us know by tweeting us over at @CareerCamel.

Eileen O'ShanassyWhat no one ever tells you about being a vet

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