Different Veterinarian Fields! If you’re planning for your future career as a veterinary student, you likely have a lot of questions. You may have heard about resources, such as disability insurance for soon-to-be veterinarians. Another concern may be where you will practice or even what field you will enter once you graduate.
The Need to Specialize
As a veterinarian graduate, you aren’t required to specialize. It may even be a good idea to work in general practice to get a better idea of your goals for the next few years. Some veterinarians prefer to maintain a general practice for their entire careers.
On the other side of the argument is the fact that those who specialize often make more money. Because they are specialists, they gain more training and education in one area. They can command a higher salary because they are qualified as experts.
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Large or Small Animal Vet
One of the main categories for veterinarians is whether they will work with large animals or small animals. General practitioners take patients in both categories, but there are advantages to specializing in one or the other. Small animal vets are also referred to as pet veterinarians. They diagnose and treat cats, dogs, and other small pets. They administer vaccines, perform minor surgeries, and euthanize pets at the end of their lives.
Large animal vets work with livestock, such as cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs. They work with horses and may even choose to specialize in one large animal. For instance, a vet could work at a racetrack or in horse shows. You’ll find a big call for large animal vets in rural communities.
This is a lucrative field for veterinarians, allowing you to find better treatments and cures than what is currently available. You may work with a university, biomedical research firm, or even a government organization.
As a research veterinarian, you may have the opportunity to join a university faculty and teach students. You still can work with animals but in a unique setting.
In another field for veterinarians, a nutrition specialist works primarily with diet concerns. They study animals and their need for specific vitamins and other nutrients and work to ensure they get what they need.
The specialist may work with a pet owner to help a sick pet regain strength through a nutrition plan. They may team up with other vets at a zoo to ensure a new animal addition gets the right kind of diet as they adjust to a new home. A nutrition specialist may also work with a pet food company to develop new foods.
This is one area of veterinary medicine that may surprise you, but it’s emerging as a popular choice for specialization. In this career, you study behavioral traits in animals and learn about problems they develop. For instance, you may learn new ways to treat separation anxiety for pets with their owners or how to handle aggression.
Animals may become depressed or anxious just like humans. However, they may manifest in different ways. In your role in this field, you may monitor animals to learn signs of anxiety or depression to help pet owners understand their pets.
Specialties of Scope of Care
While these are different branches of veterinary medicine, you also have the option to limit your scope of care. You may choose to specialize in anesthesiology where you would monitor a pet during surgery. You may be interested in being a surgeon or dentist as your specialty.
Another area of focus could be rehabilitation. Many veterinarians have developed tools to help animals walk and function with disabilities, including using prosthetics. You would work with animals that have suffered an injury or illness that caused them to not function normally. The loss of function may be temporary or permanent. You may help them regain their strength or adjust to a new way of living.
Specializing in Species
Some veterinarians choose to limit their practice to dogs, cats, horses, or poultry. Your preferences may lead you to work with wildlife either in a zoo or nature preserve or even out in the wild. What you specialize in may also determine where you work. Besides a general practice, you could find a career in a university, zoo, or laboratory.
Disability Insurance for Soon to Be Veterinarians
With the ability to specialize, you can make more money. You’ll want to protect your income in case of injury or illness with disability insurance. As you think about all the options available to you to earn a good income doing what you love, don’t forget about planning for your future. Consider your field of choice based on what interests you most as well as job security and income.