When I was younger, I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to do when I grew up. From a young age I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field but was torn between a few things. In middle school I made up my mind to be a Veterinarian. In order to become a Veterinarian, it requires many years of school, experience, and hands-on learning. The process of deciding to become a Vet was somewhat difficult and had many factors that helped me decide it is what I wanted to do.
From my first year of high school, I had began taking classes that would help me down the road and planning how I would accomplish my goal.
Although I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field I was unsure of what. When I was young, I wanted to be a veterinarian, just as many kids want to do. It then turned into “I want to be a dental hygienist because I like getting my teeth cleaned.
” I began looking at how long school would take for both professions and at the difference of salaries for both careers. This is when I realized that being a veterinarian wasn’t beneficial for the money that they make compared to the years of schooling required. Dental Hygienists make roughly $74,820 per year with only an Associate’s Degree required, whereas Veterinarians make about $93,830 per year and require a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Doctoral Degree (Statistics, 2020).
The biggest factor that made me finally decide that I wanted to be a vet was that everyday is something different.
Dental hygienists do the same few tasks all day every day; check for cavities and gum related diseases and clean teeth. Veterinarians do basic check-ups, surgeries, and they also get to clean teeth just as a dental hygienist would. I am the type of person that gets bored or tired of doing the same tasks over and over. I am interpreting to be completely done with school around the time that I am 25 years old. Due to the amount of college classes I was able to complete while I was in high school, it has helped me to get closer towards earning my degree in a shorter time frame. Although I only need a Bachelor’s Degree before I apply to Vet School, I have taken my classes in such a way that I will earn my Associate’s and Bachelor’s at the same time. Since Vet School is very competitive to get into, having both degrees will look better and could help me to get accepted (VeterinarianEdu, 2020).
Before I had began working at a vet’s office and gaining experience, I jumped to conclusions that being a Veterinarian meant you didn’t have to associate with people as much as a doctor or dental hygienist would for instance… I was wrong. Another big misconception I had about veterinarians was that they made good money since they are a doctor. Some people would say that they do make good money overall, but it’s decent. To have their doctorate degree, they don’t make much for the all the tasks that they do on a daily basis. I have asked three or four Veterinarians if they decided to pursue a career as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) because of the money that came along with it; all of them said no. I was told by vets who are a large animal emphasis, meaning that they work on cattle, horses, and other livestock, that they never once decided to become a vet due to the money. They said “to be a vet, you have to have a strong love and passion for animals.
You have to want to help and heal them because the money isn’t there for what we do.” At the end of the week, no veterinarian says, “that’s going to be a good check.” Instead, they say “I feel accomplished for saving as many lives that I did and healing as many patients.” After hearing this so many times, it still never changed my mind that I wanted to become a doctor to help the creatures that bring us joy and laughter, instead it has made me want to pursue this career even more. Afterall, you never work a day in your life if you love what you do. I have heard several times that “Veterinarians aren’t real doctors.” But, how aren’t they? They go to school just as long, learn just as much, conduct as much surgery, and on top of that, their patients can’t tell them what’s hurting or how they feel. Regular doctors who help people can ask their patient what part is hurting, how long they’ve felt a certain way, and so on. Animals don’t have that capability, therefore, it’s up to the vet to check the animal from snout to tail and figure out what to do in order to help. I’ve always seen this as a puzzle, you must put together all the pieces in order to see the bigger picture. Things like that amaze me and make me want to learn more and stride to become a Veterinarian.
Ever since I decided I wanted to become a Veterinarian, I began setting up a plan on how I would accomplish my goals in the quickest, cheapest, and most effective way possible. My last two years of high school I took college classes which helped with many things. Taking advanced classes helped me know what college would be like before I got there but, it also helped me get some basic classes done for free before I graduated. Doing this made it a couple thousand dollars cheaper than if I were to take them after I graduated high school. From this point on, I have been taking as many classes I can during each quarter while I am at Georgia Military College because this school is financially cheaper than it would be compared to going straight to the University of Georgia straight out of high school.
I started taking classes soon enough and have continued taking them at a steady pace in order to earn my Associate’s Degree within one year after high school rather than taking two years. I also plan to continue looking for more scholarships to apply for to go with the ones I already have. Having as many scholarships I possible will greatly cut down on the price of going to school for so many years. Once I get into Vet School, I have already found a scholarship that is strictly for vet school students and I will apply for it. Becoming a Veterinarian would usually take eight years from the time a student graduates’ high school. Although, as I mentioned before, I have had the chance to cut down on some of the time it will take to graduate and have my DVM License. Between taking classes in high school and getting my Associate’s Degree done sooner than average, I have cut my time down from eight years to only six.
In conclusion, there will always be pros and cons to everything we choose to do through life. There will be some difficult semesters of school, classes that are hard to understand new information, and there could very likely become financially difficult times while I travel down my path of becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. It will always be important for me to keep my head up and strive to do my best. I didn’t necessarily learn anything new while writing this paper, however, I was reminded about the pay rate for my future profession compared to others and that there will come difficult times that I will have to push through to reach what I want in life.