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Wanted: Info on Virology career

Janet Foley jefoley at UCDAVIS.EDU
Fri Aug 11 13:38:17 EST 1995

On 11 Aug 1995, Andrea Dennis - Imonics Marketing wrote:

> Just curious, but why a DVM and not an MD?????
> I'm pursuing a career in epidemiology, which I consider somewhat closely
> related to virology, and I was told that the preferred plan of attack 
> is Medical School.
Exactly. See latest issue of JAVMA, practitioner's exchange in which they 
asked veterinarians, if they had it do all over again, whether they would 
have become a vet. About half said no. Also check with 25 or so class of 
92-94 DVM graduates and ask them if they are happy with their careers (as 
I have done) and the answer, very frequently, is no. Consider that the 
average earning potential for a vet out of school is 27-32,000 dollars 
and can go up to the mid-40's (if you are an associate) in a couple of 
years, but the average salary for MDs out of their residencies is 
90,000+. Consider that an MD can get an academic job if they do not have 
a PhD (but do have good research experience, papers, etc). By and large, 
MOST academic veterinarians have PhDs (certainly at the basioc science 
level). For veterinians who say they love animals, and find people 
disease a little too gross, consider that 90% of my time as a private 
practitioner was spent in client education, grief counselling, 
business-related, human-oriented activity and the technicians does the 
majority of animal care. BUT-- I am still glad I'm a veterinarian. I am 
absolutely fascinated with feline disease, I love cats, I like clients, 
and money is a very low priority. But with a whopping educational debt 
and very low earning potential, I have a very difficult time paying my 
bills. Please be sure you CANNOT STAND the idea of an MD before you go 
for the DVM.

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