Always wanted to be a veterinarian and never pursued it? Well now’s your chance to wipe your brow in acknowledgement of that bullet you dodged…now that ‘veterinarian’ has been ranked 123 in a list of the 200 best and worst careers (right between ‘shoe maker’ and ‘forklift operator’). Seriously.

CareerCast is a human resources company that ranks the best and worst careers in an annual list you can see here. Its top job? Mathematician. Its worst? Lumberjack.

The company goes to great lengths to establish objective criteria for judging these jobs. It grants scores for the quality of the work environment, physical demands, stress, median income and weekly hours worked.

At $77,000 a year for a 50 hour-a-week post, it’s apparent that veterinary medicine’s benefits do not play out well relative to the likes of ‘accountant,’ ‘actuary,’ and ‘computer systems analyst’—not when you consider the harsh realities of daily vet life.

I was all set to refute these findings when I first heard about this ranking on NPR’s Science Friday. But last night’s dinner in a tony, South Beach hot spot intervened. At the table: six well heeled, highschool-friend attorneys and two relatively humble veterinarians.

Despite our stellar programs, excellent grades, three to four years' more schooling and relative career success, the table's vets would have been hard pressed to pick up the tab. Open bottles of wine left on the table. Stone crabs left unpicked. Steaks half-consumed. Desserts ordered and ignored. Meanwhile, the not-so-hungry lawyers jockeyed to see who would have the privilege of paying the whole bill.

But as they talked up their financial prospects, vacation haunts and personal injury cases, I couldn’t help but wonder who really had it worst…

Hmmm…at least I’m not number 126, ‘teacher,’ whose stress level ranks higher and median income is a full $25K lower than ours…