"I want to be a vet except that..." is a line I get treated to a lot by my clients and many of this blog’s readers. After all, it seems reasonable for most serious pet owners to have considered my profession at some point or another. Enough so that sometimes I wonder why, with so many vet voyeurs out there, more didn’t at least apply to vet school.
This topic recently came to mind after recalling that euthanasia was an oft-cited reason for skipping the whole vet school thing. In last Friday’s post, I mentioned that many adoring pet owners suggest they’d never hack vet medicine as a result of this concern. Killing animals, no matter how gently, is just not on their list of 100 things to do before they die, they say. And I’ll readily concede it’s not for everyone.
But the euthanasia thing is just one of many reasons I’ve been regaled with. And just last Wednesday a 14-year-old vet-wannabe (and I always say that with love) offered me a new one: "I have very sensitive hearing. I jump every time a dog barks and it gives me a serious headache.”"
After strongly suggesting she talk to her pediatrician about this, I recommended she try ear plugs made for musicians (and others) who need to preserve their hearing. She seemed much happier afterwards, but I still hope she talks to her doc. Can’t be a good thing … not with her dog’s high-pitched bark.
Here are a few more reasons. And now that I’ve gotten the ball rolling, I hope you’ll add your own (if you have one) :
1. "I have allergies." This was one of my personal reasons. I couldn’t hold a cat without sneezing. But somehow it resolved after I gave birth to my son. Why, I’ll never know. Good thing I decided to rebel against my body and go to vet school anyway. Not everyone can, though, I know that.
Still, plenty of vet students with allergies to certain kinds of animals make it through every year. I mean, you don’t have to be a cat or guinea pig vet.
2. "I love animals. It’s the people I can’t stand." This is actually a very good reason. Most of a vet’s work revolves around his or her people skills. Unless you head off into veterinary research or writing, or do any number of other veterinary jobs that are less people-intensive than the traditional clinical roles.
3. "The money thing would drive me nuts." Yeah, I hear you. Saying no gives me a headache. Economic euthanasia kills me. The inequity of it all is a serious job buzzkill. I can’t even stand that the homeless guy out in the alley gets less care than my patients. Sucks.
4. "I couldn't handle the blood, guts and gore." Need I say more?
5. "I've never been good at math and/or science." I know. It happens.
OK, so those are my top five (seven, actually if you count the first two). What are yours?
Dr. Patty Khuly