Veterinarian Job Market Trends
Finding a fulfilling veterinarian job depends on a number of factors, many of which are purely financial. Career trends in the world of veterinary medicine vary as drastically as others in the professional world. Although one might assume that a veterinarian's sole responsibility is to care for the health of animals, most young veterinarians must also weigh the cost of their student debt, as well as their impending family aspirations. In order to become a veterinarian, a four-year college degree must be achieved, followed by a four-year doctorate in veterinary medicine. For this reason, many new veterinarians are already at an age at which they'd like to settle down. It can be a difficult balancing act that is only further complicated by the economy's behavior.
The Older Generation
As the previous generations of veterinarians begin their process into retirement, many are not yet ready to throw in the towel. Most older veterinarians have a clientele with whom they are very close, and giving up both their clientele and the patients they love can be a very difficult task. Because of this, many older veterinarians choose to bring on more and more associate veterinarians, allowing the seasoned veterinarians to take more time off but still engage with the clinic they've likely built from the ground up. This can cause certain stresses in the job market, especially if the seasoned veterinarian is not as up-to-date on modern veterinary medicine. Finding a good match for an associate veterinarian is a vital step in the process of finding a new veterinary position. Many older veterinarians choose to skip diagnostic testing in favor of immediate treatment, which is typically frowned upon in veterinary academia. In addition to considering the pay, an associate veterinarian must also consider the level of freedom they'll have as a new veterinarian.
Commission or No Commission
With the economy as of 2011, most veterinary jobs are now based on commission. Of course, this can provide complications in the day-to-day activities of a new associate veterinarian. For example, a seasoned veterinarian who owns a practice may choose to skip a diagnostic test and immediately prescribe a treatment for a given illness. If that same client later returns but ends up seeing the associate veterinarian, both new standards of medicine and the inclination to make more money will likely force the associate veterinarian into doing more diagnostics. This can make a client very unhappy, and these types of circumstances should be discussed before joining a veterinary team. Ideally, an associate veterinarian who works on commission should be in an environment in which the new standards of veterinary health care are followed. This will allow the associate veterinarian to earn a paycheck, establish relationships with clients, and most importantly, properly care for the patients.
Just as in the world of human medicine, veterinary medicine has numerous specialties that a veterinarian can pursue. However, just as in human medicine, these specialties can tack on up to a decade of extra schooling. Current trends in veterinary medicine show a rising of specialists in the coming years. This is because veterinary students are being more actively encouraged to pursue specialties, rather than practice general medicine. The benefits of growing specialties will only further advance modern veterinary health care, as well as provide larger salaries for new veterinarians.
As modern medicine continues to advance, salaries will continue to grow to compensate for new technologies and research. Seasoned veterinarians will start to retire, allowing associate veterinarians to find their place in the professional market. Also, specialties will continue to provide more extensive options for pet owners.