Send in the vets!

Career information for would-be vets

source: New Scientist October 20 2001
starts p64, 2 pages long

Vets can work in a range of fields, though 85% are in general practice. Government services account for 6%, universities for 4%, charities and trusts for 3%, and industry and commerce for 2%.

There are 8803 applicants for vet school in Britain in 1999, and only 631 of these were successful. Courses last five to six years, and tuition fees can be 5,000 pounds sterling.

Medical research on animals can attract criticism, but both animals and humans can benefit. Opportunities in government research include monitoring usage of veterinary drugs, and helping to control epidemics in farm animals. Academic research tends to pay less well than general practice, since vets in practice can earn some 40,000 pounds sterling by age 30 to 35-years-old, which is as much as an academic professor. This creates the problem that vets often leave academia to return to general practice. One solution is to allow vets to combine both research and general practice.