Don’t want to go into general practice but don’t want to complete a residency? Want to consider all your options? Here are some areas of veterinary medicine that you might not have heard of before.
Private practice owner – combining the business side of veterinary medicine with general practice.
Private practice associate – enjoy general practice without the worry of running a business.
Relief veterinarian – mix things up by rotating from clinic to clinic. Relief vets often substitute as general practitioners, but many also relieve for emergency hospitals.
Mobile veterinarians – take your practice on the road and practice veterinary medicine directly out of your clients’ houses or in a mobile van unit.
Hospice/in-home euthanasia – quality of life talks in the comfort of your client’s residence. Companies such as Lap of Love and Pet Loss at Home are taking hospice and palliative care out of the hospital and bringing it into the home.
Corporate practice associate – join one of the many veterinarians who have chosen to go big for the job security of corporate practice.
Alternative medicine – acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, and TCM practices are becoming more common.
Emergency practice – experience the fast-pace and odd hours of emergency practice.
Specialty practice – if you have your heart set on cardiology, practice the specificities and master the expertise in a specialty clinic.
Public Health – help control the transmission of zoonotic disease while working for a governmental agency.
Public Policy – add a veterinarian’s voice to law by working in government or for non-governmental associations.
Military – work all over the world practicing on service dogs, horses, marine mammals, and more.
Forensic veterinarian – help crack animal-abuse cases by providing your extensive knowledge of veterinary medicine.
Food supply medicine – regulate food safety and practice herd-health as a food supply veterinarian.
Shelter medicine – ensure the health and happiness of homeless pet populations through a combination of individual and herd.
Disaster response – although mostly a volunteer job, animal disaster response teams are becoming more necessary each year.
Wildlife medicine – help wildlife get back on their feet as part of a private, non-profit, or governmental agency.
Zoo medicine – work on the most spectacular types of animals in large and small zoo facilities.
Laboratory animal medicine – care for a large number of research animals as a supportive veterinarian. It’s not all mice and rats.
Diagnostic Laboratories – working in a diagnostic lab requires a thorough knowledge of clinical pathology.
Teaching – want to help future veterinarians? Many teaching positions are available at veterinary schools or universities with animal science departments.
Research – often accompanied with a PhD, DVM’s who research are helping change the veterinary world, one scientific article at a time.
University Faculty – want to teach, research, and practice veterinary medicine all at the same time? Consider becoming faculty at one of the 50 AAVMC-accredited vet schools.
Consulting – add your expertise to the blooming pet care and veterinary industries.
Entrepreneur – have an idea of your own? Start your own company and add something new to the industry.
Some relevant statistics from the 2016 CVMA Economic Issues Survey:
68% of DVM respondents practice small animal medicine exclusively, 20% practice small animal medicine predominantly, 6% practice equine or food animal medicine, and 6% are listed as “other”.
24% of DVM respondents worked for a multi-location corporations such as VCA, NVA, or Banfield.
76% of DVMs worked at general practice, 13% worked at an emergency or specialty practice, 3% worked for a university, and 5% listed other (including government).