Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why I don't want to be a veterinarian

My first college counselor was a very nice, albeit socially awkward woman who thought the best way to "encourage" me to be more was to go into an autistic rant about how "you can do anything, anything you want. You can do more. You don't have to be a vet tech, you can be a veterinarian."

I asked for a new counselor who was a little more sutble. "Is there a reason you don't wish to get a doctorate in veterinary medicine?" she asked. "I don't want to be a veterinarian," I answered. "If I get a doctorate, it will be in zoology." From there, we discussed Cal Poly Pomona and the University of Hawaii and UC Davis, and we were done. "You can do anything you put your mind to," she said. "You just have to believe in yourself. Not everyone wants to be a doctor."

I wonder...if a man says he wants to be a nurse, do people yell at him to be a doctor? Nurses and doctors are completely different, and that's why I want to be a tech, not a DVM. I can imagine that anyone chosing nursing would feel the same way. There's a different connection to nurses.

I love my veterinarian. When my bigger guinea pig was having a foot problem, he was a great person and obviously loved my little boy. It was the tech, however, that I saw the most of. She would hold Woody, pet him, clip his nails, feed him carrots, whatever. I was told that one time when the little one got a cold, the doctor was in the back talking to him in an absurdly high voice, but I didn't see that. The doctors deal with the medical side, and the nurses deal with the human side.

At shelters, the techs are the ones who walk, groom, feed, and care for the dogs. A vet will come in a few times a week, or on an emergency. At a zoo, the techs are the ones that feed and care for the animals. A vet comes in a few times a week or during an emergency.

I want that hands-on part of the equation. I want to be a tech, I want to be a zoologist.

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