Do I have to do surgeries if I become a veterinarian?

QUESTION:

Are there levels to being a vet? Once I graduate this college will it be me performing surgeries and extracting teeth? Or will it just be regular check ups? Also, am I likely to have to do surgery in a small animal clinic or are only procedures such done usually in the big hospitals?

 

ANSWER:

There are different areas of veterinary medicine. They are referred to as “specialties.” Some have high exposure to surgeries or animals in pain while others have minimal to no exposure. Based on your concern, some specialties that might not be a good fit for you at this time include: Emergency, Dentistry, and Oncology. Some specialties that have low exposure include: Imaging(ie. X-rays), Cardiology, Nutrition, and Dermatology. As a general practitioner, you will have to perform some surgeries like spays and neuters. Other surgeries, you will have the option of referring to a surgeon or pass the case to another veterinarian if you are opposed to doing the surgery yourself.

During your last semesters of vet school, you will have to rotate through various departments including surgery. This will be a great opportunity to see what areas of medicine will be a good fit for you. It is common for students’ interest to change between the time they enter vet school to the time of graduation, and even beyond.