Fourth year veterinary students are in the final stretch. Many have already made plans for post-graduate work or research. For those of you still deciding which path to take, I’d like a moment to tell you why it could be beneficial to look at finding your first job as an associate in a private practice.
With the national shortage of veterinarians likely to continue – and worsen – for the foreseeable future, graduating veterinarians have leverage when it comes to choosing where to start their career. For veterinary students in their second and third years, it’s not too soon for you to consider your plans, and even start looking for work.
Considering the cost of earning your undergraduate and graduate degrees, the promise of a big salary right out of school is enticing. But consider this – large corporate clinics are not the only option for graduating veterinarians. Yes, corporate clinics have the resources to recruit doctors from across the country and offer perks that are hard to turn down, but they often come with restrictions of what early associates can do and quotas on productivity and the number of patients seen.
Conversely, in a private clinic, early associates will have more opportunities to shadow the primary doctor and have more exposure to a variety of cases. The culture at a small clinic is often drastically different from the rules and structure in place at a corporate animal hospital. You may find that you would prefer a smaller, more hands-on practice. Finally, doctors working at a private practice have a better opportunity to buy into the clinic or even start one of their own.
Struggling on which way to go? Our team is here to answer any questions and help set you up for success in your future workplace. We look forward to working with you!