A Benefit of Having Nothing

There is a multifaceted veterinary crisis on the horizon. The cost of obtaining a veterinary education in the U.S., when compared to veterinary average and potential earnings, is astounding to the point of being ridiculous. The advantages of being in debt $160,000 upon completion of veterinary school are not bountiful. It’s a trade off that is becoming a threat to each sequential graduating class. Even more staggering, the total debit to be paid back over a 20-30 year period ends up being $220,00-280,000. Not to mention, students who shoulder debt from their undergraduate degrees.

In preparation for graduation, I’ve been looking into various online resources for veterinarians…resources to use in the field. I’m currently a member of VIN, AAEP, Vetfolio, Vetvance, Vetstream, Wiki-vet among others.

The membership/subscription costs of all these while being a veterinary student?

Free.

I’ll take it.

And, as a great marketing and sales strategy, this free membership/subscription benefit helps pave the way to dependency and addiction, because just the convenience that comes along with mobile-friendly media is enough to convince me to not go back to textbooks. Plus, with how fast research is expanding our understanding in the medical field, it becomes difficult to find a book (other than an anatomy book) that remains current or “uptodate” for a significant time after publication. And these textbooks are not cheap. $500-$700 at the high end.

The ease of access, breadth of information, and constantly updated resources make these online-sources fountains of knowledge that become someone indispensable. And I’m not opposed to consulting Dr. Google either. I could spend days discussing and reviewing each of these fourth year internet trials, but time is a limited comodity of mine.

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My favorites are VIN and Vetfolio/Vetstream. But recently, I ended up exploring Vetvance.

Originally I discovered vetvance while questing for random information, and it seemed limited on it’s actual clinical veterinary medicine information. I developed a better understanding of the unique nature of Vetvance this afternoon as I worked my way through some of the learning modules.

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In a nut shell, the website serves an educational step-by-step program for transitioning from student to veterinarian. Although not intensive in any one subjected, the information provided is concise and quite important…and unless a student took business classes in undergrad, or is a member of the VBMA, we don’t receive any formal organized information regarding the actual integration into a veterinary practice.

  • For example, one of the modules asks (more or less in these words). “You’ve just been offered a job at a prviate practice. Your starting salary is $50,000. Your employer says you need to have an average daily production value of $3,000. Is this offer:
  • realistic and justified
  • outrageous
  • not possible to determine if this is a “good deal” or not

Benefits, salary negotation, specific interview questions to ask the practice, 401K, what constitutes a good health plan, the process of buying into a practice…all of these are topics touched on by the Vetvance modules. And no doubt, discussing these topics in depth would take an inordinate amount of time and make completion of these modules borderline impossible. The brief explanations that are given in either a transcript form, or in a 2-6 inute video, are followed up additional lists of resources that students can explore if seeking more detailed information.

A question pertaining to the module is proposed first, usually multiple choice. You can answer it, then click on ither th avideos or the transscripts. I’ve been wathcing the videos because I have to multitask. So while doing laundry  I completed 7 of the mini-modules while doing. Effective and productive use of my time, and Iwas really happy with what I got out of it. So, thought I’d throw this out there. Free for students, and you can be pre-vet or in vet school…I can see the benefits for students in any stage of their veterinary education.

Morgan