2001-Tue Jan 16 22:27:35 EST 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Back in vet school, I recall a family reunion at which more than one relative asked a surprisingly common (and rude) question: “You’re so smart! Why on earth didn’t you become a real doctor?”
Having to tolerate relatives en masse is one thing. Having to endure unsolicited, desultory pronouncements about my choice in career is another animal altogether.
Nonetheless, there is a silver lining to this cloud: Not only does it offer me a reason to evangelize on the subject of my profession, but it also serves as a great platform from which to describe exactly why human medicine is not for me.
To that end, here are seven reasons why I could never be a human doctor:
I know this sounds bad, but how else to explain my feelings on the subject? I’m not in any way averse to seeing human blood and guts, but I can’t abide by the concept of human filth or waste. When dogs vomit, I can pick it right up and not bat an eye. When a person gets sick, however, not so much.
I have no idea why, but I can’t handle tragedy when it strikes children. If I had to be a pediatric oncologist, I’d have a gun to my head by the end of my first year in practice. With animals, it’s all about alleviating suffering, which undoubtedly tempers the tragic.
It’s a corollary to the kid factor. Since I can offer euthanasia as a solution, I do not have to endure suffering to the same extent that many human medical providers are forced to experience.
Having to deal with a moving target when it comes to income is bad enough, but practicing medicine knowing that a medically unqualified administrator has the power to second-guess your decisions must really and truly suck.
Is there anything worse than knowing that you will be sued at some point in your career for something you did not do wrong? The injustice of it all has got to get to you.
And when it does, it means that you can’t practice medicine the way you believe you should. Instead, you’re forced to offer inefficient excesses and expensive redundancies that do nothing but tax individuals and the health care system, along with your conscience.
I have several physician friends whom I adore implicitly. But let me be honest: Having lived uncomfortably in the company of the pre-med crowd while in college, I well understand the differences between the average veterinary student and the average medical student.
Just as smart. Just as competitive. Just as dedicated in some ways. But, on average, in my opinion, nowhere near as passionate.
Is it the prospect of riches that poisons the well? Parental expectations? A search for status? Not sure. Let’s just say that in my view, human medicine takes all kinds, and leave it at that.
Knowing you’re helping the innocent, the defenseless and the adorable offers its unique set of rewards. For all the challenges, I don’t think any human medical job on the planet could best veterinary medicine’s daily entertainment factor.
So why didn’t I go to medical school? Why would anyone when the alternative is so alluring?
To read more opinion pieces on Vetstreet, click here.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.