So Many Possibilities: What’s Your Best Veterinary Career?

Male with pigs

Veterinary medicine is a big, wide world, full of many possibilities—from clinical practice to laboratory work, from public health to academia. So how do you figure out what’s right for you?

Find what you’re most passionate about, and match that to the veterinary practice type that best fits it. Consider this a quick-start guide.

Find your passion

Start by looking inward. Identify what’s most likely to satisfy you professionally. Working with the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, the AVMA identified ways to help you assess what you want out of your veterinary career.

The college’s Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine has two useful tools to help you pinpoint what really matters to you in your professional lifecareer:

Being by defining your career goals, strengths, limitations and interests.
Mesh your career interests with your personality type to summarize what career field would be best for you.

Match your passion to your career focus

Informed by these assessments, it’s time to take a closer look at the many career options available to you as a veterinarian. The AVMA’s Veterinary Career Center has a list of all kinds of veterinary careers you can use as a starting point. A few examples of career roles you might not have thought about:

  • Public health veterinarian
  • Relief veterinarian
  • Researcher or scientific writer
  • Scientific advisor to lawmakers at the state, local, or national level

You also can check out the career development webinars on AVMA Axon®. They cover everything from forensic medicine to research work, teaching, and more. They’ll help you get to know about your veterinary career options from people who have already been there—your peers and colleagues.

Another great—and fun!—resource is the My Veterinary Life podcast. It offers a personal, first-hand glimpse into veterinary life through conversations with current veterinary professionals. Tune in for inspiring stories about the journeys, challenges—and often hilarious anecdotes—that got veterinarians to where they are today. The series is brought to you by the AVMA in partnership with IDEXX, and it’s bound to open your eyes to possibilities you’ve never even imagined.