Today I’m myth busting so here’s a few things that people will tell you about vet school, and about being a vet, that are just plain wrong!
“Getting into vet school is the hardest part”
Unfortunately getting into vet school is just the beginning and it’s important to realise that, the large majority of it is hard. Anyone would be hard pressed to say which particular part was the most challenging.
“There is no point applying to a Scottish university if you aren’t Scottish”
I think I am proof that this is not true. Generally speaking there are more Scottish applicants to the Scottish universities than the English universities due to complications associated with tuition fees so there will be more Scottish students at the Scottish universities but they are actually still in the minority.
“You only need to get 6/8 weeks of work experience (depending on where you apply)”
You don’t “only” need that many weeks. They are a minimum! The large majority of applicants will have a lot more than this, for example I had about 24 weeks when I applied. Competition for places is fierce and the slightest little detail can get you pulled out of the race so please don’t let it a lack of work experience be your downfall. This is why I encourage you to start early!
“The university you attend makes all the difference”
Here’s the thing, yes you may like one university more than the other, or one city more than the other, but in the end we all come out with the same degree so does it really matter? No, probably not! You will always end up loving the university you attend anyway so try not to stress too much about where you do or don’t get an offer. In the end, you only actually need one!
“At university you get really long holidays”
Wrong!! So so wrong. Everyone else gets ridiculously long holidays while you spend your time working on farms, in kennels, on livery yards and in vets. In the first 2 years you have to get 12 weeks of work experience and in the last 3 you have to get 26 weeks. All of which has to be done during your holidays. Wave goodbye to any dreams of spending weeks on end doing absolutely nothing!
“When you qualify you will earn buckets of money”
Now I’m not going to claim that vets earn nothing but let’s be honest, for 5 years (minimum) of intense training, we earn relatively little compared to bother doctors and dentists. When you decide to become a vet you are not on the fast-track to riches and if this is what you are aiming for, you are going into the wrong profession! You will however, be told by every man and his dog that you are going to earn a fortune so get used to having to smile and nod while you get lectured about the cost of vet bills and the amount we supposedly earn!
“You specialise while you are at university”
Although ‘streaming’ is commonplace in the US, this isn’t yet the case in the UK. When you graduate from a UK university you are equally qualified to work as a vet with any species, a little like taking a ‘general’ track at the US universities. You can stream to an extent through your EMS (extra-mural studies) and through the selected/elective modules you choose during your final year rotations but you will not have specialised by the time you graduate.
“There’s no point applying a second time”
If you don’t get in the first time, apply again. Please!! If you don’t get offered a place on your first application then make sure you e-mail the universities and ask why, independent of what level you got to in your application. Most of the time the universities will give you a very generic answer but every so often you might stumble across something really useful. The majority of the universities will then let you use this information to improve your application so that your second is stronger. Plus, you are going to be in education for a long time so a year of doing something different may be a blessing in disguise!If you have any more myths that you think need busting, please leave your suggestions below!!