One of the comments on yesterday's blog was an interesting one to me.
Several years ago I saw a survey in a veterinary journal stating that around 80% of practicing veterinarians loved their job and would choose to do it again. I had a hard time relating to that study since I was in the 20% that didn't feel the same.
I think that most professionals reach a point in their career where they question their choice. What was once a dream and a passion becomes routine and just a job. When I first graduated from vet school I loved my job. I was eager to put my knowledge to use and took pleasure in going to work every day. As I practiced longer I began to feel the stress of the duties and responsibilities. I also kept seeing the same kinds of cases day in and day out, which was not very exciting or interesting. Fast-forward a few more years and I hated what I did and dreaded work every day. Now the pendulum has swung back and I don't mind work most days, even though it is still a job.
As I mentioned yesterday there are a lot of stresses that come with being a vet, especially when you start realizing how many serious decisions you have to make on a daily basis. For the most part I would say that it is a rewarding career, and I've gotten so I actually like what I do most days. But would I do it again? No.
As is typical, hindsight is 20/20. My interests have also changed over the years to where I enjoy other sciences and history more than I did when I was younger. I also discovered a love for teaching. So if I had to do it over again I would likely go for a PhD in history and become a college professor. Knowing then what I know now would have completely changed my future.
Would I recommend a career in veterinary medicine to someone at this point? Possibly, yes. The circumstances are different than when I applied almost 20 years ago, mainly in regards to the financial picture and debt load. I do think that someone could really enjoy themselves and it's a stable career. However, the salary and hiring prospects are the worst they've been my lifetime with no signs of getting better.
All of this being said, I doubt that veterinary medicine is alone in these feelings and outlook.