Career discussion - becoming a vet

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11 years 6 months ago #25689 by max2
Its been E's dream for a while now to be a large animal vet. however currently her schooling here hasn't been strong in science.

Actually very little to date.

E finished year 8 this week.

I am advised that as her year level is the largest to go through our school system the chances are that the demand for variety in the sciences will grow. However I am comparing her y8 experiences to my aussie y7 experiences and it seems lacking. When I went through in year 7 we experienced 1 x 4 terms in the sciences, one in chemistry, one in biology, two in something that passes this 45 yo mind for the moment.

Soooo, knowing there are one or two vets on this forum, or people able to speak about this knowingly, how important was year 9 science to how you ended up with your training and qualifications?

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11 years 6 months ago #358781 by cowvet
year nine is the first year at high school???

at that stage I only did general science, did a language (German), and also Latin which was suprisingly helpful when it came to anatomy and parasitology and all those long names for muscles and worms. from then on I took as many of the sciences as I could and ended up doing the last two years (6th and 7th form) in Biology Chemistry and Physics


I love animals...they're delicious

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11 years 6 months ago #358787 by Isla
A wide variety of anything remotely related to technicality of any sort will probably stand her in good stead. The most important skill is the ability to learn and the more practice one gets at that, the better, no matter what topics they are. Therefore, take things which are of interest, never do something utterly boring, for fear of extinguishing delight! ( :D )

You can probably get into just about anything at University level when you have maths and science covered at school. I branched out into Economics and linguistics, for instance, along with getting deeply ensconced in Calculus.

Any success is based on a bit of talent and loads of effort and perseverence! (Or a great dollop of luck, but there's no point hanging around on the offchance that'll fall on your head!) The ability to knuckle down and work is probably the main divider between those who succeed in study and those who don't. Encourage discipline in that regard and success is assured!

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11 years 6 months ago #358788 by DiDi
swaggie - I am not sure I can help but having been married to a Vet for 28 years, one thing he said adamantly was that his girls were not going to be Vets. Mind my Dad as School teacher spat the dummie when I announced I wanted to be a teacher! I wasn't.

Cowvet will be far more up to date on this but my ex went through Edinbrough sp? having passed 14 A (English things) levels in one year. Ok Mensa IQ! However, his decision to be a Vet, not a doctor, was based on believing that he would not have to listen to whining hypochondriacs. What he discovered was whining hypochondriac animal owners! Which is the worse evil? Laugh.

He was the last intake in Edinburgh that pupils were accepted on academic achievement AND interview. The following year, they changed it to academic achievement only. Not too long later, NZ did the same. We had Vets appply to our large animal practice who had topped their classes but confronted with a ceasarian on a cow, turned to mush. Their brains and their aptitude only set them up for research, not hands on Vet work.

As I said, I have no idea what is happening in NZ now but I remember only too well 30 years ago when Vet students at Massey were set up to fail their first year, psychologically, under a "only the toughest will survive" regime and the pressure on the students was horrendous.

My youngest daughter always wanted to be a Vet but from our family view and the reality of what Vets earn (without being a partner in a Vet practise) the long hours, etc, she became a Nurse. She is seriously bright and now has a PhD in nursing and what that has meant is a job anywhere in the world and good money to boot. She was going to be a doctor until she figured that 7 years plus debt and her desire to have a family in the future was not worth it to her personally. No regrets as she is someone who has a good brain for saving and creating a life that means more than earning huge money and no time with family and friends.

Just a thought as I know from past history that any child who loves animals wants to grow up to be a Vet. No problem with that but at the same time you have to be realistic about what the end result will be. However, encourage E to do the science end of the educational spectrum and then when she is older, she will have a choice would be my advise. Cowvet?

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11 years 6 months ago #358792 by Simkin
Hi Swaggie,

year 8 really is only kindergarden in regard to science. Once she gets to year 11 it becomes interesting. In year 12 it would be helpful if she studied biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to continue on this path in year 13.

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11 years 6 months ago #358793 by Isla
Good heavens, never discourage someone who wants to become a large animal vet!!!

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11 years 6 months ago #358820 by max2
E is still maintaining choices, the other one being a marine scientist! However her desire to be a vet is a bit more than just due to having lots of animals etc, she is really interested in the blood and guts of things and given half an opportunity will disect what she can to see its bits... but not in a gory way.

she is a very bright girl, fortunately nothing like her Dad and I (ha ha) so must be a throw back to someone else in the family. 2 of my Cousins are brilliant as well. Obviously I was holding the door open for them at the time that gene was handed out on Mum's side....:rolleyes::rolleyes:

but the science side does worry me as I believe its a tough course to get into at Massey. Heard a few stories about priority being given to international students etc, so whatever good start we can provide, is what we as Parents will try to do. If it doesn't work out for her result wise, she knows there are other choices, but we would have done our bit to ensure she is on the right track education wise.

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11 years 6 months ago #358846 by Simkin
Hi Swaggie,

if you are so concerned about the level of teaching - there are good science books out there. Usborne series springs to mind. Our kids actually learnt a lot from the discovery channel when we had it for a couple of years.

It is VERY early days yet for her - just keep the doors open for her. In my experience the 'brightest' students at school up to year 10 or 11 are overtaken by serveral lengths during years 12 and 13 by the truly gifted. I remember one girl who won 'first' in all her subjects in year 11. At the year 12 prize giving she 'only' won 2 or 3 1sts, the other subjects were excellences. At the end of year 13 she won 1 excellence and nothing else. The dux and proxime accessit were students who had won 1 or 2 excellences during the previous years and suddenly excelled during year 13.

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11 years 6 months ago #358854 by Yo Man
Have a look at this FAQ section on Massey Vet School, answers quite a bit.
vet-school.massey.ac.nz/faq.asp

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11 years 6 months ago #358863 by highgirl
I agree with cowvet, that until I got to high school, and not until form six (year 12) were the sciences separated from general science. As simkin says, there are great books out there so if she's really keen I'd purchase them for her.

My son (also yr 8) suddenly said he wanted to be a vet the other day. I did warn him that it was very hard to get into, even harder than medical school.

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11 years 6 months ago #358878 by Simkin

highgirl;349422 wrote:
My son (also yr 8) suddenly said he wanted to be a vet the other day. I did warn him that it was very hard to get into, even harder than medical school.

I wouldn't discourage such an idea at this young age. Of course, it's hard, but it takes until y12 or even y13 before students find out what they are capable of. Just don't encourage them to take subjects like outdoor education or arts and the likes because they seem easy (they are not unless it's your speciality). Maths, physics, biology and chemistry keep those options open.

If it's not going to be veterinary studies then there are lots of other professions that can be fulfilling and have contact with animals.

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11 years 6 months ago #358898 by reggit

DiDi;349336 wrote: As I said, I have no idea what is happening in NZ now but I remember only too well 30 years ago when Vet students at Massey were set up to fail their first year, psychologically, under a "only the toughest will survive" regime and the pressure on the students was horrendous.


My experience of first year vet 26 years ago at Massey too :D (gawd, was it really that long ago?). Having said that, it sounds like once they get into the second year, they are given a heap more support to ensure they get through...

I may have missed this in the posts but...swaggie, has E done any time with local vets as 'work experience'? Might be worth it if not. I did this for several holidays before making a decision to enter first year and it was a real eye opener.

Subjects required back then were maths, english, physics, chem and biology. Unless it has really changed, the last three were taught as 'science' until fifth form (whatever that is now) then split into three subjects.

The only 'beware' I would have, without putting her off, is that once you entered your first year of vet the subjects (again, if it hasn't changed) were all science ones. So if you did get cut at the end of the first year, you either had to continue with pure science, or redo your first year to get a wider base of subjects and hence options to continue your degree from.

As I say, this was 26 years ago - things may have changed substantially since then! One thing I did read recently is there are more female vets graduating than male - which puts paid to the opinions of my nasty careers guidance teacher that 'girls can't do vet.' [}:)]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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11 years 6 months ago #358907 by Clods
What I find unbelieveable at schools here is that you can only take 5 subjects. How someone could possibly get the equivalent of 14 A levels in one year - its not possible in New Zealand. My boys wanted to take 2 sciences for year 12, and they are unable to do so, as they are also carrying on with English and Maths. They'd have to drop English to be able to do Chemistry.

2 horses, 15 Chickens, 1 goat, 2 pigs, 1 cat

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11 years 6 months ago #358910 by igor
I did 6 subjects in the fifth form (year 11). That was the maximum allowed for School Certificate. The headmaster gave me a bit of BS about his daughter having done 7 but it took her two years to get through them.
My highest SC mark was for technical drawing and, surprise, I'm now a draughtsman. In the fifth form I did English, Maths, Science, TD, Woodwork, and my sixth subject was Horticulture which I took as an excuse to dodge out of crap like art, music, and physical education.

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11 years 6 months ago #358915 by gemini kiwi
Sandramiro's daughter is at Massey, you could contact her.
Tess

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