3 Aug 2023
Exploring Veterinary Expertise with Dr.Anupama Verma - Post Graduate scholar in Veterinary clinical medicine that deals with diagnosis, research, and treatment of Canine, feline, livestock, and exotic. etc. Here she is sharing her insights in detail about the Pathways to Specialization and Career Growth in Veterinary Clinical Medicine.
1. Can you provide more information about the specialization options available for veterinarians? How do veterinarians acquire additional training and expertise in their chosen fields?
Dr.Anupama Verma: There are plenty of specialization options available abroad for veterinarians. But each of the specialties necessitate extra training beyond that of a general practice veterinarian.For many veterinary specialists, making the extra effort to pursue their passion as wellworth it.
The options include Veterinary anesthesiology and analgesia, animal welfare, behavioral medicine, clinical pharmacology, dentistry, dermatology, emergency and critical care, internal medicine (Cardiology, Large animal internal medicine, Neurology, Oncology and Small animal internal medicine), laboratory animal medicine, microbiology, ophthalmology, nutrition, pathology, poultry veterinary medicine, preventive medicine, radiology, species specialized veterinary practice (Avian practice, Beef cattle practice, Canine, and feline practice, Dairy practice, Equine Practice, Exotic companion mammal practice, Feline practice, Food animal practice, Reptile and amphibian practice, Swine health management), sports medicine and rehabilitation, surgery, theriogenology, toxicology, and zoological medicine.
Whether you’re passionate about protecting the food supply, advancing animal well-being, or something in between, you have plenty of career options as a veterinary specialist. Regardless of which route you ultimately choose, your journey will start the same as every other veterinarian’s does. You’ll need to gain acceptance to vet college, obtain your degree, complete licensing requirements, study for and pass the NAVLE, and apply to veterinary specialties and specialty organizations available abroad for different streams.
2. What are some of the job opportunities available for veterinarians beyond clinical practice? Can you elaborate on their roles in government veterinary services, research, wildlife conservation, and animal welfare?
Dr.Anupama Verma: There are many options other than clinical private practice for veterinarians. These options include
Corporate veterinarian- They play a critical role in the research and development of a variety of animal-related products such as veterinary pharmaceuticals, animal feed products, pet care products, and specialized veterinary equipment. You can also find employment as a sales representative or sales manager, particularly in the animal health field as some customers prefer to deal with licensed veterinarians who have extensive
credentials in the field.
Teaching- If you have an interest in academics you can find teaching positions with veterinary colleges and universities. In veterinary colleges, you will be responsible for providing a challenging professional curriculum for aspiring veterinarians, teach undergraduate students pursuing degrees. Duties may include lectures, advising students, designing hands-on lab activities with animal subjects and develop continuing education
.Military and Para-military services- Veterinarians in the military and paramilitary services as in RVC (Remount Veterinary Corps), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Border Security Force (BSF), SSB (Sashastra Seema Bal) provide care for government- owned animals like military dogs and horses, food safety inspection, safeguarding the health of military and other government personnel, and serve as biomedical research
Management- Business-minded vets can make for great practice managers. You can go for this type of leadership role in your career by obtaining an MBA in Agri- Bussiness addition to your B.V.Sc degree. Management could also be a good option if you enjoy educating in an informal setting, since you may spend a fair amount of time working with new practitioners.
Shelter medicine- While they work with companion animals, their role is significantly different than that of a vet working in a traditional clinic. One major difference is that they don’t work with pet owners. Shelter medicine can present its unique challenges, as it’s not uncommon to encounter animals that don’t have any available medical history. With that in mind, shelter veterinarians must be comfortable navigating the unknown with confidence and skill.
Self employment- Entrepreneur in Livestock Farms, Dairy Farms, Poultry Farms, Goat Farms, Piggeries, Dog Breeding, etc. You can also work as a freelance worker, blogger or scientific article writer, proofreader, etc as a part-time
Other private sectors- You can join NGOs as an investigator, chief investigator, and field veterinarian; Insurance companies, banks as a probationary officer; corporate bodies includes National Dairy Development Board, Cooperative dairies, Milk Board, Milk Unions etc; Slaughterhouses/Cattle Pounds/Public health Laboratories and Zoos/Wildlife centers. Zoo veterinarians help strengthen surveillance and response to all communicable diseases that emerged as threats to public health and in addition, coordinating education and provide human physicians with information on zoonoses at the interfaces of the wild,domestic and human populations.
3. You mentioned that there is a growing demand for postgraduate studies in veterinary medicine. Could you elaborate on the reasons behind this trend and how a Master's degree can enhance career prospects?
Dr.Anupama Verma: Since the competition is getting tougher day by day as more students are graduating every year there is a utmost need for post-graduation. Especially, if you want to pursue your career in the private sector or to set up your clinic I would recommend you to give two more years to yourself engaged in disease diagnosis and treatment to get a clear picture for future clinical cases.
Whether it is MNCs, colleges, or established polyclinics everyone wants a Postgraduate candidate for work. In a competitive environment, companies may be more likely to select a candidate with an advanced degree over someone with similar experience and a lower-level degree. Master's degrees help you gain specialized knowledge that can help you excel in your career.
For various posts of teaching associates in colleges, a Postgrad degree is an essential qualification. As far as openings of vets in famous clinics are concerned a postgraduate will always be preferred with a good salary package rather than graduate students.
Post Graduation opens up a great opportunity for students who want to go abroad for higher studies i.e., PhD or research fellowship as your reach and connections with the professors and colleges get stronger and you get a wider picture.
Two years of devotion and research to veterinary medicine helps in the development of new technologies, techniques, and treatment protocols which will eventually be used to ease the ailments of pets.
4. Can you provide some insights into the salary range for veterinarians, both in the private sector and in government or military positions? How does the salary vary based on factors such as experience and essential non-technical skills?
Dr.Anupama Verma: A salary is just a number that keeps on changing with time. Although your excellence would undoubtedly boost this number's graph. However, a postgraduate can expect 60-65k in the private sector as a clinician. In the private sector, some of the vets are earning 10 Lacs per month in the cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, or Chandigarh. Talking about assistant commandants or captains in the army they receive 1lac+ salary for a month. If you had done PhD and joined as a Scientist then also you would receive a handsome amount. Growth or last salary in the government sector according to the seventh CPC could be achieved 1 scale less than the cabinet secretary of India. Salary boosts are provided based on experience in the same field.
There can be some job profiles also which would only be open to experienced candidates. Essential
non-technical skills can help you to get a rise in salary early than others. Your better skills give you the confidence to demand a higher salary from companies and clinics.
5. What essential non-technical skills should veterinarians develop during their studies and how do these skills contribute to their career advancement?
Dr.Anupama Verma: Of all the non-technical skills, communication is likely the most essential because it is necessary for establishing connections with owners, fostering trust, and providing high-quality patient care. You should be able to clearly and concisely explain medical information to clients in a way that is easy for them to understand which can help clients make informed decisions about their pet’s care.
Developing effective communication is important for building strong relationships with colleagues and team members, as all clinics rely on cohesive teams. This involves being able to effectively delegate tasks, provide feedback, resolve conflicts, and create a positive work environment. Empathy and compassion are two critical components of communication in veterinary medicine. This calls for the ability to relate to, comprehend, and address the feelings and worries of customers while also offering comfort and direction in difficult situations.
In such a giving profession, sometimes it’s not easy to focus on looking after yourself. But self-care is important and involves taking proactive steps to care for your health and well-being, and can include activities such as exercise, healthy eating, stress management, and taking regular time off. Being a veterinary professional is emotionally and physically challenging, so it's critical for us to take care of ourselves to continue offering excellent patient care.
Time management is another critical skill: We need to develop due to the bustling nature of work. Effective time management involves prioritizing tasks, delegating when required, setting realistic goals, and making the most of available time. This may involve making decisions about which cases to prioritize or balancing competing demands such as client appointments, surgeries, and administrative tasks like history.
Self-confidence would be my last essential suggestive skill to develop over time. In veterinary practice, we are often faced with complex and difficult cases that require us to make important decisions and take action quickly. In these situations, self-confidence is essential, as it enables us to be able to trust our judgment and rely upon our skills and experience.
6. Could you elaborate on the research opportunities available for veterinarians during their postgraduate studies? How can veterinarians contribute to the development of new technologies, techniques, and treatment protocols?
Dr.Anupama Verma: There are plenty of research opportunities available for veterinarians during their postgraduate studies which depend on the stream they have taken admission in. Veterinarians pursuing their masters in clinical subjects can work on clinical cases of different species coming daily in the clinics and can formulate, standardize, imply therapeutic trials, and find the efficacy of different drugs and procedures. Master’s in Para clinical subject lead students to expertise in molecular work in laboratory animals and get used to new technologies for the betterment of animals. Animal science subjects deal with the betterment and enhancement of technologies related to nutrition, livestock products, animal physiology, etc.
The successful therapeutic trials or any new drug and technique formulations during studies will lead to the development of newer, cheaper, and more effective treatment protocols for upgrading and reforming livestock and pet health.
7. Can you provide some examples of the subjects that fall under paraclinical or non-clinical categories in veterinary streams? How do these subjects prepare veterinarians for teaching or research roles?
Dr.Anupama Verma: Veterinary Paraclinical subjects include Veterinary Microbiology, Parasitology, Pathology, Pharmacology and toxicology and Public Health whereas Animal Science subjects include Livestock Products Technology, Animal Genetics and Breeding, Veterinary Physiology, Anatomy, Animal Nutrition, Livestock Production and Management, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education and Poultry Production.
There are plenty of job openings in these subjects for the post of teaching assistant or assistant Professors.
8. Lastly, could you share some insights into the potential for veterinarians to pursue further studies, such as a Ph.D. or research fellowships? How does a Master'ss degree strengthen their prospects for advanced education abroad or job opportunities in India?
Dr.Anupama Verma: Master of Veterinary Science (M.V.Sc) holders can try for higher education courses like Ph.D. in Animal Science, Ph.D. in Veterinary Medicine, Ph.D. in Veterinary Physiology, and Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathology, in India. Ph.D. in streams like Animal Behavior and Welfare, Veterinary Educational Development, Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Animal Biology, Animal Behavior and ecology, and Anatomic and clinical pathology can be pursued at international Universities.
Admission to doctorate-level courses is made through entrance tests. Financial assistance as well as scholarship is provided for meritorious students.