Letters to Vetted: Yeah, that IS how I’d change vet school!

Letters to Vetted: Yeah, that IS how I’d change vet school!

'If I ruled the world' … Dr. Sarah Wooten would have done her education a little differently. These readers, largely, agreed.
source-image
Jun 21, 2018
By dvm360.com staff

Editor’s note: As part of our big dvm360 Leadership Challenge on veterinary school, Dr. Sarah Wooten shared some no-nonsense opinions about what needed to stay and what needed to go in the curriculum. Since then, some inspired dvm360.com and Vetted readers have chimed in. Here’s what they had to say:

Keep fighting this fight

“Great article. It was right on!! Sadly, the powers-that-be don't see it that way. Been fighting that fight awhile. But keep on preaching. We can dream, can't we? Thanks for taking a stand.”

— Mark Russak, DVM, CVJ
Past president, AAHA
Board member, International Council for Veterinary Assessment

 

Yes, let’s cut all those classes graduates won’t need, but not anatomy!

“I think Dr. Wooten has some excellent suggestions. I have seen a number of these implemented at Cornell [University College of Veterinary Medicine] in recent years, and I think they make a real difference for the graduates. My only quibble would be to have an all-inclusive general class Freshman year on all animals (anatomy is good) for those who are undecided on their end goal.

“I originally went to vet school to be a dairy vet, but now do small animal [work] with a pretty significant exotic patient clientele as well as relief work. Knowing our options at graduation is also key."

— Karen Purcell, DVM

Now about that student debt …

“As a 2017 graduate of veterinary school, I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Wooten’s list of 10 ways to make vet school better.

“In spite of my maturity on matriculation, I still went into veterinary school like most of my colleagues: thrilled to have beaten out all the other candidates for one of those rare vet school seats, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with the dream of being molded into a doctor. The level of debt required for my program didn’t phase me, either, with $500,000 being the value of the average starter home [in Southern California].

“But now that I’m out living the dream, making my first student loan payments (which equal my house payments, but will never pay off the loans, WTH?), I kind of wish those who paved the way before me had done a better job of making sure that veterinary education reflects what’s needed in the real world, rather than maintaining some outmoded concept of what it should be, or always has been. (But I get it, once you’re out, who has time?)

“I don’t expect taxpayers to subsidize my education, but I do think if I have a mortgage-sized student loan balance that I should stand some chance of being able to pay it off in 20 years.”

“So the 11th thing I would add to Dr. Wooten’s list is that a streamlined educational system also needs a pared-down price, and educators need to demand that student loans are structured more like a mortgage, with reasonable/market-type interest rates. Why in hell did I have to pay fees and points up front, and interest rates that are double those of a standard mortgage (not to mention paying interest on interest on interest the whole time I was in school)?

“I don’t expect taxpayers to subsidize my education, but I do think if I have a mortgage-sized student loan balance that I should stand some chance of being able to pay it off in 20 years.”

— Phoenix Watt, DVM