Studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (‘BVB/DVM’) at USYD provides a great opportunity to work as a veterinarian; but, it is also a big commitment.
In this article, we have the advice of Hannah, a third-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student at USYD, and we explore the possible pros and cons of choosing this pathway.
Let’s dive in!
Why should you study a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at USYD?
USYD ranks #1 in Australia as the best university to study Veterinary Science. The Veterinary programme offers an in-depth course, which offers a wealth of hands-on experience in the Camden campus as well as state-of-the-art facilities and vet hospitals on the Camperdown campus, especially when students enter the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
Hannah, as an international student, also comments that “USYD and the country in general have really provided us with a warm place to call home.”
Top 3 Pros of a Veterinary degree
#1: There’s always something new to learn
Hannah tells us that the program is “great for those who are inquisitive”.
In addition, it’s great for anyone who enjoys exploring the science behind different things, and seeing how certain body processes can occur, be prevented or be changed. Veterinary science is grounded in a long and established history of scientific knowledge, including biology, chemistry and statistics.
Through a combination of theoretical and hands-on knowledge, “you learn the “why” behind a lot of things“.
#2: Great cohort morale
In studying a BVB/DVM at USYD, it’s quite likely that you’ll form a strong network of like-minded peers.
“You also get to meet some amazing people who will inspire you to be the best you can be,” Hannah reflects.
Especially during the postgraduate stage, where classes are made up of all Veterinary students, students often form a close cohort through shared career and academic aspirations. For those who live near the Camperdown campus, attending society events, such as VetSoc trivia nights, can also add a social side to your study experience!
#3: Promoting animal welfare
Last but not least, Hannah tells us that one pro is that “you get to be an advocate for the animals who cannot stand up for themselves“.
For animal lovers, studying your way to become a Veterinarian can be a fulfilling life-path, as your work becomes grounded in animal health. In a various range of client situations, such as the health of companion pets or the welfare of farm animals, you’ll always know that your work positively contributes to the broader world!
Top 3 Cons of a Veterinary degree
#1: Large student debt
“I’m an international student and will be leaving this degree with a large amount of debt,” Hannah says.
However, whether you are an international or domestic student, studying a BVB/DVM at USYD is a costly endeavour; for domestic students, it totals at $67,800.
Before studying a Veterinary program, working out whether you want to become a Veterinarian and the ‘why’s’ of your decision is a great way to avoid any regrets.
#2: Hard to balance work and life
Time is also a form of currency, if not one of the most important currencies. And, Hannah says, “This degree isn’t known to allow for great work-life balance.”
The contact hours of a BVB/DVM is like a full-time job; students have class every day of the week from 9-5, with an hour’s lunch break.
This makes studying Veterinary Science a very time-consuming passion project, and it may mean that other hobbies and activities have to take a lower priority.
#3: High level of responsibility
“You will make mistakes throughout the degree and career that can wear on you,” Hannah says.
On the flip side of helping out animals, having the responsibility of an animal’s life in your hand is also a serious consideration.
While Veterinary students and professional Veterinarians are clinically skilled, they’ll inevitably encounter mistakes and how they deal with those moments can have a large impact on their state of mind. Here, it’s important to consider how you will react to those moments and if you’d like to take on this large responsibility.
Any regrets? What do you wish you had known before starting the DVM at USYD?
In terms of the course content, Hannah tells us, “I do not have any regrets about this degree. I was pretty aware of what I was getting myself into.”
However, choosing to study at USYD, as an international student, is more of a grey area for Hannah. She says, “If I had to do it again (with hindsight of COVID), I may have accepted a position in a school back in the States. COVID has made seeing family very hard. I haven’t seen most of my family in over 2 years.”
For domestic students who move out of their family home, similar experiences will apply. For all students, one significant recommendation is to form a strong and healthy support network.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
“I do not know the intimacies of the same degree at other universities, so it’s difficult to compare,” Hannah first prefaces. “However, USYD offers hands-on experience early on in the degree. We also get exposure to a vast array of animals early on as well.“
Hands-on experience often means students learn quicker, since theoretical knowledge is translated into a practical knowledge.
“I was able to complete my first surgery at the end of my second year — I don’t think many people at other schools can say the same. I completed this surgery at a pre-clinical placement,” she adds.
What inspired you to choose the DVM at USYD?
For Hannah, the reason for choosing a degree in Veterinary Science is that helping animals is a lifelong passion.
“I grew up with a lot of animals,” she explains. “Being a caretaker of animals from an early age sparked a passion. I later explored this passion by volunteering and working with many vets.”
As for choosing USYD, she says, “Frankly, I chose to study at USYD because I received an acceptance and my husband was able to get a job transfer as well. We figured this would be difficult to pull off at the other schools I applied to because many were in more rural areas and my husband’s job requires him to be near cities. We took the leap of moving from the USA to a country neither of us had been to before.”
What are the possible career paths?
There are various career pathways for graduates in a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at USYD. The most common career options are becoming a private veterinarian or corporate veterinarians.
Other fields of work include:
- Animal welfare
- Wildlife Conservation
- Infectious Disease Units
- Public Policy
Lynn Chen is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is a Communication student at UTS with a major in Creative Writing. Lynn’s articles have been published in Vertigo, The Comma, and Shut Up and Go. In her spare time, she also writes poetry.