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Can we quantify the true cost of veterinary student debt?

Posted by Cari Wise on March 4, 2016 at 8:00 AM
Cari Wise
Dr. Cari Wise is a 1999 graduate of the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a Masters degree in Education from Argosy University in 2015. Throughout her career, Dr. Wise has utilized her veterinary education in variety of settings including private and corporate small animal practice, shelter medicine, spay/neuter clinics, veterinary relief services, start-up practice ownership, and veterinary technician education.

Elizabeth Johnson, Ross Knippenberg, PhD, and Mike Dicks, PhD wrote an article that appeared on titled "Can we quantify the true cost of veterinary student debt?". The piece talks about the the burden of paying down student debt early in their careers plays a significant role in new graduates' lifestyle satisfaction.

quotesVP.jpgMany veterinary students will tell you they’ve wanted to be a veterinarian since they were small children. Whatever persuaded them—a beloved pet, involvement in FFA or 4-H, or time spent shadowing a veterinarian—this profession has no lack of passion. Passion for the profession is what allows these students to look past the sacrifices and strenuous academic requirements necessary to pursue a veterinary degree.

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Dr. Wise's Take
Veterinary Medicine is considered a Passion Profession. You know you will endure strenuous schooling, and accumulate a good deal of debt, to become a veterinarian. You know your pay will not mirror that of human doctors, even though your education is arguably more difficult. You do this to pursue your passion. But what does that mean for you post graduation? In reality, your sacrifice will continue for many years into your professional career, as you pay down your student loans. 

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