Ask the Veterinarian/Vets V.S. MDs


QUESTION: I was wondering if you knew whether it is easier or more difficult to become a medical doctor or vetrinary doctor? I would assume the anatomy of animals has got to be as complex as that of humans except they can't tell you when they are hurting. And I'm told vets have to know about at least 15 types of reproductive systems. Who do you think has it tougher? I personally am novice to all things biological.

ANSWER: It is probably easier to get into a medical school than an veterinary school. And medical doctors make almost twice as much money as a vets do.

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QUESTION: I don't associate income with difficulty. The best paid actors get paid 10 times more than those running this country, and those running this country likely get paid abotu twice as much as any disiple of doctor alive. Am I to assume that because vet school is more difficult to get into than medical school that it is a more difficult thing to know and to master once someone gets into either school?

Because there are so many more medical schools than veterinary schools, the demand for slots to a veterinary school are harder to obtain.  I think the ratio for vet school is 7 applicants for each slot. It is much less for medical school.  The first 4 years of either medial school or veterinary school are probably equally as difficult.  In medicine, you have to go on after graduation and do an internship and residency to become a practicing physician.  There are no requirements like that in becoming a veterinarian.  Difficulty is what you make it.  I did not find veterinary school particularly difficult, but it is a huge volume of information that is presented that requires discipline and perserverance to comprehend.  There is no slacking or you will get buried in work.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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